Tag Archives: design

Oct03

Sharing Wisdom: Starting Up Your Startup

Many students have dreams of working for the biggest companies in the world, while others hope to become their own bosses and turn their business ideas into companies of their own. And in today’s society, it’s more doable than ever before with the incredible growth of the innovative startup world. There are tons of great ideas floating around out there and the hardest part is often getting them off the ground and up-and-running.

We asked five startup company founders for some words of advice from their own experiences that will hopefully be that extra push you need to bring your ideas to life.

 

Aime-Designer-Monica-MeiMonica Mei, Founder of Aime Luxury, The Shop Society and WhatImWear.In (@AimeLuxury)

“Entrepreneurs have strong spirits. It’s not only about your educational background or your area of expertise; it’s about having a good idea AND the hustle needed to succeed. It’s also about surrounding yourself with the right people – your team, mentors and collaborators will be your support system to see it through. Starting your own company is a rough yet rewarding road to travel on.”

 

Alex Kolodkin, Founder of Set Scouter c23756

(@AlexKolodkin)

“Find your drive and find a mentor. Let their experiences guide you and your passion propel you.”

 

 

 

julieJulie Smithson, COO of SmithsonMartin (@SmithsonMartin)

“Yes! You have something great but don’t think that someone will drop a cheque on the table right there for you.  If accepted into the community, you have to work for your raise and learn the steps to be a start up company. ”

 

 

 

Brennan McEachran, CEO and Founder of HitSend Inc. (@i_am_brennan)Brennan

“Tip 1: Get a great team – Working at a startup is tough. There are good days and there are bad days. Going through all of that alone isn’t something most people can do. Find a team of people to go through the roller coaster with you. When you’re having a bad day they’ll carry you through it. It’s needed.

Tip 2: Focus on Customers – Get your product in the hands of your customers as early as possible. Learn from them where your app falls short and where it’s doing fine. Focus your efforts on solving pain point for your customers — just remember to take feedback with a smile and a grain of salt. Don’t forget to stick with your vision (sometimes early customers can take you off course).

Tip 3: Revenue – As much as the startup world loves to talk about investing, the truth is revenues are far more important. The companies that are able to grow large without revenue are the exception not the rule. The rule is: cash is king. Keep an eye on your cash and you’ll be able to ride through the bumps… then when investors do show up you don’t have to give them your entire company!”

 

0d20992Noura Sakkijha, Co-Founder of Mejuri (@Mejuri)

“Having a great team and knowledgeable mentors make a big difference. You have to make sure that you are looking at things from different perspectives and having a strong support structure makes it ten times easier. There are so many experienced advisers who are willing to help young entrepreneurs so do not be scared to ask for help.”

 

 

Jul03

Intern Spotlight: Michael Koh

Michael Koh

Interviewee Name: Michael Koh

Intern Position Title: Associate/Writer

Company: Office Lease Center

Company URL: OfficeLeaseCenter.com

Location: New York City, NY

Tell us the steps you took to land an internship or entry-level position?

I first moved down to NYC from Buffalo after getting my Bachelor’s and spending an extra year copyediting and proofing a manuscript for an author. I put myself out there in NYC and actively looked for internships—I got in touch with Marc at CreativeInterns.com, who was extremely helpful and willing to connect us recent graduates with people looking to find internships or entry-level positions.

How did you find CreativeInterns.com?

I Googled internships in New York City and I’m glad I did!

Coffee or tea?

I love tea, I love coffee (black, please), but right now, I’m hooked on this energy drink called Runa. Check it out; the advertising agency I intern at has their fridge stocked with it.

What made your internship experience unique?

I get to attend some really cool technology events and meet fantastic people. Also, free beer and pizza (sometimes).

What skills did you learn or improve while at your internship?

Networking skills, definitely. You need to be comfortable with yourself to be approached and approach other people at events. I also learned to have a pitch when introducing yourself.

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

I go to events around six or so, but at the events, I’m usually introducing myself, trying to promote the company, and then when the event actually starts, I take notes for the article I write to recap the event.

Give us one word to describe your workplace environment?

Busy!

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

Chin up, back straight and always smile. Wear something nice, too. No hoodies or stuff like that unless it’s a laid-back culture at the office.

What do you do to fill the inspiration gas tank?

Laughing and drinking a lot of caffeine.

What’s next for you?

Hopefully a full-time job in the advertising world!

 

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

Jun19

How to Rise Into Fame & Stardom

creative interns

Whether you dream of on-stage spotlights or scoring victoriously on the basketball court, breaking into stardom is no simple task. If rising from mediocrity to fame and success were easy, then who would make up the population of average people? Along with innate talent, acquired skills and boundless determination, future stars can achieve their wildest dreams.

Jack of All Trades

Expand upon your single-faceted skills. Whether you’re in school for an acting degree or want to try theater, step outside your comfort zone and throw yourself into the trenches of artistry and performance. Test out singing, dancing, your live energy on stage and onscreen presence. A multi-talented individual can fulfill a wide range of mesmerizing character portrayals, which helps in scoring that one big break.

Tom Hanks perfectly embodies the ideal actor who has exceptionally diverse acting capacities. In 2013, Hanks will appear on the Broadway musical “Lucky Guy,” thus demonstrating that Hanks isn’t restricted to any role or genre.

You are Your Character

The ability to effortlessly and veritably portray a character with depth grows and improves your acting repertoire. Magnetically convincing audiences and directors takes work, and successful actors actually live as their characters. Place yourself in the character’s world. Feel their fear, pain and euphoria. Uncover the true nature of any character and how he or she impacts the storyline. As her role in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” Rooney Mara earned an Oscar nomination because of her dynamic “ability to convey a range of often competing emotions,” describes InterviewMagazine.com.

Confidence is Essential

To obtain star power and shine, an individual must be comfortable and self-assured. For example, young athletes who dream of going pro need to maintain a high level of confidence, especially during disappointments, losses and moments of self-doubt. Incredibly talented athletes who just need a little growth and experience also have to learn how to drop their egos while on the field or court. Accept criticism, let go of defensiveness and practice what you’re taught. Follow in tennis extraordinaire Roger Federer’s footsteps as he rose to become a world-class, victorious pro athlete despite a year of rival losses and a No. 2 ranking.

“I’m not over-confident, just very confident. I know my game’s in place now. Once I win a certain number of matches, I know what I can do, what I can’t do…” (Roger Federer).

Never Give Up

The pursuit of stardom, fame and ubiquitous recognition for your talent and passions shouldn’t be without letdowns and disappointments. The moment you experience self-doubt and the urge to give up, remember that more often than not, Grammy-award winning singers and bands who perform in front of a sold-out crowd had to overcome struggles too. Nate Ruess and his indie pop band, Fun., finally earned their deserved recognition by winning the 2013 Grammy’s Song of the Year. Lead vocalist Ruess is a self-taught singer from Glendale, Arizona who first acquired his taste of fame with his widespread, yet under-acknowledged band The Format. After The Format split, Ruess formed Fun. and has since broken into the music scene with star-studded prowess.

Written by Helen Macgregor: A successful designer of theater and movie costumes, Helen’s life is all about fashion and how it can be used to tell a story of one’s life.

Jun13

Let’s Get Visual

The days of using a generic resume template from Microsoft Word are becoming a thing of the past with the increase of creativity floating around cyberspace. Many employers are now looking for a URL to an online portfolio or even your Twitter handle to get a better sense of who you are.

So how can you fully reflect yourself and everything you have to offer on an 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper? That’s where your creativity kicks in. And with so many different tools out there, it’s easy to get started.

Indiana University student Lauren Jerdonek saw this as an opportunity and jumped on the chance to help others create resumes that would help them stand out from the crowd. She launched Précis Resumes as a resource for young professionals to get their feet in the door with a resume that would catch any employers’ eye.

Lauren Jerdonek

CreativeInterns: What made you want to start your own resume writing business?

Lauren Jerdonek: I was so frustrated when I was applying to jobs in New York City. I was sending my resume to hundreds of employers and not hearing back from anyone. I knew that I was well-qualified for the positions and I was sure that if I could personally hand them my resume they would be able see that. I knew that wasn’t possible so I decided to create a resume that was mature, but was also infused with my personality. I re-sent my resume and heard back from dozens of the same employers that had previously ignored it within hours. I knew I was onto something.

CI: Why do you think it’s important to break the traditional resume format?

LJ: Sending out your resume is essentially the first interview — you’re just at a disadvantage because you’re not there to defend yourself. I think it’s important to have your resume reflect your professional personality 100%. Whether or not that reflection is traditional or not is up to you.

CI: What is the best way for students to get noticed in this creative industry?

LJ: Create your own opportunities. So many students come to me and want to know how to even get content for their resume on top of an internship and the answer is to create opportunities for yourself. Always put that 120% effort in your classes, not for your grades sake but for your portfolio’s sake. Team up with friends or local businesses who have different talents but the same ambitions and create something to show of it—a photo shoot, a campaign, website. Exchanging your talents for one another’s benefit is a free yet amazing resource. When you have experience to show your future employer, and that experience is self-made, it shows your ambition. Plus, you can talk about your trials and errors as a leader which is something every boss wants to hear of their new hire. Don’t go the extra mile, go the extra ten miles.

CI: Has your revamped resume led to any cool opportunities?

LJ: Having a show-stopping resume got me in the door to a lot of amazing brands and companies. Being able to sit in a room with some of my industry idols were surreal moments for me.

CI: When you’re designing a resume, what’s the process like?

LJ: Before I do anything, I like to have Google+ Hang Out with my client. I like to see them & get a feel for their personality before I begin to craft something that’s supposed to represent them. I ask them about their ambitions, where they see themselves in ten years and silly questions, too. Immediately after that, I put together an inspiration board with colors, images and fonts that serve as a baseboard for that particular piece. I get a draft ready and my client and I work on fine-tuning it to their satisfaction.

CI: What tips do you have for college students when writing their own resumes?

LJ: Choose your words wisely. Avoid the dull trigger words like “organized,” “responsible” and “assisted.” Scouts read those words six-hundred times a day and phrases with those words in them make you seem boring and robotic…you’re not! You don’t need to make it obvious that you used the Online Thesaurus, but try to incorporate impact words like “accelerated,” “created” and “orchestrated.” It’s amazing how powerful your positions can sound by just choosing better action words. Another tip is that some things are better left off your resume. When you craft a resume you want to appear as the perfect candidate—don’t put work or jobs down that make you appear less than what you are in that moment of time. If you’re in college, leave all high school experience off your resume. If you have three similar internships under your belt, pick and choose different aspects of each you felt you were strong at doing rather than being redundant in your descriptions. It’s important to remain concise in conveying your work. The third tip is to be honest! Transparency is the key to building to a good relationship with your employer and if you’re unable to live up to your initial words it looks poorly on you, your boss, the department and the company…your contribution isn’t the ant you think it is! Aspiring employees put too much value on what they aren’t and less on what they are. Be different in saying “Hey, I know this area isn’t my strong point, but I can do THIS area better than anyone you’ve met and I’ll work day-and-night until my weak areas improve.” Be eager, keep your head down but be the hardest working employee or intern in the whole building.

She’s living proof that putting the time and effort into making a stellar resume can get you one step closer to your dream career. She’s a budding entrepreneur working with different fashion brands on projects in New York City this summer. Need resume-building inspiration? Check out Precis Resume at www.precisresumes.com.

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

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.

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

 

May23

Flore Dorcely-Mohr from Drew University Discusses Volunteer and Internship Programs

Flore Dorcely

Flore Dorcely-Mohr, Internships and Federal Community Service Program assistant director at Drew College shared her experience with Creative Interns around the globe. Take a close look on what Mrs. Dorcely recommends to current students who are trying to find their way into the creative field.

Tell us in your opinion on how internship or volunteer experience can help students during and after their studies?

They help students realize the practical aspects of their career passions by helping them experience some of the pre-professional activities involved in a particular field. It is helpful to network with people who are already working in their area of interest or just to be able to explore other options, if expectations are different than reality. Through this type of experiential learning, students can more vividly see whether their skills, personality or values match their career choices much more effectively than within the walls of a classroom.

What are some most valuable internship employers your college partners with? What makes their program special?

We value all our employer partners, but those in the field of law or medicine are some of the hardest to come by. Typically, these areas hire interns at the graduate level so undergrad opportunities to do research or get involved in substantial projects are less common. We do however have some special opportunities provided by alumni or friends of the center so these are relationships we try to nurture carefully. And also we have a few employers who only advertise exclusively at Drew so we try to earn their loyalty with strategic efforts at recruiting top candidates for those opportunities.

What professional development courses or workshops does your college offer to students?

We have offered and continue to offer a myriad of opportunities to help students in marketing themselves. We have networking events, panel discussions, resume review days, information sessions, etc. We held a social media branding workshop with a leading author/speaker on the topic and often invite guest speakers (often alumni)from across multiple industries to give their perspectives on interviewing and job searching in general.

What piece of advice would you offer a student struggling to obtain interviews?

First, they should come to our office and meet with our counselors to talk about what is happening at the resume application stage and get their resume/coverletter reviewed. If they are not able to get any call backs, I would be concerned that their resume or coverletter may be the issue. Or it could be that they are not applying for the right type of opportunities for their level of experience. Or it could simply be a problem with their email or voicemail! I once had a student who complained to me that they had sent out 50 resumes and did not get a single call back. When I finally got to see her resume, I realized that she did not have her phone number on it! Another student had trouble getting interviews and when I saw her unprofessional email address, I suspected that employers might have been turned off by it.

What kind of skills are in demand by employers these days?

Employers want people who are innovative, critical thinkers, problem solvers, take initiative and show enthusiasm for the field or business. These are more character traits but since they really can’t be taught, I think it very important to convey the right attitude on the job. These are the types of skills/qualities that we emphasize in the liberal arts. I can teach technical skills with a basic competency level employee, but if I don’t like you, it will be tough to keep working with you. The job marketplace is very competitive and if you are not willing to show these types of high demand strengths, someone else will.

What online resources do you recommend for students looking for jobs in creative industry?

Well, we first point them to our own online database, DrewLink and then we have a few online resources depending upon what type of job they are looking for and in what career field. We just acquired an account for a new resource called CareerShift and that is working out pretty well for finding jobs and contacts.

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Flore Dorcely-Mohr is Assistant Director and joined the Career Center at Drew University in 2006. She manages all aspects of the academic and zero-credit internship programs for undergraduates and serves as the Instructor for those courses. She also directs the campus-wide Federal Community Service (FCSP) Program for students earning work-study funds at local community service agencies. She assists employers from all fields in developing and advertising internship and FCSP opportunities for Drew students. Prior to Drew, she worked as a High School Youth Employment Specialist and for the Career Services department at Bloomfield College. Her background includes working with an Executive Recruiter and Career Coach and teaching career development coursework online. Flore is a Drew Alum with a BA in Sociology and an MA in Counseling with a concentration in Student Affairs-Higher Education from Montclair State University.