Tag Archives: Internship Programs

Feb10

Creating Diverse Internship Programs

diversity

At colleges and universities across the nation, spring semester has been underway for a few weeks. With the arrival of spring semester comes the onset of employers looking to fill positions for their summer internship programs. As the job market and college student demographics are changing, so should your internship programs. Let’s face it, there is a 60 percent chance that the intern you hire today will be your entry-level employee tomorrow.

We have set aside some tips and strategies for your internship program to mirror the diverse marketplace, which in turn may increase your chance of creating a more diverse work environment.

Research

Under the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) act, there are certain requirements companies and employers are suppose to fulfill based on diversity initiatives. However, with those requirements come the task of hiring prospective interns just to check certain boxes and to satisfy their audits. Appropriate research should be done to track where diverse intern applicants are coming form. For example, based on thorough research, a company may find they receive more diverse applicants at a particular conference oppose to the average career fair.

Go Beyond Traditional Recruiting Methods

While tradition is always great, sometimes it is necessary to break out of the box and develop new ways of recruiting. Partner with different career development companies, like us, that may have greater access to diverse talent. Break away from the old sit behind the table, college fair way of recruiting and embrace contests and social media. If you’re looking for a social media intern, maybe create a contest about creating a social media plan for one of the company’s clients and/or products. You can reach a large pool of diverse students that way and see their relevant skills all at once.

Establish a Mentorship Program

Partner with local high schools to establish a mentorship program. (Yes, I said high school). Starting early is an excellent way to increase and foster greater diversity. At the high school level, your company can allow juniors and seniors to shadow employers for a three-week time frame in the summer and throughout the school year build rapport with the particular employer. This way, by the time the student enters college there is a greater possibility that they are interested in your company and may even tell their college roommate or friend.

Along with these tips, check out our customized internship program service where Marc Scoleri provides employers with an assessment and evaluation of the business to supply your internship program needs.

Do you have a diverse internship program? Feel free to comment and chime in our tips and strategies.

Nov13

Interview with Rena Tom of Makeshift Society

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Some people may know Rena Tom as a business strategist consulting with product designers, while many others know her as the Founder of Makeshift Society San Francisco… and now Makeshift Society Brooklyn.

Makeshift Society is a clubhouse for creative freelancers and a space to sustain low-growth businesses. With the “make, learn, teach and think” motto at the core of the space, Rena Tom talks with Creative Interns about how she’s bringing that motto to Brooklyn.

Creative Interns: What made you create Makeshift society in San Francisco?

Rena Tom: I was doing consulting work, some in-person and some over the phone. I was having trouble finding a place to work, so I started renting space at Workshop during the daytime hours when no one was there. While renting the space, I was sitting there basically by myself. Over time, I found myself at the coffee shop more and more just to be around people.

I started talking to my friends who were independent workers, bloggers and designers and I realized we were all in the same boat (wanting to engage with others while working). So I decided I would make a little office space for people and the more people I talked to, the more people wanted to be involved with the space. And so it evolved into a working space – Makeshift Society.

makeshift

CI: Why did you decide to expand to Brooklyn?

RT: As soon as we opened in San Francisco, we were getting a lot of requests all over the country saying this is a great idea and wishing we were in their city. My friend, Bryan Boyer, was moving to New York and was interested in developing another Makeshift location.

CI: Do you feel Makeshift Society Brooklyn will contribute to the growing creative digital space that is happening in Brooklyn?

RT: Definitely! That’s the reason why we thought it would be ideal to have our second space in Brooklyn – sort of a hub for the east coast. Brooklyn has an enormously large creative population, especially in the freelance side and it does have a good tie to San Francisco. We are there for the independent consultants and entrepreneurs in Brooklyn – designers who want to remain freelance; photographers who get hired to take product shots; or copywriters who are brought in to work on a collection.

CI: Will there be opportunities to work directly with Makeshift Society Brooklyn?

RT: There will be employees on site and we would like to take on interns in marketing, event planning and programming. Beyond that, we are leaving a lot of it up to the members and the companies we will be partnering with.

CI: When can emerging creatives expect to use the Brooklyn space?

RT: We are depending on the completed construction of the site, but first quarter of 2014 is our goal.

For more about Makeshift Society Brooklyn, connect with them on twitter: @MakeshiftSocBK

 

Oct31

Job-hunting Nightmares

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Job-hunting can be daunting, even frightening. While emerging creatives may have encountered their own scares today, here is a list of “job-hunting nightmares” we’re releasing into the universe this Halloween – don’t read them alone…

  1. Realizing your dream job is with your former internship employer – yes, the internship employer that you never stayed in contact with
  2. Creating a video reel of your amazing work, sending the reel out to prospective employers and then realizing the reel video has a glitch
  3. Finding a job, spending time crafting the perfect cover letter and then realizing the job posting has been taken down
  4. Realizing a job prospect went to your spam mail and now it’s just too late
  5. Interviewing for a job, thinking you nailed the interview and then getting the “we’ve filled the positon” notice
  6. Online job applications and systems that seem only to exist to cause job seekers even more pain
  7. Months of applying, networking and no leads
  8. The well known recruiter who says “you’re perfect for the job” and then suddenly disappears
  9. The reference that never really refers you (be careful of who you ask)
  10. You’re current employer finds out your on the job search before you even give notice (yikes)

Can you think of any other job-hunting nightmares emerging creative professionals may encounter? 

Oct14

What My College and Grad School Degrees Didn’t Teach Me

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It has been officially five months since I completed my Masters program and two years since I completed my undergraduate career. Within these last two years, I learned things about myself, my career and future that a college or grad school degree couldn’t teach me. The courses of life are ones you have to sign up and pass on your own.

Progress is a process
I’ve heard this cliché over and over, but the past two years it has rung louder than ever. Trust, that wherever you are in your life it is exactly where you’re suppose to be. The Dalai Lama said it best, “I find light in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.”

Always educate yourself
After completing my Master’s thesis in May 2013 I didn’t want to touch another communication ethics book or social media journal article for months. I knew that wouldn’t last for long. Every week, I’m checking the latest blogs for industry trends and searching what book I can get my hand on next (Now reading: The Personal Touch: What You Really Need to Succeed in Today’s Fast-Paced Business World by Terrie Williams). If you are no longer in school, you still need to educate yourself and continue to perfect your skills. Complacency in the global marketplace is not an option.

Keep Family close
My father has had a constant battle with his health for years, but over the last two it has become progressively worse. This alone has taught me to keep family close. We often get so busy or even caught up with “our circle” that we tend to see family only on big occasions – weddings, reunions, birthdays, etc. The saying “family over everything” has always meant so much to me, but even more within the last two years.

Travel
A wise person once told me, “the best education is seeing two worlds and comparing it.” See the world and all it’s wonders. The last two years I embarked on trips to Cozumel, Mexico, Labadee, Haiti, Toronto, DR and some american cities learning their culture and tasting their food — simply experiencing life outside of my home in Brooklyn. Emerging creatives, now is the time to travel and see the world – the time when we have less obligations (children, etc). I can’t wait for the places I’ll visit in the coming years. #LiveLoveTravel

Be of service
As young professionals and creatives, we often get so caught up in our career journey that we forget to serve others. Whatever community or group you decide to serve is up to you. “Your service to others is the rent you pay while on earth.” As you continue to climb the ladder of greatness, take others with you.

Oct07

Fall Season = New Beginnings

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The cool air outside is the tantalizing warning that fall is rapidly approaching. With the fall season comes new beginnings: the new school year, internships, jobs and more. This read is for the young professional looking to turn this fall into a way to jump-start their personal journey and professional path.

Attend events

Feeling like your network is getting a little stale? Make it your goal for the fall to attend at least three events per month to expand who is in your network. Let others besides those in your circle know your work ethic.

Pick up a great self/professional development book

Head to your nearest bookstore and pick up a self or professional development book to inspire you or to take your particular skills from level five to level ten. The Start-Up of You by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha is a great blueprint that allows you to adapt to the world of work and to transform your career. Produced By Faith by Devon Franklin is a phenomenal book promoting how to stay grounded in your faith and beliefs while accelerating in your career.

Have Fun

As a young emerging professional, sometimes we forget the most important thing – to have fun. This is your 20s (your most crucial years) and these are the times where exploring is most necessary. Create a bucket list and check things off. Travel to new places. While your professional life is important, don’t forget about what’s most important – your personal growth.

Sep17

The NEW Purpose of Fashion

Verneda White HUMAN INTONATIONVerneda Adele White is the Founder and Creative Director of HUMAN INTONATION, a charity-driven, premium apparel brand that uses fashion as a platform to raise awareness for social and human rights issues like HIV/AIDS prevention, rebuilding New Orleans and educating children in Darfur. Creative Interns has the story of how an emerging creative talent became a dedicated entrepreneur by turning her single vision into “The NEW Purpose of Fashion”.

Creative Interns: What inspired Human Intonation?

Verneda White: Two separate events that happened close together drove the development of Human Intonation – my family’s experience with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and the death of my close first cousin to AIDS in February 2006. I first started designing T-shirts for Hands on New Orleans, our longest existing non-profit partnership, to promote volunteerism in the Gulf Coast following the hurricane. I wanted to do something constructive with my energy and create a positive project out of my experiences that would be beneficial to others. Today we support four causes in total.

CI: As the founder and creative director of Human Intonation, where do your creative ideas flow from?

VW: Inspiration comes from a combination of things from the missions of our non-profit partners to researching new colors and textures. My first objective is to create quality garments with a creative design that carries the message of the causes we support into everyday life: how can we create a call to action or start a conversation about these issues? I also graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Textile and Apparel Management, and some of my creative ideas stemmed from there in terms of garment construction and sourcing organic and environmentally sustainable fabrics.

CI: After just recently celebrating your five-year anniversary, what would you attribute the success of your business to?

VW: 99 percent is having the sheer determination to make it happen. As a small business owner and social entrepreneur, you have to be determined to do things most people aren’t willing to do. The other 1 percent I would have to say is really knowing your business – trial and error and taking those lessons learned in order to do things differently next time. Some of the things I am doing now were not on my radar five years ago. For example, if you asked me five years ago if I envisioned writing my own blog for the Huffington Post or speaking to high school students across Brooklyn I would have told you no.

CI: What was your most recent event/endeavor? What do you hope to do next?

VW: On August 19, 2013 we hosted our five year anniversary celebration, “For the Love of Life: Human Intonation”, where we presented our new collection of women and men t-shirts, tank tops, and dresses from which we donate 20 percent of the proceeds from each sale to our non-profit partners. After the event we were able to highlight the evolution of Human Intonation over five years and what is next for the brand.

I want to focus more on our community programs and expand on our workshops for teens and adults. On our business side, I want to continue to grow our wholesale partnerships. What is unique about our brand is that we have created our own T-shirts/wholesale line where we can produce the t-shirts for any occasion (we’ve created special edition shirts for the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS and others). This piece of our business really helps us to move forward and expand.

CI: What advice would you give to emerging creative talent?

VW: First and foremost, learning your craft is key and it will help you to successfully execute. You need to be able to provide value to your customers and create something that is memorable.

Secondly, take your time. Sometimes I get so passionate about what I’m doing that I get ahead of myself and it has not been beneficial for me or our team. The opportunity for greatness will always be there, so take your time.

 

To support Human Intonation, shop www.humanintonation.com. You also have the option of donating directly to the organization’s non-profit partners

Sep12

Time Management 101

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Ok seriously, your day-to-day tasks have become overbearing and you’re beginning to feel like you have no time to breathe (that may be a bit of a problem). It is time, to refocus your energy and truly practice real time management so you’re not feeling the dreaded “burn-out”.

Plan each day

Plan out your day the night before and that will help you feel more control of your life. Write a to-do list, putting only the most important tasks at the top. On your to-do list include the time of when each task should be completed to avoid spending too much time on a task and to minimize last-minute rushes.

Delegate

Take a look at your to-do list and consider a task that you possibly can pass to someone else or even seek help. The best projects weren’t built by one individual.

Limit distractions

Block out time on your calendar to do big projects – like an analyst for your boss or a major term paper. During that time, turn off your phone, iPad, email and focus solely on the project. Yes at work you can put on an automated message on your phone and email to get a large project done on time.

Evaluate how you’re spending your time

Try something different: Keep a diary of everything you do for three days to determine how you’re spending your time. Spending three hours surfing the Internet with no purpose? Maybe take one of those hours to exercise, another to hang out with family or friends. Your three-day diary track will show you how you need to spend your time more wisely.

Create a healthy environment

Get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly and have a healthy diet. A healthy lifestyle will improve your focus and concentration, which helps to improve your efficiency so that you can complete your work in a reasonable time.

Sep05

PR Life: In-house vs. Agency

PR professionals – What is it about in-house or agency PR that made you decide that particular path for your career?

inhouse vs agency pr

In the field of public relations, you always hear the age-old debate about what is better: in-house or agency life. The many factors that play into this debate are the number of clients, hours spent in the office, leadership roles, the company’s culture and the possibility of “burn-out”. As a growing professional, you may be searching for the right fit – whether in-house or agency. Explore what you can expect from both to see where you would like to start your PR career.

In-house

Typically at an in-house company or organization you are working on one particular client and becoming totally immersed into the company/organization. Since there are fewer clients when doing in-house PR, the team is often smaller. With a smaller team, it is possible for your boss to see your work ethic possibly granting you more opportunities within the company.

In regards to hours and the pace of work, it is said that hours are more predictable and the pace is slower than the agency side (but this is PR and hours are never usually that predictable). According to PRWeek, Kevin Taylor the founder of Robertson Taylor PR says “variety and pace of work are the two most obvious things that differ in agency and in-house life.”

Agency

At an agency, you are juggling different clients and accounts exposing you to different PR strategies based on the need of the client.

While working on various clients you may also have the opportunity to manage and lead team members as you progress throughout the agency. Most agencies, like Edelman for example, consist of the following positions Assistant Account Executive (AAE), Account Executive (AE), Senior Account Executive (SAE) and so forth. With a larger team dynamic, you have the opportunity to brainstorm with more individuals allowing you to grow as a young professional.

 

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!)

Jul07

Rocking Your Post-Grad Internship

 

A few weeks back, you just heard your chancellor and provost say, “We have officially conferred all degree candidates. Congratulations to the Class of 2013!” Now, you’re getting ready to start your post-graduate internship (that possibly can lead into full-time employment) and nerves are creeping in.

Here are some tips to rock your post-graduate internship and ensure that offer letter has your name on it.

1. Arrive early

While this may seem like a no brainer, many interns get comfortable in arriving “just in time.” Get to the office 45 minutes to an hour earlier than your expected time. This gives you time to get settled, answer emails that might have piled up last night, and see what’s in the news that is relevant to your company. By the time your boss comes in, you have a third of the work done and a leg up on some ideas for projects. Hey, you’ll even have a brighter face instead of that ‘I just rolled out of bed face’.

2. Under promise, over deliver

Often times we over promise on things to make a good impression. Over promising leaves us with deadlines not met and incomplete projects. No one wants to hire someone who can’t meticulously work to meet deadlines. Under promise on projects you can complete, but work to complete more than promised. You will shine in any office as the stellar intern who goes above and beyond to complete projects and take on additional tasks.

3. Build relationships

Networking doesn’t just happen at those random events with a room full of strange people. Networking can happen right in the office of your internship. Build relationships with your managers, supervisors and fellow interns. Schedule a lunch meeting with at least one person each week to get to know them, their story, how they landed their job and any advice they can possibly give you. By the end of your internship, you will have built relationships with several people in the office (and not just the computer you think you should be glued to all day). When it is time to discuss the possibility of a full-time offer, you have more than your resume vouching for your position in the company.

4. Educate yourself outside of the office

You might have received your degree, but those years of reading to learn and pass a course isn’t over. Think of your post-grad internship as a long course and your passing grade is the full-time offer. After your day is over (and you’ve left happy hour), go home to read up on your industry. What are the new trends? Where does your company stand within the industry? Or maybe, even take a course on the weekends that will teach you a skill relevant to your position. Continue to educate yourself beyond the walls of your internship and there’s no doubt that you will climb the career ladder.