19 December 2009

Blog on Winter Break!

College Intern Blog will return January 16, 2010.

The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

12 December 2009

Forgotten Dress Code: Shoes

Dress codes, the official ones as well as the unofficial ones, often ignore the matter of shoes. But as we can all attest, we do notice what people are wearing on their feet.

When footwear is dirty or broken or extra scuffed, we not only notice it but we also remember it. In fact, a first impression can be a lasting impression.

Comfort matters and there's no reason to wear uncomfortable shoes to the workplace. The problem with comfort is we sometimes keep wearing shoes long past the date we should retire them. Take an objective look at your shoes and decide if it's time to make them yard shoes.

Break in new shoes gradually so that you still put a priority on comfort!


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

05 December 2009

Money in the Workplace: You Are Not Being Distrusted

In virtually every workplace, money is tracked very closely. And not just by the accountants. You may be asked to turn in receipts for money spent and you may be asked to sign receipts for any money or property you receive. It's not a matter of trust (or distrust). It' s just business.

The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

28 November 2009

College Internship Grades: A is not for Automatic


Every college intern should make an A for the course, right? A is not for Automatic.

While you might think there's no content in the course, just process, this is the place where your content courses culminate. In short, your internship is where you apply the content you've learned in previous classes.

There's more to an internship, of course, and that's where your site supervisor plays a crucial role: evaluating your performance on the job. Some colleges count that evaluation in the semester grade while other schools downplay its importance for the academic record. (The reason is a pretty simply one: there may be little consistency in evaluation across all the internships so it's not a level playing field for everyone in the class.)

Best protection for the internship grade: understand the criteria for grading. Best sources of information: the professor and the syllabus.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

21 November 2009

College Interns: When You Have to Kill Time

On unlucky days at your internship site, you will be bored. That's when you need to have your own time-killer in your backpack. Recommendation: be prepared to take care of yourself and to take action.

First, let your mentor know that you have no task at hand.

Second, ask if you should wait for an assignment.

Third, assuming you are asked to wait patiently, create your own activity so you really can be patient.

Your own activity... read a book that you brought with you, pull out your own journal or notebook and write an entry about the day, work on an assignment for school. You know what not to do: play games on a computer (even your cell phone) and talk on your phone (even texting).

How you spend the down time will reflect on your time management skills. Make a good impression. You never know when a mentor is envisioning you as an employee.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

14 November 2009

College Intern Days Off

Two weeks before Thanksgiving (or any holiday) is a great time to ask your internship mentor or college professor about protocol for taking some time off. The operative words: two weeks before.

On your campus, professors and students may have some unwritten rules about Thanksgiving week. The most common one is "it's OK to leave campus before the holiday." The next most common rule is "you cannot leave campus before the holiday."

Your internship may not have any such expectation. In fact, your internship may be working on Thanksgiving! Or back on the job on Friday or Saturday.

As a college intern, you may be excused from the internship site for the span of days that match your campus holiday. But the responsible thing to do is to confirm that... two weeks before.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

07 November 2009

International Internships: A Starting Point

To locate international internships, look to directories of internships and expect to have to read broadly!

But here's a short cut to get started: IIEPASSPORT.ORG's list of countries with descriptions of what an internship might entail. Click on a country name and take time to scroll down to the section called Online Resources on each page. There, you will find links to "official" pages to keep researching.

Connecting with an international internship takes months! Start early!


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

31 October 2009

Apply Early for Summer Internships

Maybe you want a New York summer internship. Start applying now!

Popular locales attract many applications and a timely start to the process can be important. Fog Creek Software describes its summer intern opportunity in terms of stipend, qualifications, and expectations for the work to be accomplished. Check out Fog Creek's announcement even if you are not into programming. You'll learn a lot about what a company looks for when interviewing applicants for a paid internship.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

24 October 2009

Dress Code: Costumes at the Intern Site

If you are interning for George Lucas, by all means, get competitive and try to win the costume contest at the Halloween party.

If your internship is at any other workplace, weigh your costume choice against these tips:

1. Check out the company dress code. Does it specifically outlaw costumes?

2. If costumes are the norm, don't try to out-dress everyone else. Let the regular employees shine.

3.
Dress in layers and skip specialty make-up. Even if costumes are acceptable, you want to be able to convert to a "regular" look in case of impromptu meetings with company executives.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

17 October 2009

From Internship to Paid Employment

Most internships do not turn into paid jobs. That would imply that every company were expanding, every year, and hiring only from the intern pool. The more realistic picture is that a company may hire just one or two interns; and a small company may never hire an intern.

But if you land in the perfect internship, can you try for a job there? Yes! Be realistic about the prospect of going on salary as a regular employee but also put your best foot forward. (The worst that can happen is that you are told no, but your realistic expectation will have you prepared for that possibility.)

On a more optimistic note, outstanding interns have the perfect opportunity to demonstrate their value. Your own self-evaluation is important: can you point to your contributions? Can you tell a manager how you can bring even more value as a regular employee?

Don't hesitate to say, "I would like to work here." It's amazing how many job applicants forget to say that. And it's a statement that managers pay attention to!


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

10 October 2009

Self-Introduction: Choosing a Name

The internship is a good time to try out a workplace name if you've been waiting to make a change. Does everyone do this? Of course not. But if you've wanted to leave behind a childhood nickname or simplify a hard-to-pronounce first name, you can try out a replacement that you think you'd prefer as your "professional persona." Just use the new name in your self-introduction. Everyone will accept it.

And if you don't like the change, it ends with the internship!


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

03 October 2009

Not snapping the photograph


Whether your internship is located in a bank or a bike shop (or a bank of cubicles), you probably have an impulse to photograph it. Maybe put the image on Facebook? Maybe just send it to a friend?

Resist the urge.

1. You may have signed an agreement not to disclose the location of your internship in a public manner. (This can be especially important if you work in a location that serves clients.)

2. You may need to think through common provisions of privacy. Visual cues can invade the company's or a coworker's privacy.

3. You may need to ask, "Will an image disclose a location that makes someone vulnerable to an outsider?"

Workplace exteriors can be just as sensitive as interiors. Take a mental snapshot for your memory. Forget the recorded kind.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

26 September 2009

Intern Dress Code: Campus Casual OK?


Dress clothes..., casual..., business dress..., business casual..., and then there's the most comfortable dress code: campus casual.

Maybe your college expects something dressier than jeans but most don't! In fact, it wasn't so many years ago that pajamas were the campus clothing of choice. Today, jeans are acceptable for undergrads, grad students, and professors, too.

So, time to transition to the workplace for your internship... is your campus casual wardrobe appropriate? In the minority of internships, your wardrobe will be fine. That means that in the majority of settings, you will need to step up a notch.

OK! How about expensive jeans? Nope, they still qualify as campus casual. Put them in the closet for a semester.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

19 September 2009

Research the Industry of Your Preferred Internship

An application for a college internship should start with researching the industry. The state of the economy may influence how many opportunities you find in a particular field. The hotel and resort industry is a current example: with fewer tourists, even the big hotel chains may cut back on their number of paid internsihps. Start your research early so that you can plan your applications.

(Habbo Hotel is a virtual world that is populated by teenagers worldwide.)


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at http://www.marybold.com/

11 September 2009

Adobe, gearing up for late Fall applications

Adobe's familiar logos include this one from Adobe's corporate headquarters. The software company offers internships to BS/MS/PhD students. The areas are programming, business, and a specialized MBA area, too.

The Adobe Summer Internship web page is part of the company's web site on University Recruiting. For summer internships, the application season begins in late Fall. Positions range from the technical (programming) to the non-engineering (customer service, marketing, etc.). Like many corporate intern sites, Adobe pays a salary to student workers as well as "employment-like" features such as holiday pay and recreation activity.

Apply early to this company and consider the timeline as a hint about when you should start looking into other corporate possibilities.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

05 September 2009

Are you playing Vortex?

It's amazing what can fit on an iPhone. Music and movies and games, and that doesn't even begin to touch the communication power of talking and texting and emailing. So, what does Vortex (or thousands of other iPhone apps) have to do with a college internship?

The question is simple: Is your internship site the appropriate place to play a game on your phone or your laptop or the company's desktop?


The answer is even simpler: No, games are not appropriate.

The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

29 August 2009

Are you listening?

One of the best side effects of the iPod (whether you have one or not) is the acceptance of ear buds in your ears. In fact, it's such a common sight nowadays that maybe no one notices.

Or... your internship supervisor might. Not everyone has tuned in to the use of personal devices for private listening. Observe! If no one else is using ear buds on the job, don't assume you should start a trend. And even if someone is, consider that you still may need to restrain!


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

22 August 2009

02: New Language Challenge

02: it's time for lunch! W8 for me... or WYCM?

Text and IM (instant messaging) are generating a whole new language, one that may not be understood by everyone. Before you IM the work group at your internship, consider the readership. In the first place, they may not be able to translate your meaning. In the second place, they may be irritated with the non-formal language being part of office communications.

Translation:
My two cents' worth: it's time for lunch! Wait for me... or will you call me?


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

15 August 2009

Banking Hours: College Intern Strategy

Banking hours at the internship site is a lot like banking pennies: they add up quickly.

Why bank hours? It's a technique to put in your required hours of work in a compressed time period, and then be released from work early at the end of the week. Some people consistently "bank" hours in order to take off Friday afternoons, for example.

Can anyone do it? Nope.

Who can do it? Interns who have permission. Any adjustment to the work schedule should be pre-approved by your supervisor or mentor.

Will the request be granted? Maybe. Or sometimes only occasionally. The wise course of action is to ask early!


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

08 August 2009

Got Ink?

Time to vote: should a person with a tattoo cover it before an interview? On the first day at the internship? On every day of the internship?

An internship at a creative center may be a great place to show ink. Well, unless the facility has clients, who may not be as open-minded as the creative folks there.

How about the typical office, with people dressing up all week but then dressing down on Fridays. Does a tattoo qualify for Casual Friday?

Is covering a tattoo with clothing an example of selling out? Or being smart?

Strategy for people who are thinking about getting a tattoo: try a temporary tattoo for the roughly 2 weeks that the good ones hold. If it still feels like a novelty after 2 weeks, have it re-applied (still on a temporary basis). If you still like wearing ink after 4 weeks, you've probably given the decoration a fair test. You will have been in many different public settings and you'll have an idea about how other people react—and how you react to their reacting. You may be ready to conclude that you want the permanent decoration.

But you still may want to investigate what type of tattoo is easiest to remove later. Just in case.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

01 August 2009

Service Learning: Starting Point


CNCS isn't a household word, and maybe AmeriCorp isn't, either. But they make a great starting point for researching "service learning." For many college students, the service learning route is preferred to internships, practicums, and co-ops. You may have called it "volunteer work" up to now, but with a little digging around the CNCS web site, you'll find that service learning is an extensive network of activities and stakeholders. You may find your calling through CNCS and its "family" of programs.

The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

25 July 2009

Golly, I have no idea.

Research suggests that gossip plays an important and even positive role in human communication. That's just great. But for interns, gossip has no up-side.

The smart intern eschews gossip. That means not participating.

A sure-fire way to avoid being pulled in is to answer the question, "What do you think of that?!?" with, "Golly, I have no idea."

With that answer, you haven't fueled the gossip with an opinion. And you haven't given any lectures about gossiping. And since you have no new information to offer, the gossipers will start leaving you out of the conversation.

And that's the safe place for an intern to be.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

18 July 2009

Asking Questions & Saving Answers

When you have a question, it is important to ask for help. Before asking though, think about who you will ask.

Is your supervisor the best person to ask for help with the fax machine? Maybe so, but if that supervisor is busy, you might want to ask an administrative assistant or another intern.

It may be possible to search on the internet to find the answer you need, such as a phone number for another organization or even the date of an event hosted by your organization (if they have an up-to-date web page about the event).

In a fast paced environment, you may be expected to ask avquestion only once. Writing down the answer you get will help you remember, so you do not need to ask for help again (at least on that question).

Real story from an internship:

"I never could remember our phone number, fax number, and address, so I wrote them all down on a sticky note and attached it to my computer monitor. Whenever other people asked me for the fax number, I told them and showed them my sticky note. Then other people started doing the same thing."


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

11 July 2009

Expectations of College Interns' Work Hours

Here's a real story from a real intern:

"At a residential internship I was provided with "free" housing and food. I was also provided a small stipend that was like an allowance for small purchases. I asked the top boss what hours we were expected to work. The boss laughed and said that he thinks about work all the time."


Of course, at a residential internship, the "job" may really be on your mind most of the time. But no internship coordinator or mentor would actually expect an intern to think about work "all the time."

Some questions are best directed to the person who supervises interns. This person serves as a mentor and keeps the intern's perspective in mind when answering questions such as workplace expectations.


Can you ask another intern for guidance on hours and expectations of the supervisors? Of course, you can. But don't assume you will always receive an accurate answer. The best person to ask about expectations is the person who actually has the expectations!


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

04 July 2009

Answer Interview Questions with STAR

Here are a few ideas for preparing for an internship interview. Actually they work for any interview: job-hunting, applying for graduate school, and internships. The model is called S-T-A-R and it is a simple way to direct your attention to "getting ready" to achieve a goal. But first, orient yourself to the purpose of your interview.

* Learn about the organization by browsing their website or talking to someone you know there.
* Think about why you want the position and why you are qualified.
* Think about what you will bring to the program (e.g., lots of energy for working with young kids at an after school program).
* Practice interviewing with a friend.

When answering an interview question, try to hit these four points:
Situation
Task
Action
Results

Using STAR as your guide for answering questions has several benefits:
* Answers are focused.
* Answers are relatively short (no rambling!).
* It gets you started.

Not sure how to tell a story from you last job? Start by describing where you worked and what you did. Just tell a simple story and then respond to questions.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at http://www.marybold.com/

27 June 2009

Letter of recommendation from the internship

Hopefully, you have a rewarding internship this summer and will use the skills and experiences in your next endeavor. Hopefully, your supervisor appreciates your contributions and recognizes your hard work!

Before you leave to go back to college classes, ask your supervisor if he or she can serve as a reference for you.

When you are ready to ask for the reference, send a letter to your supervisor with this information:
* dates of your internship
* title at internship
* your education information (child dev major at XYZ University, graduating 2010)
* key accomplishments while at internship (maintained volunteer database)
* info about the job you are applying for, such as name and location of the company as well as what they want out of a candidate (e.g., someone with experience managing a volunteer database)

All these details help your supervisor remember the great work you did and write a more complete letter.

If you are asking for a letter of reference, provide an addressed and stamped envelope so that your supervisor can send the letter directly. And good luck!


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

20 June 2009

3 things you need to apply for an internship

To apply for an internship, you need three things:

* a resume

* a cover letter

* references


The office of Career Services on your campus can help with each of these. Your academic Department may also offer support services for making your application. Older students can also offer tips because they may have already gone through the process of applying for an internship.


Your resume is the place to list all of your accomplishments and skills. As long as everything you write is true, do not hold back or be shy about your accomplishments!

http://internships.about.com/od/resumetipssamples/a/ResumeTemplate.htm

http://www.princeton.edu/career/undergrads/resumes/resumes/


A cover letter is how you introduce yourself to your potential boss. Include the reasons why you want the position and why you are qualified.

http://www.career.vt.edu/JOBSEARC/coversamples.htm


References provide another perspective on you and your work. Pick references who know your academic or professional work and can say that you did a good job.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

13 June 2009

Selecting AmeriCorps

When selecting a site for an internship, there are several places to look: local organizations (possibly affiliated with your college or university), state-wide organizations that may have opportunities near your home town, or national organizations that may have opportunities on the other side of the country.

AmeriCorps is a national organization that offers 75,000 positions at nonprofit groups around the country. Full time, part time, and summer positions are available.

Full-time AmeriCorp members receive a modest stipend and a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $4,725 to pay for college, graduate school, or to pay back student loans. Part-time participants receive a partial stipend.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

06 June 2009

College Intern: Ethics and the Internsihp

Reporting ethical dilemmas:
  • First choice - your academic mentor/professor
  • Second choice - your mentor at the internship
  • Third choice - the HR Department at the internship
College interns rarely find a need to report an ethical dilemma. But if the need arises, the first contact should be with the academic mentor or professor, assuming your internship is part of your college career. In addition to helping you on a personal basis, your campus contact will be able to manage the internship from the institutional point of view.

If you do not have an academic mentor (because you are not in a credit course for the internship), take your concern to the internship coordinator or mentor at the site. If that person is not available, consult with the Human Resources (HR) Department at the internship. The HR Department is part of the organization or business and represents the organization's interests. But HR professionals are also versed in legal and ethical practices that protect employees (and interns).

The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

30 May 2009

College Interns: Receiving Gifts


Are you gifted? Meaning, do people give you gifts? Chances are, you accept them with pleasure.

Now, imagine you are "on the job" in an internship. A gift is offered. Is it OK to accept?

The easy situations:
Good-bye gift at end of term: OK
One of many given to all interns: OK
Token gift from your site mentor: OK

Not so easy: a gift of considerable value offered by another individual at the workplace. In most cases, there will not be a problem. But a gift worth hundreds of dollars deserves a discussion with your campus instructor! (You may still be told it's OK to accept the gift, but at least you will have checked with your ethics guide for the internship.)


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

23 May 2009

Dress Code: How Casual is Casual?

College interns didn't invent Casual Friday (a common workplace convention) but they probably have the best wardrobe for all the Friday's of a summer internship!

The problem is, no one has a sure-fire definition of what "casual attire" means. It's a relative term: casual simply means less formal than the usual dress code. It's also a subjective term: what's casual for you is probably different from what's casual for your boss, or your co-worker, or even your fellow intern.

Would you wear jeans with holes to your internship? Tank top? Sandals? Answer with the setting! Of course, there are settings where very casual attire is OK. But there are more settings where casual means khaki pants (not jeans), shoulders covered, and only the most protective of sandals.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

16 May 2009

Dress Code: Business Casual versus Casual

Beginning an internship "sight unseen" (or, excuse the pun: site unseen) can be nerve-wracking, especially in terms of dressing for the first day. Without benefit of an on-site interview or tour, you won't have a mental image of how people dress at the site.

If you ask the intern coordinator or a mentor about what to wear (smart!), you might hear the phrase business casual, not to be confused with casual.

Business casual means not quite as formal as "business" but definitely not just plain casual.

Business: wear a suit.
Business casual: wear the trousers and a shirt.

Business: wear a tie.
Business casual: typically, no tie.

Business: wear a long skirt.
Business casual: skirt of any length (but no micro skirts).

The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

09 May 2009

No Internship? No Job? Create a Perfect Volunteer Experience

Volunteer Work, the alternative.
When there's no internship in sight (paid or not, credit or not), and even part-time jobs elude you, there's always volunteer work.

How can a volunteer post work for you? Look for a community service (like Parks & Recreation) where you can volunteer 10 hours a week and claim skill building in...

... helping the public utilize government-funded services,
... learning historical context for public lands,
... collaborative teamwork in the Department,
... responsibility meeting a schedule and being on-time,
...
and maintaining a safe and clean environment for the public.

These descriptions of skills can be adapted to other volunteer settings. You'll also think of more skills that suit your experience.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

02 May 2009

No Internship? Need a Job?

Hourly employment, the alternative.
It's a tough year for internships. And for finding good-paying jobs, too. But the summer can still be productive and resume-worthy. Take a look at SnagAJob.com to get some ideas. Tip: scroll down the page to see options by geography.

How can a minimum-wage hourly job work for you? Work for a movie theater part-time and you can claim skill-building in...

... customer service,
... efficiency in food service,
... collaborative teamwork,
... responsibility in handling money,
...
and maintaining a safe and clean environment for the public.

The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

25 April 2009

Proofreading can make the difference

True story! In a recent review of applicants for a research internship, the finalists were narrowed to two. The review committee said the two students were equally qualified for the internship. There was only one distinguishing characteristic in their applications. One student's application and resume were perfect. The other student had a typo. You know which one got the internship.

The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

18 April 2009

When not to shake

How do you know when a handshake is the wrong greeting?

1 - When your mentor advises you to hold back and allow the client to initiate the conversation.

2 - When you observe that other people in the room are not shaking hands.

3 - When you pause before extending your hand and notice that the other person is not raising a hand.

In many settings, you have learned to be assertive and extend your hand first for a handshake. But your internship may be in a different type of setting. Do not assume that greetings will be the same!

The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

11 April 2009

College Intern: Handshake Advice

Sometimes a handshake is not the right greeting. But when it is, you will want to know this before you shake!

Research tells us that there is no correlation between strength of handshake and strength of character. So, a weak handshake does not mean that a person is weak, physically or mentally or morally.

But—and it's an important but—the same research confirms that most people think that a weak handshake represents a weak person.

What should an intern do? Practice a strong handshake! It creates an impression of your character.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

04 April 2009

College Interns Don't Always Get to Wear Sandals

Spring and summer invite sandals—but not all internship sites do.

Footware and clothing rules have changed a lot in the past decade. But many intern locations impose rules about what you can wear on the job, sometimes based on style and sometimes based on safety.

Not all sandals are equal, of course. From leather to plastic, from buckled to flip-flop, the range is important. The most shoe-like sandal may be accepted. The beach style flip-flip may be rejected.

Ask before you wear... OR pack an alternative in a book bag. If you must wear dress shoes on the job, packing an extra pair is very smart to protect the dress shoes from outdoor wear. (Just in case you have to make them last a long time.)


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

28 March 2009

Language at the Internship: Yes, m'am

Yes, m'am. Yes, sir. No, m'am. No, sir.

Do those phrases pop out of your mouth when you speak with professors on campus? The language of campus and classroom is often formal and respectful. Will it be the same at your internship site? Not necessarily.

You may be accustomed to using formal conventions with your elders but in many workplaces that is not the custom. You may be asked to call everyone by first name, and you may not hear a ma'am uttered.

To understand the language customs of a new internship site, you can either ask or observe. Of course, you can comfortably start out with a formal tone, using titles such as Ms. and Mr. If staff members then ask that you use their first names, immediately do so. (They wouldn't suggest it unless they meant it.)


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

21 March 2009

Email Best Practices for College Internship Applications

Adopt some email best practices before you start sending out applications for internships or jobs!

Save, Don't Send
Get into the habit of saving drafts as you compose emails.

From:
Use your school or other "official" email address that makes clear that you are an adult. (Skip the moniker you use with friends and Facebook.)

To:
Leave the To line blank until you have written, spell-checked, and proof-read your message. Think about it—no more accidental sends.

Cc and Bcc
Avoid using the copy function as much as possible. Emailing to multiple people can set up a good friend for awkward problems later if someone is unwise or rude in a Reply All. Emailing blind copies gets more people into trouble than it ever helps anyone. Resist the urge.

Subject:
Get your emails read immediately with strategic wording on the Subject line. (Great for applications!) Good strategies: use key words that clearly state your purpose, include your surname, spell-check. Terrible strategies: using the word help, using the word me, using the word please.

Attach a file
When you must attach a file (great for applications!), follow these basic rules: keep the file size down, send a universal file type like RTF or PDF, create a meaningful filename that includes your surname. Be forewarned: not everyone has the same software that you do and they won't buy it just to be able to open your file. (Common problems: Microsoft Works files and newer versions of Word and Excel that have "x" on the end, like .docx)

Add Event Invitation
Unless you know the recipient wants your invitations to meetings and Facebook and other events, don't use the power of email address books to invite the masses.

Formatting tools
Keep your message simple. Use few colors and typefaces. If you are emailing to an older person (that might describe someone old enough to be hiring you or approving your internship application), select a font of 12 points.

The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

14 March 2009

Planning the Internship Calendar

Take a calendar to your internship interview.
  • 1 - Know in advance your best starting date.
  • 2 - Know what days/weeks you can/cannot work.
  • 3 - Estimate when school will have to come first.
It can be any kind of calendar!
  • 1 - A cell phone calendar will work.
  • 2 - A school calendar will work.
  • 3 - A time diary or journal will work.
College internship mentors know that interns have other responsibilities besides coming to the site on the agreed-upon schedule. Your mentor will respect your forward thinking in setting a tentative calendar for the internship.

The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

07 March 2009

College Interns: Strategizing in the Economic Downturn

Do lay-offs translate into more internships or fewer?

If a business is laying-off regular employees, it is more likely to restrict or eliminate intern spots.

Non-profit and government agencies are more likely to keep their intern slots.

Be prepared for more competition in all settings. New college graduates who are unable to find employment may go after the same internships that students seek.

Strategies to begin in spring months, well before the summer internship season:

1 - Broaden your search beyond paid internships. Expect to apply for "volunteer" intern spots, too.

2 - Indicate your willingness to take a part-time internship. Even 5- or 10-hour per week slots will provide you with experience. If you are flexible for night or weekend assignments, you will be more likely to edge ahead of the competition.

3 - Don't overlook volunteer internships that provide free meals and lodging. Does this include summer camps? Yes!


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

28 February 2009

Storm Warning for the College Internship

Internships can go bad... and you may not have any warning. We know one college student who was lucky to have a paid internship at a scientific laboratory. But unlucky when the lab shut down for 3 weeks for a security investigation. She received pay during that time but could not go anywhere or do anything. She and all the interns and staff members got a lot of reading done!

College interns have one "first action" at the sign of trouble: reporting to your college instructor for help with the logistics of a canceled internship. Possible issues are insurance coverage, travel logistics, evaluation from the intern site, and the grade for the semester.

A disrupted internship may have the same issues and so the instructor will advise on whether to end the internship or try to return to it after the disruption.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

21 February 2009

How to Sample College Internships

Do you wish you could sample a lot of college internships before you have to decide on which ones to apply for?

You can research through the web and you can read books on internships—but that's a lot like shopping online for yarn. Very convenient way to survey the options but you miss feeling the texture of the yarn.

Ways to sample internships:

  • 1 Ask for a tour or attend an open house.
  • 2 Volunteer for a special event at the site.
  • 3 Best of all: take classes that require field work or observation of sites. (These commonly require just 15 or 20 hours of time in the field.) Plan ahead to locate several internship sites you would like to preview and then propose those sites to your professor for the field observation assignments. In 15 hours, you'll see the best and the worst of a site and know if it's the right fit for you for a much longer internship.
The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

14 February 2009

Photographing Your Internship

You may have the urge to document your internship with photos, video, or other representation of the site. You may even have the perfect camera or cell phone to accomplish that task.

But wait. You may need permission. And you may not be allowed.

Like all of your activities at the internship site, photography (and video making and sound recording) require the awareness of your supervisor. Ask before you even bring a camera to the site because you might learn there's a restriction about what equipment you can bring to work. (Granted, the built-in camera in a cell phone would defy such a restriction. But then some places restrict cell phones!)

Reasons for not allowing photography/recording:

  • Privacy/safety of clients
  • Security of the building
  • Confidentiality of business practices
Ask before you photograph!

The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

07 February 2009

Not So Visible Internships

These are real life examples of college interns who found their own placements in not so visible places. One received a small stipend from the agency; the other received a (minimalist) paycheck.

Janet's interest was children's therapeutic horseback riding but she was not close enough to a facility to make that a reasonable internship. So, she went to a local horse stable and volunteered to clean in exchange for the privilege of observing lessons and classes. Janet's idea was a good one: by observing lessons for children without restrictions, she would have knowledge about children and riding that could later support her in working with children with restrictions. She also learned a lot about the logistics of keeping a stable in good condition. Another important feature for her future work!

Tonya already knew she would end up in the family business of real estate but she wanted to bring new information to that career. So, she interned in a rural real estate agency where all tasks were handled in-house. She learned how to write the marketing newsletter, she invented a new calendar system for the agents, and she designed an information intake form to use when new clients called. The rural setting gave her insight into properties very different from the ones she would eventually work with. The experience reinforced her decision to begin working on her license during her senior year of college.

Look around your community and you may see a perfect opportunity to try out a career, or prepare for one, even at a site not usually listed on your college's internship roster.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

31 January 2009

Waitlisted for an Internship?

Competitive internships may form a waiting list (or "waitlist") of those applicants who were "almost selected." And popular internships may do the same for applicants who were simply "too late."

If you are waitlisted, should you count on inching your way up the list? Probably not. Imagine yourself on the accepted list: would you very, very likely hang onto that internship? Yep. So, don't count on the people who got in to give up their slots.

Recommendation #1: Contact the internship and ask how long the waitlist is. It's also OK to ask what your chances are of being contacted later for an opening.

Recommendation #2: Search for another internship! Return to your original search notes and re-investigate the opportunities similar to the one you lost out on. Don't stop there—this is the time to broaden your category of internship, too.

The fact that your first choice is already filled may indicate that many other people had the same idea you did. Broadening the search is the smart thing to do, now.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

24 January 2009

Know Before You Go

Got an interview? Or a phone interview? Know the basics about the internship before you reach the interview.

#1 Strategy: Read deep, meaning explore the web site of the agency thoroughly. Follow all links to learn the full story of the agency.

#2 Strategy: Read about the agency on other web sites. Run a search.

#3 Strategy: Read wide, meaning explore the general field. If your site is FEMA, there's a whole lot of information on the web about emergency preparedness. Become an expert!

If the Internet doesn't produce enough information for you, talk to a reference librarian. Just because college internship credits may not involve a lot of library time doesn't mean you cannot turn to the library for help!


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

17 January 2009

Summer Internships -- Start Now!


What do all summer internships have in common?
Application deadlines!

February 1.
March 1.
April 1.
You get the idea.
Don't expect to do this on May 20....

Reality check on what kind of resume gets shredded by the folks who hire interns: Joel on Software's story about how he sorts resumes.

As Joel says, his advice is not so different from every book on resumes you pick up at Barnes & Noble. But most books don't say it with Joel's flair.

Plan your "human" hook now! And watch your commas. These tips will make sense as soon as you read Joel's web page.


The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com