Archive for the Internships Category

Five Steps to Take to Find Your Fall Internship

Posted on July 11, 2014 with No Comments

Calendar Pages

Though it’s only July, it’s about that time to start looking for your fall internship. There are many great reasons to pursue an internship, and here are five steps to take to secure an opportunity:

1) Identify what you’re looking for

Is there a certain industry that you would like to test out? Skills you might want to learn? Try to take inventory of what you want so that you can narrow down your search later on. One item that might be easy to narrow down is location: If you plan to take classes at UVM in the fall, you will likely be looking for opportunities within driving distance of Burlington.

2) Start doing your research

Do some searches on Catamount Job Link for internship opportunities near Burlington. Check out Vermont Business for Social Responsibility (VBSR)’s website for a list of companies and organizations offering paid internships. If you have a LinkedIn profile (and you should!) you can also take a look at LinkedIn’s “Find Alumni” tool to see where UVM alumni work in the area.

3) Make your list of targets

Gather the relevant information that you will need for your internship applications: The name of the company, the internship title, the application materials that they require, and due dates. A great way to keep track of your internship applications is to use a simple spreadsheet, like the one below:

Internship Tracking Sheet

4) Assemble your materials

Most internships will require a resume and cover letter. Try to create one based on the samples on our website, and stop by during drop ins to have a career counselor give you feedback on your drafts.

5) Submit your documents and follow up

Persistence can be rewarded. If you haven’t anything from an employer after a week or two, try to politely reach out to confirm that your application was received. Contacting the company demonstrates your continued interest, and can make you stand out of the applicant pool.

Depending on how competitive the field is, students typically apply to anywhere between four and ten internships. Still have questions? Come by our Drop In Hours, or contact the Career Center to set up a one-on-one appointment with a counselor.

~Amanda

What Characterizes a Good Internship?

Posted on January 23, 2014 with No Comments

Two kinds of internships; one with collaboration and learning, another of simply filling coffee orders

Photo: An example of a good internship (where there is communication and feedback), and an example of a less-than-good internship (repetitive tasks that aren’t related to career goals)

At this time of year, many students are applying for summer internships at a variety of different companies and organizations. With so many internship postings out there, how can you find one that provides a quality experience?

Whether paid or unpaid, or if you’re earning academic credit or not, there are several qualities that characterize an effective internship:

  • Your internship has direct relevance to your career interests and goals. It also provides opportunities for learning skills and knowledge that can transfer to other work environments.
  • The internship takes place in a supervised environment. The intern has the opportunity to ask questions, as well as receive training and feedback.
  • There is clear communication, and expectations for both the intern and the internship site are clear.
  • Optimally, interns are given the opportunity to see the “big picture” of how the organization operates. This might happen through meetings, events, and resources provided by the internship supervisor.

In contrast, what makes for a less-than-good internship experience, and should you avoid?

  • Repetitive, menial tasks that don’t relate to your career interests and goals. We hear jokes about interns whose sole tasks are to deliver coffee and make copies, but that obviously doesn’t create a valuable experience. As a side-note, we all end up making coffee and copies once in a while – but those shouldn’t be your main responsibilities.
  • Commission-based work (that is, being paid based on sales). As an intern, you are new to the company and are just learning about the organization and how it works. It isn’t fair to put you in a position of pitching products that you don’t know much about, and it likely won’t connect to your career goals.
  • Paying for an internship. In specific circumstances, it might make sense to pay for a comprehensive program (interning abroad is one example, when your money goes towards housing and travel), but be wary of any company that asks you to hand over money for the opportunity to intern.

A quick Google search can bring up a lot of information about former interns’ experiences, as well as more information about a specific company. Do your research before applying, especially if an opportunity sounds sketchy or too good to be true.

Still looking for more resources? Come for the Internships 101 workshop, every Tuesday at 4:15 in the Career + Experience Hub, or stop by our Drop In Hours at the hub Hub, Monday – Thursday 1-4, or Friday 1-3pm.

~Amanda

Introducing the Anna Whitcomb Internship Scholarship!

Posted on December 13, 2013 with No Comments

Three Women Laying Soil

Exciting news! The UVM Career Center is happy to announce the Anna Whitcomb Internship Scholarship, a competitive award that will provide financial assistance to several UVM students so that they may each be able to accept an unpaid internship opportunity.

Internships allow students to gain on-the-job experience and attain valuable skills that can launch them into a chosen career. It’s important for jobseekers to have internship experience under their belts so that they can stand out among the competition. The tricky part about all of this is that internships aren’t always available and accessible to everyone – students may struggle to take unpaid opportunities, or need to take on an additional part-time job to make ends meet. The Anna Whitcomb Internship Scholarship will begin to address these barriers and provide funds for several students to help bridge the financial gap.

The scholarship is open to all students, but preference will be given to those pursuing internships that promote the common good at mission-based or non-profit organizations.

Four scholarships will be awarded, and there will be two different application periods to accommodate the varying timelines in which employers select students for internships.

  • The deadline for the first application period is February 15
  • The deadline for the second application period is March 15

You do not need to have a confirmed internship to apply, and can list up to two organizations/companies where you have applied for an internship.

The application requirements and materials will be announced when spring classes begin. In the meantime, take advantage of downtime during the winter break to start looking for that internship! Ask around with friends, family, and faculty for leads, and consider attending a networking event with UVM alumni in New York City or Boston.

Check out these other resources for getting started:

UVM Career Center Internship Page
Catamount Job Link
8 Reasons to Pursue an Internship

The Career Center is still open during the break – if you have questions, send us an email or call us to set up a phone appointment!

career@uvm.edu
802-656-3450

8 Reasons To Pursue an Internship

Posted on October 10, 2013 with No Comments

Student talking with Career Center staff at the Internship HopWondering if you should go to the Internship Hop (I-Hop)? Here are eight reasons to check out the internship possibilities!

1.) Gain experience

Not only is an internship a great experience to list on your resume, but it’s also a great opportunity to learn more about your chosen field.

2.) Test out a career field

One of the most valuable parts of an internship is deciding what you like (and don’t like) about a particular job or field. An internship is a short-term opportunity that gives you a chance to test drive career areas. One of my own best career experiences was having a short-term position as an EMT — because I realized that it was a job that did not suit me. I was so relieved to learn that it wasn’t a good fit early on, rather than after I spent time, energy, and money on more training!

3.) Earn credit

UVM has multiple ways that students can earn credit for internships. Check out our website to learn more: http://www.uvm.edu/~career/?Page=internships.html

4.) Develop professional skills

Having on-the-job experience means that you get to use the tools, technology, and protocols of that company or industry. These skills can help you as you begin your job search.

5.) Create contacts for your network

You never know who will be your future employer — or who might introduce you to your future employer down the line. The contacts you make during your internship can be invaluable for breaking into that particular field.

6.) Build confidence

The truth is, once you’ve done something, you will have the confidence to know that you can do it again. When you sit down for an interview as a recent grad, you will be able to look the interviewer in the eye and say, “Yes, I DO have experience doing this kind of work — and I’ve gotten good at it.”

7.) Apply your knowledge in a hands-on way

You may have learned the theory and frameworks of a certain subject, and an internship gives the opportunity to actually put that theoretical knowledge into practice.

8.) Make an impact

You may think of interns being assigned routine entry level work, but often interns tackle challenging projects that require an extra set of hands (or an additional head) to complete.  Interns can even have a true, meaningful impact on the world around them.  As an example, check out Gabe the Intern, who helped save a gay couple from being separated by deportation minutes after the DOMA decision was issued. Meaningful internships in Vermont can include work with any number of change-making organizations. The United Way currently lists over 300 opportunities in Chittenden County: volunteer.truist.com/chittenden/volunteer/

Need some resources to get started? Come to the Internship Hop on October 16th from 1:30-4:00 p.m. in the Career Center, Living & Learning E Building, and check out these 6 Strategies to Find Your Summer Internship. At the I-Hop, you can browse our resources, connect with career counselors for a personalized internship search, check out listings, and see where other UVM students have done internships. The Job Fair on October 30th will be another great opportunity to find an internship by talking to employers.

Make this the year you get career experience by doing an internship!

~Amanda

After the Job Fair: Insights from an Employer

Posted on March 20, 2013 with No Comments

ECHO Center

Amanda Van Vranken
Volunteer/Intern Coordinator

Echo Lake Aquarium & Science Center

What type of applicant is ECHO looking for while at The Job Fair? When it’s over, what is your next step as an employer?

We are always looking for highly motivated individuals whose unique backgrounds and experiences will contribute to our diversity and strengthen our organization. Volunteers and interns bring experience, leadership skills, and enthusiasm to support our mission. After the Job Fair, we look through resumes and begin a conversation with applicants about what might be the best fit for their skills and interests. Since ECHO’s Internships are very competitive, we are often taking applications for the next semester or beyond.

What should students do to follow up with employers of interest?

I highly recommend students always follow up with ECHO. It’s an advantage to show your commitment to the organization, initiative, organizational skills and follow through by asking if an employer needs more information or what the timeline is for hiring. I always appreciate emails from students who are “Just checking in to say hi and say how much they are looking forward to this opportunity”.

How can a student stand out in the application process?

Anything you can do to set yourself apart is welcome.  Identify your skills and use them – If you have strong interpersonal skills, try to meet staff and volunteers. If you have strong writing skills, present a unique resume and cover letter. Draw on experiences or class work and explain why it has initiated growth and contributed to your skill set.  In addition, mention personal contacts or connections that make your reason for applying compelling.

What if a student wasn’t able to attend the Job Fair or didn’t connect with a particular employer?

Students can always go online to look at ECHO’s (or other organization’s) opportunities, as well as apply on-line or email with specific questions. When applying, be pro-active, know your schedule, and be realistic with your time commitments.

Volunteer or Intern at ECHO

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