Tag Archives: creative internships

Oct01

Intern Spotlight: Taylor Hicks

Taylor HicksName: Taylor Hicks

Intern Position Title: Styling Intern

Company Name: Emily Current and Meritt Elliott (MAUDE)

Location: Los Angeles, California

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

My name is Taylor Hicks. I am currently 18 years old and I live in Los Angeles, California. I attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, where I major in Merchandise Marketing. I was also recently chosen to be the Fashion Director of FIDM’s student-run magazine FIDM MODE. Finally, I have had four amazing internships in the past year at companies such as Emily Current and Meritt Elliott, Jimmy Choo, WhoWhatWear, and Teen Vogue.

 

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

I am currently interning with celebrity stylists and designers Emily Current and Meritt Elliott. I landed this internship by essentially doing my research and frequently following up. I knew I had a deep interest in celebrity styling and therefore, wanted to gain valuable experience by interning for major stylists. I found Emily and Meritt’s official website and after doing a little digging, I came across a contact email for inquiries. I immediately sent an email to the contact, explaining my previous experiences and interest in styling. I had to follow up at least two times before I received a response. Once I heard back, I was given an interview a week later and got the internship on the spot! I have been interning for them ever since.

What attracted you to this company?

I have always had a passion for pop culture and styling for as long as I can remember. Also, I have been a massive fan and admirer of Emily and Meritt’s work with their denim line Current/Elliott and celebrity clients like Emma Roberts and Mandy Moore. That said, it was a no-brainer when it came time to decide which celebrity stylists I was most interested in interning for. Today, Emily and Meritt have a total of six celebrity clients, including Jessica Alba, Emma Roberts, Sophia Bush, Mandy Moore, Ashley Tisdale, and Nikki Reed. Their styling aesthetic greatly represents the young, experimental lady who is seen by many as a true trendsetter, which is exactly where my heart lies when it comes to celebrity styling.

What skills are you learning at this internship?

There are an abundance of skills that I have learned from interning for Emily Current and Meritt Elliott, which include time management, networking, project management, decision-making, etc. The skills that my internship has taught me are invaluable and have helped me grow in my professional career by allowing me to dive head first into the world of styling and maneuver my way through every situation.

What has been a highlight so far?

The highlight of my internship has been all of the individuals who I am fortunate enough to work with on a daily basis. From Emily and Meritt’s team and their celebrity clientele to the employees at the public relations companies; each of them have made my internship more incredible and educational. I pinch myself every single day because I have been given the opportunity to work with people who believe in me and trust me while allowing me to live out my dreams.

Most challenging part?

The most challenging part of my internship has to be accepting the fact that nothing is ever going to be perfect and that obstacles and set-backs are inevitable. I tend to be a perfectionist and I am a tad bit OCD when it comes to organization and execution so it has definitely been a challenge to accept that I will make mistakes and there are always problems. However, I have come to learn that being a stylist is so much more than just creating looks because a large aspect of the career is problem-solving, which is a challenge in its own right.

Could you describe what a typical day is like for you as an intern?

A typical day for me as an intern is insanely busy and unpredictable, which I love. I usually begin my day at the studio, organizing all of the racks of clothes to be set up for a fitting or returned to PR companies. After I have returned all of the clothes and accessories to PR companies, I head back to the studio to get prepared for pick-ups of new clothes and accessories for the next fitting. Then, there are some days when we have fittings or photo shoots and my day is completely spent preparing for those or working at them. The most exciting part of my internship are the fittings and photo shoots because everything is so hands-on and in the moment. These two events are when I am able to learn the most and see how my bosses work their magic.

Give us one word to describe your workplace environment:

Stimulating.

What advice would you give to someone just starting to look for an internship?

The best advice that I can give to someone that is just starting to look for an internship is to have a deep passion for what you’re doing and to never stop trying. You will always have to follow up with people because of their busy schedules and not everyone is going to tell you ‘yes.’ However, this should never stop you from chasing after your dreams because I know so many people who are living proof that ambition and hard work can take you wherever you want to go. Also, kindness is always in style and it will take you far in life because people who are nice are always remembered.

What is your dream job?

My dream job is to be in styling, whether it’s celebrity styling, editorial, or being a fashion director for a major department store. I love merchandise and that is exactly what I want my career to surround itself around. Ultimately, I want a career that allows me to indulge myself in every aspect of fashion and I think working at a magazine like Teen Vogue or a department store like Bloomingdale’s could allow for that.

Jul30

Intern Spotlight: Hilary Taylor

DSC_0049Interviewee Name: Hilary Taylor

Intern Position Title: Planning Intern for AnnTaylor.com

Company Name: ANN Inc.

Location: New York City, NY

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

As a fourth year Retail Management student at Ryerson University, I have worked from the retail floor to the head office, soaking up every learning opportunity along the way. I am a passionate and driven student who is inspired by being told that something isn’t possible, or that I can’t do it. Hearing those words heightens my motivation and pushes me to my limits. Retail is what excites me, but I’m someone who finds happiness in accomplishments. I love finding a great deal while I’m shopping, running for an extra minute or mile, working that much harder. My passion for retail expands past the classroom, as I am the president of the Retail Students Association next year, and returning back to work at LOFT in the Eaton Center when I get back to Toronto. My eagerness to learn sets me apart from my peers, and I am continuously searching for new books to read, articles to share, advice to take and experiences to embrace that will further me in my career and my character.

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

ANN Inc. actually came to Ryerson and did a presentation about the internship for fashion and retail students. After the presentation I approached one of the presenters and told her how amazing the opportunity seemed, that she’d be hearing from me and gave her my business card (and now that I know her well she said I made a good impression by doing that and she remembered me). The application was pretty extensive (it was offered on the ANNLOFT careers page) and I worked with our career counselor to perfect my resume. A recruiter from ANN actually called me to set up an interview before I submitted my application and to this day I’m not sure how they got my phone number without my application (it’s not on my business card!) — but we set up an interview, I submitted my application and completed my interview via Skype. A few days later, they called me and said I got the job! I then had to complete a bunch of visa paperwork and try to find an affordable apartment in NYC, which turned out to be a more difficult task than the actual application. For the month of May I offered to work at LOFT in Yorkdale (this was something I offered during the interview process to set myself apart from other applicants) in order to get a taste of the company culture, and a better taste of the Canadian market: a job to which I will be returning in September.

What attracted you to this company?Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 11.08.14 AM

ANN Inc. has a great company culture. It’s all about women understanding women, and creating product for women. I really liked that and it is definitely something that I can relate to. Internships in retail planning are also very hard to come by in Canada so I jumped at the opportunity—and obviously the location played a big part in the decision!

What skills are you learning while at your internship?

I have learned so many things during my time in NYC and at ANN Inc, both personal and professional. I’ve learned a lot about working with people, and when to keep my mouth shut! I have learned so much about the retail business and how customers can tell you so much about the positives and negatives of your business. My excel and math skills have definitely improved as well.

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

I work a LOT on excel! A LOT! I consistently work on mini projects, analyzing metrics to make business decisions. For example, I will look at current under-performing products (based on retail metrics like stock to sales, inventory count and gross margin) and decide on appropriate markdowns. I am in charge of keeping the team up to date on certain metrics that change every day and updating certain methods of communication. I also update several spreadsheets where we are testing different things and how the customers react. For example, we test different “free shipping” amounts to see which amount the customer resonates with best. I sit in on really interesting meetings with company executives, which is a really great experience to be able to watch them in action. The internship program hosts lunch and learns, where we hear from one company executive at a time about their experiences and advice for us entering the workforce. We are also working on a project with other interns so I am in charge of creating short term and long term plans for our new business and forecasting dollar and unit sales. All of these things make up a typical day!

Give us one word to describe your workplace environment:

Feminine.

What advice would you give to someone just starting to look for an internship?

Show your eagerness to learn and your passion will also shine. One common piece of advice I’ve heard is that your passion shines through when you’re not trying to show it (or else it comes off fake). Also, don’t be afraid to set yourself apart. Yes, it may be awkward going up after a presentation to hand over your business card, or to speak up about something that is unique about you, but that’s what makes you memorable and brings you to the top of the list for possible hires.

What do you do to fill the inspiration gas tank?

I have a blog full of pictures that I find all over the Internet. If I had the time I’d love to have a blog with pictures that I’ve taken…but maybe when school is done. The pictures are of outfits that I love, and that I think encompass my style. I love seeing new ideas of ways to wear the clothes I already have! I also love quotes and song lyrics. I’m one of those girls that writes every single quote and lyric down that connects with me and any time I’m having a bad day or just looking for a little pick-me-up, I go back to that list.

What’s next for you?

I return to Toronto in three weeks and start getting ready for school! I am the president of the Retail Students association at my school this year, so I am already starting to get ready for a crazy year. I’m hoping to move into a job in retail planning or allocation when I graduate. My ideal places to work would be Winners or HBC, but who knows! I may end up back in NYC.

What’s your dream job?

My dream is to become the CEO of a large retail company (like Bonnie Brooks!) but to move up at a company through the buying/merchandising path. I’d love to be a DMM (divisional merchandise manager) and oversee the bigger picture of buying for shoes, accessories or handbags. (I’m an accessories girl all the way!)

Jul02

Intern Spotlight: Nicole Diane Girten

DSC_0375Interviewee Name: Nicole Diane Girten

Intern Position Title: Editing/Social Media Intern

Company Name: TrendSeeder

Company URL: http://www.trendseeder.com

Location (City/State): New York City, New York

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I’m a rising sophomore at the Florida State University pursuing an English major with concentrations in Creative Writing as well as Editing, Writing and Media. I’m currently the Campus CEO for the TrendSeeder Campus Leadership Program at FSU, leading a team of six in TrendSeeder objectives on campus and within the Tallahassee area. I also blog and act as a photo-shoot set assistant for an on-campus fashion magazine called Diverse World Fashion, which publishes an issue every semester. I previously worked as an assistant and sales associate for Miami-based jewelry designer, and Project Accessory runner-up, Nina Cortes. It was under Nina’s apprenticeship that I became inspired to pursue a career in the industry. This summer, I’m working as an Editing and Social Media Intern for TrendSeeder at their headquarters in New York City. I write weekly articles and contribute to TrendSeeder’s social media presence. While in the city I also took the opportunity to work as a set assistant for a Harper’s Bazaar Latin America shoot for three days.  I plan to continue building my portfolio and working towards my goal of writing freelance in fashion.

What steps did you take to land this internship?

I started my internship hunt last December, just looking through the careers tabs of websites I really enjoyed and started sending applications out. I was talking with a friend about my search and she told me about TrendSeeder’s Campus Leadership Program and told me to apply and see what happens. I originally intended to just be a fashion editor for the program, but decided to take the jump and go for the CEO position, which included a summer internship at the TrendSeeder headquarters in New York City. A few weeks after filling out the application and taking a phone interview, I got the call saying I would be summering in the city and writing for the TrendSeeder Editorial. To say the least, I was ecstatic!

What attracted you to this company?

TrendSeeder promotes and creates a platform for emerging designers, and having worked with emerging jewelry designer Nina Cortes, I was familiar with the perspective TrendSeeder was reflecting. I felt I would be able to use my previous work experience to my advantage and could better express the company’s point of view in my writing. I also wanted to work in fashion, and I saw TrendSeeder as an amazing opportunity to do so.

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What skills are you learning while at your internship?

I am learning the ins and outs of the fashion industry, as well as the world of editing. I am getting to experience hands-on the work that goes into every aspect of fashion—from marketing and strategic partnerships to creative content and social media, I’m learning what goes into running a fashion company.

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

On a normal day I come in around 10, get settled with my laptop and a cup of coffee and start working on the article assigned to me that week. I will also start posting on a variety of different social media sites, and I normally like to flip back and forth between the two. I’ll do one Polyvore post a day on average and post products to sites like Wanelo as well. I also keep up with the TrendSeederFSU social media, so I’ll intermittently do posts on that Facebook page and Twitter as well. In the afternoon we’ll normally either have a marketing meeting or a collaborative discussion about whatever project needs attention. Sometimes the team will even make mini field trips to sample sales on 5th Ave or take meetings with editorial writers. Every day holds a new possibility!

Give us one word to describe your workplace environment:

Wonderful! Avani, TrendSeeder’s CEO, is really dedicated to making the work environment friendly and cooperative. All the executives are very approachable and want to collaborate with, or get input from, the interns in many different aspects of the company. It really makes for a positive place to work.

What advice would you give to someone just starting to look for an internship?

Find what you love and attack it full force. This sounds incredibly cliché, but with determination and a pinch of luck, you really can make anything happen. Do not waste your time and energy trying to excel at something you hate. That takes twice the effort with an emotional toll to boot. Push yourself, but realize that you are not going to necessarily succeed at everything at first. You are going to stumble and fall eventually, and accepting this off the bat is important; try to land as gracefully as possible, dust yourself off and keep on your way. Be opportunistic. When you see a door, do not hesitate to throw yourself through it. Every time a potential something crosses your path, even if you feel it might be out of reach, jump at it. New experiences are chances to grow and this reflects well on a resume. Work hard, keep your chin up and magic will happen.

What do you do to fill the inspiration gas tank?

Being in New York City has been an inspiration overload. From street style, to the architecture, to park performers, the endless possibilities and the variety of people here are what currently drive my creative efforts. I also find a lot of inspiration online with sites like Tumblr and Wanelo by just scrolling through and seeing what my eye is drawn to. Seeing the eclectic array of posts varying from typography and quotes, to graphic design and fashion campaigns is always a good way to get the creative juices flowing. I also love to practice yoga to help keep both mind and body in check. A clear head and a healthy body are personal needs to keep myself in tune creatively.

DSC_0405

What’s next for you?

I am going to continue working on my English major, keep up with TrendSeederFSU and Diverse World Fashion on campus and keep my eye out for new opportunities! I definitely want to come back to the city next summer, so I will either intern again with TrendSeeder or explore other options, but that decision is still a few months out. I’m also starting to look into grad schools, though this is a decision I have even longer to make. I’m just mostly trying to focus on the present, whether it is school or work, and push myself to do the best I can.

What’s your dream job?

I really would love to write freelance in fashion. Whether it’s for blogs or the major magazines, I really want to have my work in a multitude of publications. I think I would like the flexibility in the hours and the freedom to work where I please, though I do realize how insecure a career it is in comparison to a 9 to 5. Of course, I am young and my career path will probably shift here and there, but above all I really just want to be constantly surrounded with artistically-minded people. I think if I find an environment where I feel creatively motivated, I will be set.

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

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

Jun08

Tips For Your Internship by Morgan Sobel

College_graduate_students

Be A Sponge

Interning is the best way to gain some real world experience before jumping into the work force, so learn all you can! Ask plenty of questions, and ask for help if you’re unsure of what you’re doing. Gaining knowledge and confidence is a surefire way to ace your internship and help you land your dream job.

Ask to Help

If you’re experiencing some downtime during your internship, don’t sit around checking your email. It doesn’t hurt to offer your services to those around you. You may just gain an opportunity to work on something really great, and proving yourself a valuable part of the team may work out in the long run.

Introduce Yourself

The office can be a a confusing (and sometimes lonely) place if you don’t know your neighbors. Take a moment to say “hello” to your fellow creatives, let them know who you are and why you’re there. Even if you don’t work with them all the time, remembering names and positions is a good thing to do. Besides being polite, you may make some great connections you otherwise wouldn’t have.

Carry a Notepad

…Or a tablet, if that’s your thing. Your internship will keep you on your toes, and you never know when your next great idea (or next important question) will pop into your head, so keeping a sketchbook or notepad for notes can come in handy. Especially for the person that has an extensive post-it note collection, having all your notes in a book can help to keep you organized and collected.

Smile

A little personality can go a long way, it makes the people around you more comfortable, and makes you more memorable too. It may sound ridiculous, but sometimes a good disposition is the difference between getting the job or not. People would much rather be around someone with a positive attitude, and this goes for outside of the workplace as well.

Show Up on Time

Creatives are notorious for showing up to work late, but I wouldn’t recommend trying to get away with it just yet. The same goes for taking breaks too. It sounds obvious, but it’s really important – show up ready and on time, It’s one of the best ways to show your willingness and dedication to your new internship.

Watch Your Web Use

You can find out anything on the internet, so it’s time to think about what you’re putting out there. Photos and words can come back to haunt you, so It may be time to clean up your web presence. You should also think twice before complaining about your job or a co-worker, there’s a good chance someone can find it. Companies search their name for recent news all the time, so think before you tweet!

Written by Morgan Sobel

May30

Intern Spotlight: Jamilla Pipersburg

 

Interviewee Name: Jamilla “JM” Pipersburg, International Marketing BBA Class of 2014

Position Title: President, Ad Club

Company Name: Pace University

Location: New York, NY

Tell us a little about yourself…

I am originally form Chetumal, Mexico. I currently attend Pace University where I am studying Marketing with a concentration in International Marketing and a minor in Economics. Besides from the serious stuff, I love going to the beach and practicing yoga.

How are you developing your leadership skills while still in school?

I currently am the President of my schools Advertising Club. In this position I gain leadership experience because I am constantly required to interact with please in the industry, but also our club membership which is roughly 280+ people.

Tell us the steps you taking to land internships or entry-level positions?

To land an internship or entry level position I am developing a personal brand. I have my own website, I am connected through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, CreativeInterns.com and other social media sites. I also try to attend local events or conferences when I can. Networking and being able to introduce yourself is the most important skill to have when starting out.

How did you hear about CreativeInterns.com

I heard of CreativeInterns.com through Dr. Larry Chiagouris. Add him on Twitter or LinkedIn, he has great advice for young people starting their careers.

What is the most important lessons you’ve learned about the work world thus far?

I have learned to Be Open. You never know who you will meet or how a small opportunity can lead to a bigger one. Also, never take things too personal, in the real world people have many things on their minds not just you and your needs.

What skills did you learn or improve while acting as the President of the Ad Club?

I am learning to speak to a mass of people and be comfortable. I also learned how to manage situations and making them work. Not everything happens as planned, but having a back up plan or strategy goes a long way.

What advice would you give to someone just starting to look for an internship or entry-level job?

Start working on your personal brand. It will take time, but it will definitely pay off.

What do you do to fill the inspiration gas tank?

My family and friends of course, but I also love art and design. I use those things to let my mind wonder and also relax. My best ideas come when I’m relaxed.

What’s next for you?

I took a proactive approach by directly contacting a company I wanted to intern with. They responded and I am scheduled for an interview within the next week. Hopefully I will be working there soon.

May28

Stay Sharp at Your Internship

Image credit: Novartis AG

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 going on 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 can learn something new and shed light on a world you’ve never experienced before. The kicker is that you can also 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 Cathy Qiu

 

May16

Grow Your Business By Creating An Internship Program

Quickstart Internship System_cover

Any size company, even a solo entrepreneur can benefit from creating and launching a quality internship program. The benefits quickly outweigh the initial time investment it takes to create a quality internship program. As an entrepreneur, you will want to customize the program specifically to your business needs.

There are many details to consider when structuring an internship program. Internship programs can be paid, unpaid, for-credit or a combination of different structures. Some companies differentiate their internship programs by providing stipends, completion bonuses and other unique perks but pay alone does not make a quality internship program.

All internship programs should have learning components or learning exercises. Any project or assignment that will teach the intern a new skill and/or allow them to shadow someone performing their job can be considered a learning exercise. Ultimately, learning exercises should add new skills to the intern’s resume and give them a better understanding of their industry. For example, if an intern works virtually part of the time then a learning exercise with written instructions for the intern would be beneficial. In addition, a few moments shadowing someone completing the required task before working virtually could assist in the learning experience.

So what actually goes into a quality internship program? CreativeInterns.com recommends including at least these components:

An internship program mission and objectives

  • Provides direction, goals and outlines other specifics about facilitating the internship program

A formal written program including

  • A recruiting plan to develop talent pipeline relations
  • An intern manual or welcome packet
  • Job descriptions with learning exercises
  • Agreements with internship program expectations
  • Time logs & other academic credit considerations

A support structure

  • Identify one person to be the internship manager/coordinator, solo entrepreneurs usually do this on their own

A formal internship program process

  • On-boarding (orientation), assessments and exit interviews (off-boarding)

Continued development and improvement of the program

  • Evaluations should be completed about the interns, managers and internship program

Adherence to legal considerations for unpaid interns

  • See the Department of Labor requirements here

At CreativeInterns.com, we have seen several start-ups create engaging and robust internship programs that benefit both the intern and business. On the other hand, if you are winging it, then you might encounter a few challenges including but not limited to:

  • You can’t find interns that want to be part of your internship program
  • Interns accept your internship program offer but don’t perform to your expectations or they leave before the internship period is complete
  • You feel like you don’t have the time to train, manage and delegate to your interns
  • Interns do not seem engaged in activities that can build your brand in a positive manner

One solution to creating a quality internship program is to utilize a system that walks you through the process, step-by-step. CreativeInterns.com created a tool for specifically for this purpose called the Quickstart Internship System. The system allows event the smallest of companies to create and launch an internship program in a matter of hours after completing the step-by-step exercises. In addition, Marc Scoleri, Co-Founder of CreativeInterns.com will provide a 60 minute consultation for any company that uses the Quickstart Internship System. Internship programs created with the Quickstart Internship System can help you business realize the following benefits:

  1. Low or no cost labor
  2. Increase productivity
  3. Give back to the community
  4. Interns bring a fresh perspective and enthusiasm to your team
  5. Interns can bring a continuous flow of ideas into your organization
  6. Employers can boost internal morale by hiring interns
  7. Employers can increase workforce diversity by utilizing interns
  8. Interns are a great resource for projects and can fill the gap during peak workloads
  9. Employers find interns to be great public relations agents or brand ambassadors; students can have a very positive effect on future recruiting and hiring efforts
  10. Offering internships enables organizations to develop strong ties with local colleges

As you can see there are many benefits to having a quality internship program. Once you create and launch your program it will be important to be flexible with the entire process. Working with interns that are still in school will require flexible schedules but if you decide to pay an hourly wage and open your program to graduates too, then you will widen the net of prospective candidates. Either way, helping the next generation of talent grow and develop is a reward in itself. Interested in starting an internship program? Feel free to contact us for assistance in creating a quality internship program.