On Tuesday, October 26, the Career Center hosted a panel on student internships in the federal government. This panel — part of Federal Careers Week — featured AU alums from the Government Accountability Office and the Department of Homeland Security, as well as a representative of the Bureau of Land Management.
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Some companies have large, structured internship programs, and strict application deadlines a full semester or more in advance (which should serve as a reminder to all to plan ahead!). On the other hand, many companies are looking for fall interns RIGHT NOW, and engaging in J.I.T (Just in Time) hiring. They know you’re coming back to campus, and they’ve posted their openings on AU Career Web, and are waiting to hear from you! Time is short to expect that any of these will be for credit (since the deadline for registering for credit is September 13th), but anything is possible, including getting great experience (and, in some cases, pay!) without logging it for credit. Either way, if you’re still looking, carpe diem!
(Opening photo by TheTruthAbout…)
The fall semester is fast approaching, and internships are on the mind of many a returning student. Currently, there are more than 1500 internships posted on AU CareerWeb, and more coming in daily!
For further inspiration and background information on great places for internships (OneDayOneInternship.com), or jobs, for that matter (OneDayOneJob.com), I still recommend these pages by job-hunting-survivor-and-entrepreneur Willie Franzen. For my SOC advisees, here’s a page with just the communication-related companies he’s listed. Scroll down the list; you’ll be amazed how many are DC-area companies! (Or pick another tag and you’ll get a list of all the intern-hiring companies he’s profiled from Washington, DC.)
For a different, and totally local, source of internship info, there’s also DC Intern Net, where you can sign up for regular email updates of great gigs. But these go to students nationwide. At the end of the day, don’t forget all the employers who are seeking AU students specifically through AU CareerWeb, where you can also set up an email alert system, as described in a previous post. Just remember, if you want or need to do an internship for credit, the deadline to get offered the position, accept it and hand it all the paperwork to register is September 13th!
One of the great benefits of an American University education actually takes place outside of the classroom. AU’s location in the nation’s capital of Washington, DC provides students with a multitude of internship opportunities. Through internships in the government, nonprofit and private sectors, students have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience that supplements what they are learning in the classroom and provides them with some of skills needed to begin a career in their field of interest.
Often students are able to effectively leverage their internship in order to gain their next internship, or perhaps a job. Here are some tips on how to make your internship move you towards your next step in the career development process:
When finished with a project, ask for more: This is an excellent way to prove your worth. Employers like interns who go the extra mile in helping to get the work of the office done. By working hard and contributing one’s skills to that office, an intern will become more likely to receive a strong recommendation for his or her next position. In some select instances, if a full-time position with the organization is open upon an intern’s graduation, this could lead to the intern being hired for that position.
Keep in touch with past internship employers: There is often a tendency for one to move on after an internship is completed and not look back. Big mistake. It is always good to maintain contact periodically with past internship supervisors, especially if you have left that position on very good terms. Former supervisors and co-workers can serve as a very valuable resource in helping you network for future job and internship searches
Conduct informational interviews: Informational interviewing is one of the most important forms of networking. It entails talking to people employed in jobs or fields that interest you. Identify people who work at your internship site who would fit these criteria. These individuals would be able to provide you with valuable advice about their career path, skills needed, and the employment outlook for the field. They may also be able to provide you with the names and contact information of other individuals who could provide you with information about potential careers.
Utilizing these strategies, in addition to meeting periodically with your Career Center advisor, will start you on your path to a successful and very satisfying career.
Towards the end of the semester, there was a lot of heated discussion within academic internship circles about labor laws, paid vs. unpaid internships, and college credit. And why should you find this important? Because it was on The Colbert Report and that MUST mean it’s a relevant issue!
So, what’s happened?
1) EPI issued a proposal to use student aid funds to pay students for government and nonprofit internships because students without resources have a very hard time interning without pay. But that’s what it is: a proposal. There’s no guarantee that Congress would take up the charge.
2) The US Department of Labor issued Fact Sheet #71 clarifying internship criteria which allows internships to be unpaid under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This applies to for-profit employers, as it has always been legal for people to volunteer with nonprofits and with the government. The purpose is to make sure that private companies don’t use unpaid interns in the place of regular employees. The worst offenders are clerical internships where interns aren’t learning and the company is using free labor to do tasks that should be paid.
4) More employers within certain industries (especially broadcasting and financial services) are requiring students to earn academic credit in an effort to be in compliance with FLSA, resulting in the extra burden to students of not only not earning money for an internship, but also having to pay for credits (up to $1300 per credit here at AU).
What does that mean to you? Check back later in part 2 of “Internship Controversies.”
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A recent issue of the U.S. News & World Report focuses on the job search, best careers, challenges for recent grads, etc., and the magazine’s online site boasts a plethora of useful career advice for job seekers and for navigating the working world, in essays, articles, videos, and other forms. The newest edition of the magazine also boasts a new Reporter/Producer in Rebecca Kern, BA SOC ’09, who was recently promoted to this full-time job from a post-grad paid internship, and whose byline appears on substantive articles in the Jobs edition. Way to go, Rebecca!
This week boasts a number of important workshops for job and internship seekers, culminating in the Job and Internship Fair on Thursday, March 25, 1-4 p.m. in Bender Arena.
This year, there are a number of communications and media companies, as well as nonprofits and government agencies, looking specifically for students in public communication, journalism, and digital media.
An “internship” where you’re completely telecommuting doesn’t usually give students the opportunity to learn as much as traditional internships. But in a brief piece by Lindsay Elias, public & media relations assistant for Come Recommended, she offers some interesting insights.
Virtual internships can be daunting — interning for someone you have never met. Instead, the entire interview process and internship itself take place over the Web from the comfort of your own home. (More …)
Did you go? Were you one of the 150+ students, alumni, and other employers there? Did you know that 8 out of 10 employers were looking for job candidates and 7 out of 10 were looking for internship candidates?! THAT’S 15 OUT OF 10!!! Ok, well, maybe not quite, but the odds were great if you were looking for a position, no matter who you were! Employers were looking for candidates at ALL levels of school and experience.
AU alumni also had advice to share. Here’s a sample of their words of wisdom . . .
So if you blew it, fear not. Yes, you missed out on a major opportunity. But there are other ways to network. Check out AU InCircle to connect with AU alumni, make connections through LinkedIn, and check our events calendar for your next chance to meet and greet!