Tag Archives: college

Jul25

Get Inspired

It can be hard to see the bigger picture when you’re trying trying to balance a hectic class schedule with job hunting, but sometimes all you need is a little push and proof that hard work goes a long way.

We took to YouTube to find some words of wisdom that will hopefully inspire you to get you up on your feet and take on the world.

My personal favorite it the message from Kid President — what a great kid. Time to get out there and tackle those goals and achieve those dreams!

Jul16

Intern Spotlight: Kristen Higuera

DSC_0518Interviewee Name: Kristen Higuera

Intern Position Title: A&R/Marketing Intern

Company Name: A&M/Octone Records

Location: New York, New York

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I am going into my senior year at Texas A&M University pursuing a degree in Communications with a minor in art. Oh, and I really like music.

 

CreativeInterns: Can you tell us the steps you took to land this internship?

Kristen Higuera: Lots and lots of research. With A&M/Octone, I had a phone interview then a Skype interview…and before I knew it I was on a plane headed to NYC.

CI: What attracted you to this company?

KH: A&M/Octone’s artist roster is extremely diverse. I felt that I could get a taste of what it is like to work with various genres instead of just one.

CI: What skills are you learning while at your internship?

KH: It is a very hands-on experience filled with brainstorming sessions and production meetings. I’m learning a lot about the logistics that go into keeping up with each and every artist signed to the label.

CI: Can you describe what a normal day is for an intern at your company?

KH: There really isn’t a “normal day” at the office and I love that. Everyday when I walk in at 10am, I never know what I might do or where I might be. I have gotten the chance to go on some really cool adventures to places like Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios, Spotify, and MTV.

CI: How would you describe your workplace environment in three words or less?

KH: Laid back.

CI: What advice would you give to someone just DSC_0524starting to look for an internship?

KH: Decide what to be and go be it.

CI: What do you do to fill the inspiration gas tank?

KH: Nothing is more inspiring then an adventure with some swell tunes and good company.

CI: What’s next for you?

KH: We’ll see..

CI: What’s your dream job?

I am film and music enthusiast, so eventually I hope to find myself making the soundtracks for movies and TV shows.

Jul11

Sharing Wisdom: Tips From 8 Interns

With any internship experience, whether you’re just doing it for college credit or want to network your way into your dream job, you’re going to want to make the most out of it. How you might ask? If you’re new to the world of interning and need a bit of guidance, here are eight hardworking interns who were kind enough to share their wisdom.

We asked: What is the most important thing you’ve learned from an internship?

Christian Allaire, Ryerson University486572_4190918585353_1641567635_n

“Go after what you want. In a time when companies are increasingly relying on the help of interns, it’s not always easy getting to do everything you had hoped to do during your internship. So on top of being an asset to your workplace, you should also make personal objectives for yourself as well – whether that’s exploring the different departments or building relationships with editors.”

1059402_10151705432759875_1799658392_nNaomi Leanage, University of Guelph-Humber

The most important thing I’ve learned from an internship is that going above and beyond of what’s expected of you is what’s going to make you get noticed. There are dozens of other interns with the same skills and knowledge that you have, and the one thing that will make you stand out is your passion! At my internship at Tribute, I made an effort to check in with my editor everyday to chat, even about things that didn’t relate to tasks that I was working on. It helped build a relationship with her, and I’m for sure someone she’ll remember in a line of ever-changing interns. I also made sure to express my interests (doing interviews, writing movie reviews) and because of that, I’ve gotten opportunities in two weeks that other interns had to wait months to receive. It’s important not to be intimidated, and if you have a great idea, to go ahead and pitch it!

Erin McHenry, Drake Universityerin

“After interning as a communications intern for a government agency, I learned that I’m NOT interested in corporate communication the government . I learned a lot and greatly improved my writing skills, which will be helpful for any job I take. Even if you don’t enjoy an internship you still learn something: It’s not the right place for you, and you’re one step closer to finding your perfect job.”

DSC_0298Kaela Popoff, Kwantlen University

“The key thing I learned from my internship was the importance of communication. Checking in with your supervisors or boss about where you are at with your work and what you’ve completed helps them know how much work to give you. This way you’re never swamped nor bored, and you can meet your deadlines!”

 

Catherine Dugas, Fashion Institute of Technology1060927_10151707634803874_1698531869_n

“The most valuable thing I’ve learned from interning has to be that organization and attention to detail are key. There are so many small details that go into running a big company and they truly make all the difference. If you aren’t naturally organized, make sure to use an agenda and download organization apps on your phone keep you on point!”

Dun011112 - Version 2Hillary MacDonald, Ryerson University

“Listen, observe and pick the brains of those who work in positions that you would like to one day have.”

 

 

Kristin Doherty, Drake UniversityDoherty1

“What I’ve learned most is how important it is to work as a team with your coworkers and fellow interns. At the beginning of my internship, I felt a little competitive about who was getting the best assignments or doing the best job. But now I realize that we’re all working toward the same team goals. It’s more important for each of us to play to our strengths for the benefit of the team than to compete with each other for recognition or attention.”

DSC_0151 - Version 2Terrence Freeman, Humber College

“The most important thing I have learned from my internship so far is that things are rarely black and white, and you have to expect the unexpected. You have to figure a lot of things out on your own as you go, and you will likely run into dilemmas and have to figure out a lot on the spot without the help of your bosses who are often busy, or may not be there to help such as in a case where you are out of the office running an errand. I’ve now learned to expect to run into slight dilemmas here and there, so I try to ask my bosses an many questions as possible when I can before a task, and I also try to understand and remember what my bosses would want or do in the situation.”

Jul09

Career Path Interview: Founder/Creative Director Amy Levin

Interested in fashion? Want to start your own company? Get inspired by this young entrepreneur who took her career in her own hands and has worked hard to get to where she is today.

AmyLevin7Amy Levin is the Founder and Creative Director of CollegeFashionista.com. A Chicago native, she launched the website in 2009 after a semester abroad in London, where the growing importance of street style inspired her to create a community for fashion, photography and self expression amongst the college demographic. Originally serving only Indiana University’s campus, the site quickly spread to other colleges across the globe. Under Amy’s leadership, CollegeFashionista maintains an international presence with 500+ new articles posted a week and regular partners including Rebecca Minkoff, Shopbop and American Eagle Outfitters, to name a few.

A 2013 NYC Fashion Fellow, Levin has served as a seminar leader at Teen Vogue’s Fashion University and a guest lecturer at college campuses across the United States. Amy attended Indiana University and received a Bachelor of Arts in merchandising and business marketing. She is 26 years old and currently resides in New York City.

What specifically motivated you to go this direction in your career?

During my senior year of college, I felt completely disconnected from the fashion industry and wanted a way to feel connected, work on my writing skills and showcase inspirational fashion I was seeing around my campus. I realized there wasn’t a platform that focused specifically on college students and CollegeFashionista was born.

What type of activities, appointments and meetings do you have during a typical week?

My workdays are definitely a little hectic — throughout a typical day, I am in and out of the office going to meetings all over Manhattan. If I’m not on the go, I am usually on phone calls with brand partners, checking in with my employees to ensure the business is flowing properly.

Tell us about an unpleasant work experience that resulted in an invaluable career lesson.

When I first launched CollegeFashionista, it would inevitably crash and have hiccups. I remember thinking the entire company is lost. All our editorial features are gone. Clearly this wasn’t the case and I learned how to troubleshoot tech issues and to surround myself with programmers who were savvy and able to get any issues resolved as quickly as possible.Screen Shot 2012-09-08 at 4.30.37 PM

What piece of advice do you wish you followed earlier in your career?

I wish I knew how to manage my time effectively, prioritize, and not to take anything too seriously. I take my job very seriously but I also know that it is important to have fun while doing it and that at the end of the day everything will get done.

What tips can you offer a recent graduate that is preparing to interview for an entry-level position? 

It is very important to do your research of the company before going in for the interview. Know what the company is currently working on and know what you can do to make them stronger. Don’t let the interviewer tell you what you can do for them, you need to take initiative and let the company know that you have something to offer.

Who has inspired you as a mentor during your career and what was the most valuable lesson you learned from them?

I have had a series of incredible mentors who had allowed me to bounce ideas around and have really helped shaped my business. I think it’s important to find people who believe in you and have experience in an aspect of your business in which you may feel weak. I found five different mentors who all have various expertise and have been soundboards to me over the past three years.

If you had an opportunity to broadcast a special “thank you” to anyone via this interview, who would it be and what would you like us to say?

My family. I could not have started CollegeFashionista without them. Being an entrepreneur, there have been so many highs and lows and they have been the unconditional support group through every single aspect. They are truly amazing and I feel lucky for them everyday.

What books would you recommend for talent in your industry?

  • Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
  • By Invitation Only by Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson
  • Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz and Dori jones
  • Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
  • Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Jun29

Working With Other Interns

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A big part of internships is learning how to work on a team, if not with other interns than with your superiors. If you are working with other interns, it can be hard to find the line between “coworker” and “friend.” Especially because other interns will probably be in your age range, it’s easy to forget that you are in a professional work environment. There are two big pieces of advice that I have to offer for a successful coworking experience:

Stay out of the gossip

You wouldn’t believe how much gossip I hear between interns throughout the day, whether it be directly said to me or over the wall of a cubicle. Gossip can be the result of the line between coworker and friend is blurred, for example after a night out together.

My best advice is to just stay out of it. Don’t start it and don’t spread it. Just listen if you have to and forget it ever happened. It’s unprofessional and can get in the way of teamwork in the future if the other person finds out you’ve been talking about them. Trust is lost, respect is lost, and an overall team tension can build.

Don’t act like it’s a competition

Sure, some healthy competition can be a great motivator in the workplace, but don’t let it get to the point where you’re thinking “I must beat him/her!” You guys are all in the same boat: youngsters trying to mold your skills and build a career.

Instead of trying to beat someone out, look at it as a growing experience together. Other interns could have a lot of valuable insight or job search tips that could help you out in the future. If you’re friendly and helpful, they’ll return the favor if you ever ask for it. It never hurts to have an extra connection or two.

Written by Diane Ly

Jun26

5 Things to Do After a Job Interview

Follow-Up

You just had a great interview, and you think to yourself “this is it” — it’s the end of the process. You go home to hope and wait for the good news. However, it’s not over yet, so don’t just passively wait. Make sure you do the following things after the interview to maximize your chances of being hired.

Get the Interviewer’s Contact Information

At the end of the interview, always remember to obtain the business card of the people who you interviewed with. Make sure you have the cards of everyone you’ve met during the interview and have all their names, titles, emails, and mailing addresses correct.

Ask for Expected Decision-Making Time

It’s also important to ask at the end of the interview about a time when the final hiring decision will be made. Usually the decision takes about 1-2 weeks. However, some might take 3-4 months or even longer. Be sure to receive a clear answer from the company so that you can have more control and flexibility to arrange your future availability.

Send a Thank You Letter

A thank you letter is very important — it shows your interest and passion for the company. Make sure to send the thank you letter within 72 hours after your interview. It doesn’t really matter if it is a handwritten thank you card or a thank you email. Although a personal card is preferable, an email also works if you don’t have much time. Your thank you letter should include your appreciation of the interviewer’s time and interest, a reiteration of your capability for the position, and your desire for a further discussion with them. You should also personalize your thank you letter to every recipient by referencing something memorable or specific. See How to Write a Professional Thank You Letter.

Send a Follow-Up Email

Normally, one or two weeks after the interview is a good period of time to send a follow-up email if you haven’t heard anything. The follow-up email should be short and contain your inquiry of the current application status and whether the position has been filled. Make sure to restate your qualifications and why you think you are the good fit in the company at the end of the email. Learn more about this and other job search tips in Jumpstart Your Creative Career.

Make a Follow-Up Phone Call

If you still haven’t heard back from the company after sending the follow-up email, you might want to consider a phone call. Although many companies try to avoid job inquiry phone calls, it never hurts to give it a try. Maintain a professional phone etiquette, speak clearly about your desire and interest in the position, and ask if they need any further information from you. If no one picks up the phone, leave a voicemail and try to call again on another day. But don’t call more than three times — the hiring manager could get annoyed and it could backfire on you.

Written by Cathy Qiu

Jun22

How to Stay Sharp at Your Internship

keep calm

Since most internships last an average of 3-6 months, you don’t have time to waste! In that short amount of time, you’ll want to squeeze in as much knowledge and experience as humanly possible.

In order to keep your ideas fresh and sharp, here are some tips I’ve found useful at my internships:

Brainstorm

If you have weekly meetings with your team, take advantage of them. This is your chance to bounce ideas you have off of others to see what sticks. This is especially useful if you’re responsible for a weekly task, such as blog posts, since you’re bound to run into at least one roadblock. Asking others in passing for ideas is simple and pays off.

Read the news

I found a lot of my blog and social media content through internet inspiration. Staying on top of current events gives you an extra edge because the content you write or ideas you suggest are relevant and interesting to others – some may not even know about it yet and you get to be ahead of the curve.

Observe

All too often I realize that I’m spacing out rather than observing my surroundings. By being aware of what’s around me and studying human behavior, nature, new architectural developments, I’m able to gain inspiration from very unlikely sources.

Do new things

This one is a double whammy. Obviously, you could learn something new and shed light on a world you’ve never experienced before. The kicker is that you can learn something about yourself you never knew before, which can have a dramatic affect on your thinking. For instance, when I started taking kickboxing classes, I discovered that I’m able to withstand a lot more physical torture than I had previously thought, and that truly shattered the invisible barriers I had set for myself.

Written by Diane Ly

Jun20

Career Tips From a Student to a Student

7658261288_c10e49f50f_oSo you just graduated high school and are about to embark on the journey that is post secondary education. Excited? Nervous? Worried? That’s natural. Wait until you get to your senior year and about to enter the real world—yeah, now that’s scary.

I always wish I had someone older and wiser during my first year of university to send me in the right direction, but I was on my own to learn the ropes. So here I am, a little older and wiser, and I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned along the way.

Start early

Before you know it, you’ll be halfway through your undergrad and realize that you only have a couple more years to go. And it will fly by, I guarantee you. Put in the effort early and volunteer/intern as much as possible. Any contacts you make right off the bat are great and your network can only grow from there. Also, make the most of all the opportunities that come with campus life. Check job postings, bulletin boards, newspapers, everything—it never hurts to try! Get out there and take initiative.

Network, network, network

It’s always about who you know, in any industry. Start with your fellow classmates and people on campus. As a student, you have the luxury of being surrounded by so many talented people and who knows, any one of them could be the next Bill Gates. It’s also important to attend industry mixers, career events and anything else that relates to your field of interest. And once you’re there, don’t be shy to introduce yourself. By the end of your university experience, you want to have a solid bank of contacts that you can reach out to.

Get on social media

This does not mean you always need to be Instagramming your food or tweeting about the annoying person sitting next to you, think of social media as a platform for marketing yourself as a brand. Employers want to see what you have to offer and what better way than an online destination where they can get the best sense of you on a professional, and personal, level. It’s becoming more and more common to come across great job opportunities and career leads on social media sites.
Another way to use the digital tools to your full advantage is to start a blog. This is the easiest way to get your work out there and published for the world to see.

Positivity is key

There is absolutely no benefit of being a Debby-Downer when you’re going through your university experience. Yes, it can be stressful, but don’t let it get to you. Employers will take notice if you are always the one with a great attitude and are pleasant to be around. Why would anyone hire someone that sucks the life out of a room? Don’t be that person.

Surround yourself with the right people.

There’s a theory that you’re a reflection of the five of your closest friends and I agree 100 per cent. Even more than five people, I think the people around you play a crucial part in the type of path you end up on. If you have lazy, unmotivated people around you, they can—and will—get in the way of your success. Try to find like-minded people who can help you, rather than hinder your progress. Collaborate and grow rather than compromise and feel stuck. Once you have that core group of people who have similar goals and work-ethics, you can only go up from there.

I hope these tips will come in handy during your own university experience—Good luck!

Jun11

Questions to Ask During Your Internship Interview

Internship Interview

In many ways, an internship interview is very similar to a job interview. However, there are some key questions every potential intern should ask their interviewer in order to know where they stand in the company if they do in fact get that position:

What is a typical day like?

Some companies aren’t clear about what an intern will actually do day-to-day in their office. It’s important to clearly understand what your responsibilities might be as an intern to ensure that you will actually be learning things that are worthwhile and gaining skills that are relevant to your goals.

Is there potential to extend my internship?

I’ve had internships in the past that ran the entirety of an academic quarter/semester but that I wanted to extend. Thankfully, I asked a couple weeks before my last day if I could stay longer and they said it would be fine, but not every company can accommodate this – some have already hired new interns for the next round. If it’s something you think you might want to stay at, ask during the interview or very early in the internship if extension is a possibility.

Could this lead to a full-time position?

Because of the growing competitive nature of internships in the past few years, it is no longer a given that an intern will gain rights to full-time employment after their term is finished. It’s a good thing to ask the interviewer whether or not they think the internship could realistically become a job if you do the job well. Some companies are too small or cannot at the time afford a full-time employee.

What positions have past interns gotten after completing this one?

It might help you get an idea of what career path this internship could lead you down. And don’t leave it up to the interviewer to tell you about the program. Depending on how large the company is, if you search enough on the Internet you will most likely find an intern review or testimonial.

Written by Diane Ly

Jun03

International Internship Experience: Climb Every Mountain-Sail Every Sea

books

Ten years ago, who would have thought that one company could have employees working together from different countries, from all parts of the world, miles and miles away? The world is becoming more interconnected every day. Companies want to hire people from all around the world, exchange experiences and make their workforce more diverse and powerful.

As an international student, I can tell you from first-hand experience that companies like when you have overseas or international experience. I’m originally from Serbia. I found my way to Russia to study Russian in The Pushkin State Russian Institute over one summer and later in New York City to study Business and English at  New York Institute of Technology.

Every student that cares about their career and is hungry for experience should do at least one internship during their undergraduate studies. You can learn a lot from internship experiences. Even if the internship is unpaid, a quality company with knowledgeable workers and a structured internship program can boost your learning and help you develop new skills. Some unpaid internship programs are actually better than paid programs. It all depends on the type of experience and connections you are interested in obtaining.

You can earn industry experience, learn problem-solving skills, achieve accomplishments and all of that you can put on your resume to make it easier for you to get the job you are dreaming about. An international internship experience can benefit your career even more. Employers will recognize you as courageous for getting on the plane and flying into the unknown, working with other cultures and being able to use your knowledge and skills in any environment.

“Completing an internship overseas not only provides international work experience for your resume but also serves as a valuable cultural experience and network building opportunity. Also, if you want to practice improving a foreign language skill such as Spanish or Mandarin, consider interning in a country that requires you to speak these languages.”  says, Marc Scoleri, CEO of CreativeInterns.com and Co-Founder of Creative Village. There is no better way to master a foreign language than to immerse yourself in that country, so you can speak the language every day and hear it all around.

Some may think you need rich parents to get international internship experience, not true, you can first intern over the summer somewhere local and work a part-time job to save money to complete an international internship the following summer. There are many travel guides  explaining how to save money for traveling, and also revealing facts on how to travel for cheap. You might be surprised how many different opportunities there are and how many companies are seeking fresh talent coming from other countries to make their business better and  exchange knowledge, experience and ideas with them.

Housing and transportation can be costly so make sure you do your research and create savings goals and a budget before you hop on the plane, train or boat to your new destination. If you do good research you will be able to find great deals. Most of the companies will be happy to help you out, give you tips and tell you about local deals. Once you get there you will see that everything is not that complicated. You might go through a little cultural shock, but definitely by the end of the experience it will all be worth it. You will have expanded your horizons and gained more knowledge about different cultures and the world.

Long story short, an internship abroad offers you many benefits. It promises a memorable and enjoyable experience, but more than that it offers you the chance to impress potential employers.