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Virtual Workshop: Finding & Landing an Internship Transcript

Hi Nighthawks!

Welcome to the finding and landing an internship workshop. I'm Lisa Geddings, Career and Internship Specialist on the Dahlonega campus. We know that employers require experience for entry-level positions and internships are one way to meet that requirement. In this workshop we're going to focus on resources to help you find and secure an internship.

Today, we'll look at the employer expectations when recruiting for entry level positions and how that relates to internships.

We'll also discuss some of the other added benefits of interning, outside of what we typically think about, which is work experience. We'll look at some resources to help you with your internship search and discuss the commonly requested application materials.

Lastly, we will discuss the UNG process for obtaining academic credit for an internship.

To begin with, let's look at some job postings found on Indeed.com.

All the postings you see here offer entry-level positions.

As you'll notice, they all list previous experience as a requirement, some employers will list a time frame such as one to two years of experience, while others may indicate specific areas of experience such as logistics or project coordination. This can seem overwhelming for new graduates pursuing their first professional position. But there are ways to build that experience while in school, and an internship is one of those ways.

Let's think about some various ways that you can start building experience.

First, it's important to know that experience comes from a lot of different areas. Some of it maybe from your full or part-time work experience, where you have developed transferrable skills such as teamwork and communication.

These are skills that all employers find valuable. You are also gaining experience when you are involved in community and campus organizations. Keep in mind that experience does not necessarily have to be paid experience. It can be collected from a variety of activities and work you are involved in.

Another great way to build experience.

Do an internship. In this photo, you will see a group of UNG students that interned at Syfan Logistics in Gainesville last summer.

They all had a great experience and Syfan has become a huge supporter of UNG students.

So what exactly is an internship? An internship is a short-term hands on work experience in an area directly related to your major or minor. It is typically a semester in length, and start and end dates coincide with the academic calendar.

Internships can be full or part-time. When done during the fall or spring semester, they are most often part-time, with students working around 15 to 20 hours a week. In the summer, we see more full-time internships. You will also find that some internships are paid while others are unpaid. This will vary by industry, but internships with some government and non-profit agencies do tend to be unpaid.

Internships can also be done for academic credit. For some degree programs interning is a requirement to complete the plan of study.

Please check with your individual department for any departmental requirements regarding academic internships.

There are additional benefits to interning beyond gaining practical experience in your field of study.

Some of those include making professional connections, developing and learning new skills, discovering your likes and dislikes, becoming comfortable in a professional work environment, building your resume, and earning course credit.

On this slide, you will see a sampling of some of the employers and agencies that have hosted a UNG student. intern. You can see there is a lot of variety, from government agencies to large corporations, to local non-profits.

Deciding what type of employer is the best fit for you will depend a lot on logistics.

Are you able to relocate for the experience? You can check with the employer to see if housing is provided or if they provide assistance with locating housing.

Also consider where your friends and family live. It may be possible for you to work out an arrangement to stay with them while you intern. On the other hand, you may need to be closer to campus or to home. It all depends on what is going to work best for you. Also, keep in mind to consider what a reasonable commute would be, especially if you are going to be commuting in to a large city.

One of the first steps in searching for an internship is to let everyone know what you're doing. Use your network of family, friends, and neighbors to help you get started. People who know you want to see you succeed and are usually very willing to help.

There are also online job and internship boards that can offer helpful insight into which companies are hiring. We'll go into a little more detail on those in just a few minutes.

You should also utilize the UNG resources that are available to you, such as your faculty, the Center for Global Engagement, especially if you're interested in an international internship and Career Services.

In Career Services, we keep a database of previous internship sites for every major. This can be a helpful way to explore possible employers that are already familiar with the UNG internship process.

To access the database, you will need to make an appointment with Career Services. You can also connect with employers that are on campus by attending a career fair or an employer information table.

Keep an eye out on campus monitors, Handshake, UNG connect, and the Bottom Line to find out when employers will be on campus. Lastly, if you have specific employers that you would love to intern with, be sure to go straight to that company's website and look for internship opportunities. They will usually be found under the Careers or Employment section.

I want to take a moment and introduce you to Handshake. Hopefully you've heard about it and maybe you've even started using it. We're very excited to make this job platform system available to all UNG students. It's a great place to start your job and internship search.

All students have been uploaded into Handshake. You just need to make sure to log in and activate your account. To get started, go to ung.joinhandshake.com or you can access it from the Career Services page at ung.edu/careers.

The system will prompt you to complete a profile, and the easiest way to do this is to upload your resume. In Handshake you can search for internships as well as full and part-time jobs. You can also keep updated on events happening in Career Services. There's even a new chat feature that allows you to interact with students from other institutions to learn about their interviewing and internship experience with employers that you may be interested in.

In addition to Handshake, some other online search resources that can be helpful are indeed.com, LinkedIn, which is your professional social media site. It's a good place to make connections and follow employers and industries that you're interested in. And Google. Google has a really nice feature that allows you to type in your search along with the area, and then pulls together a list of postings from a variety of sites.

So for example, you could do a search for social media internships near Alpharetta, Georgia.

Internships with federal agencies can be found at usajobs.gov. Idealist.org is a great resource for finding opportunities with non-profits.

Another resource that you may not immediately think of is professional associations. Professional associations exist for almost every career and occupation, and most have a job board featured on their website. You may need a membership to access the job postings, but most of these associations offer a free or discounted student membership.

It's a great way to learn about internship opportunities, connect with professionals, and learn about upcoming conferences you may want to attend.

On this slide, you will see three smiling faces of some of our summer 2019 interns.

And I wanted to share a little of their experience with you. These students took their internship search a step beyond the traditional job boards and internship database, and they actually started reaching out to employers that they were interested in working with.

I know that the thought of reaching out to an unknown professional can feel overwhelming, but that's exactly what these three students did. And it resulted in an internship. You can make a list of potential businesses where you would like to intern and reach out to those employers. Introduce yourself in a friendly and professional manner and let them know that you are looking to learn more about the field through internships. Offer to send them a copy of your resume. You never know what might happen. Most employers are excited and willing to contribute to the professional development of students. Of course, you may hear some no's, but that's okay. It only takes one yes to land a really great experience.

Now that you know the resources to help you start your search, it's time to dig into what the process will look like. And the first thing to keep in mind is to start early. The search for an internship can sometimes be as long as the search for an actual job position.

We recommend you start searching at least one semester before you actually want to intern. That should give you time to search for opportunities, apply, and complete the interview process while still meeting school deadlines.

So for example, if your goal was to intern in Spring 2021. You would want to begin your internship search early in the fall semester.

We talked earlier about how the search process for an internship is very similar to the search process for a internship And the same holds true for the application process. Here's a list of the basic application materials you'll need when applying.

First, I recommend spending some time thinking about what you have to offer.

Or another way to think about it is, what am I bringing to the internship? Read over the position description carefully and think about any related skills, experiences, and education that you want to make sure to highlight. Then most employers will ask you to submit a resume and cover letter. These are standard application documents, so if you don't already have them, you're going to want to learn how to put them together.

You can visit the Career Services website at ung.edu/careers to see some sample resumes and a cover letter Guideline document. We can also add you to our Career Construction zone module in D2L, which features a section on internships and resume writing.

There may or may not be an online application to complete. The position description will indicate the best way to apply. So please read that carefully. And just like with regular job positions, the recruiter will contact you to schedule an interview. This could be a phone interview, a video interview, or a face-to-face in-person interview.

One question you may want to ask yourself is, "Will this internship be done for academic credit?" For students in certain degree programs an internship is a requirement to complete the plan of study.

And then some students choose to do an academic internship to help fill elective hours. Once you have decided that you need or want to receive academic credit for your internship, you will need to meet with an internship instructor of record for your department for them to review and approve the internship experience. If approved, they will direct you to fill out the Internship Learning Agreement Form and help you to get registered in an internship course. It's important to keep in mind that with an academic internship, you will pay tuition for those credit hours. On the other hand, some students may not need the credit hours or want to pay tuition and are more interested in gaining experience and building their resume. In those situations, the internship does not have to be done for academic credit. Once you have decided that an academic internship is the best fit for you, there are a few additional steps in the process. The first is you must contact the internship instructor of record for your major. If you're unsure who that individual is, reach out to Career Services and we'll be glad to give you that information. Let your internship instructor know that you are planning to do an internship and would like to receive academic credit.

They will then review with you any academic qualifications that are in place. For example, that could be something like, a minimum GPA requirement.

The faculty instructor may even have some additional resources or contacts that can help you with your internship search. Once you have secured an internship, complete the Internship Learning Agreement Form found on the Career Services web page. This form is an agreement between you, the internship site, and the University.

You will fill it out and it will feature information on the location of your internship, contact information for your site supervisor and your work projects and learning outcomes during the internship.

The form requires your signature as well as the signature of the internship site supervisor, and the faculty instructor. Once approved and signed off, the internship instructor will advise you on how to register for the course.

Along with the work experience, the faculty instructor will also be giving you some additional assignments to complete. These are usually things like logging your work hours, writing a reflection paper, or keeping a journal.

One of the final steps to completing an internship for academic credit will be the evaluations. Towards the end of the semester, you will receive a Post Internship Evaluation Form to complete and return.

This is your opportunity to give us feedback on your experience.

We want to know what went really well and if there are any areas that need to be improved. This allows us to reach out to that employer and provide them with some education and tips on how to strengthen and improve their internship.

Your site supervisor will receive a Performance Evaluation that they should complete and return.

Both of these evaluations will be collected and sent to your faculty instructor to be used for course grading.

I wanted to take a moment and share with you some information on virtual or remote internships. With all the rapid changes happening in how companies are doing business, we're seeing more employers transition their internship programs into virtual or remote experiences. These experiences, if structured properly, can still be an excellent source of professional development. Some things that you should look for when considering a remote internship are the presence of goals and meaningful work. Having a written plan that focuses on the projects and learning outcomes will give you more focus and help you to be successful. You should also receive consistent and frequent communication from your site supervisor.

This helps you to stay in touch, evaluate your progress on projects and gives you the opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback.

Since most of the work and interaction will be done virtually, the employer should provide you with software and tools to complete tasks at no cost to you.

Many companies are even finding ways to incorporate virtual team building and networking events into remote internships. One example we heard of was a virtual escape room. The employer was able to implement this for all team members and interns and allowed everyone to come together in a fun activity that was still done virtually.

Thank you for joining us for the internship information session.

If you have questions or would like to schedule an individual appointment, you can visit our website at ung.edu/careers You can also reach out to us through phone or email.

Our contact information is listed below for the Dahlonega, Gainesville and Oconee Campuses.

Thank you, and we look forward to hearing from you.

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