“Think, Link & Learn”

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Looking for a Spring / Summer ‘10 Internship? Follow This 7 Step Success Plan

Now is the time to start your search if you’re looking for a Spring / Summer ‘10 internship. Most “for credit” internships are for 3 credits; students usually work 12-15 hours per week, for a 15-18 week period (about 180 hours/semester).

In order to qualify, you should have completed 12-15 hours (4-5 classes) in your major. If you have completed less than 12 hours, chances are slim that the department will approve your internship request.

Understand we cannot file paperwork with the CCNY Registrar until your internship is finalized by a hiring manager. “We might hire you in January” doesn’t count; it has to be a firm internship offer. Thus, most internships may not officially be included on your schedule until the first few weeks of the Spring ’10 semester.

Your internship experience should provide “real world” insight to your field of study, such as advertising, public relations, journalism or film/video. Students are encouraged to research and fact-find to secure the right internship for their unique and special talents. The department assists you with ideas and leads—but does not do the work for you.

In the highly competitive communications field, “the hunt” is part of an exciting game. Part of “the reward” is being selected from a talent pool of many and feeling the “thrill of victory” when you land the prized internship of your dreams!

This fall, CCNY-MCA students are interning at Sony Pictures, Anderson Cooper 360, Time Warner/People Magazine, NY1 and The Plaza Hotel-Marketing, to name a few. Understand that your classmates did it—and so can you!

Our advice: Arm yourself with confidence and get your digital tools in order (resume / cover letter / writing samples / digital portfolio - if applicable) and embark on a deep dive internship search!

Follow these simple steps to get ahead of the competition:

1. Research 3-5 dream internships. Think about where you’d ideally like to work. These should be positions where you could gain experience and ultimately end up in an entry level position, if you’re diligent and play your cards right.

2. Update your resume. Add recent jobs, new skills, classes or interests. Yes, you may include informational blogs created for CCNY-MCA writing classes. Pay close attention to trends in the news and think about how you can link your unique skills to what potential employers are looking for. Since social media is all the rave, then fine-tune your resume to show what you know! Be sure your resume includes buzz words that catch the eyes of human resource associates and internship directors, i.e. wording such as --

> Passionate about social media
> As founder of www.moviemaven.blogspot.com, diligent about connections with 800+ fellow movie-enthusiasts

Note: Wording like the above would be perfect if you’re applying for a job in publicity for Warner Bros. It shows the reader/potential employer that you’re adept in online marketing tools/blogging and have an online network that could potentially buy movie tickets. Make it easy for employers to see your strengths. Show them what you bring to the table.

Get creative! Think of your resume as a business card for Brand You!

3. Prepare a cover letter/email. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have to get done. Professors and associates at the CCNY Career Services (NAC 1/116) and The Writing Center (NAC) can help you fine-tune the wording.

MCA professors strongly advise that you take advantage of the many resume writing workshops offered by the career center. Understand that you hold the reigns to your future. Make sure you utilize all the wonderful tools CCNY has put at your disposal during your college years.

The Career Center also offers free job placement assistance to graduates up to one full year after graduation. Take advantage of this wonderful academic benefit and spread the word to friends who have recently graduated.

4. Email MCA Internship Advisor Prof. Lynne Scott Jackson; lynne.scottjackson@gmail.com. We’ll schedule a sit down and help you devise a personal action plan.

5. In the next few weeks, you’ll apply for internships, with the goal of locking in a position (ideally) by year end. Understand you may have to go through a series of interviews before you land something—the internship/job market is that tight.

But, you’re in perhaps the best position, because you’re young and only subway ride away from the headquarters of the planet’s leading communications companies! Never forget that. Worse case scenario, you’ll go on interviews during the winter break and land something early in the year. Think with the end in mind (your coveted internship), stay positive and keep plugging! Never give up on yourself or your professional development.

6. Once your internship is secured, we’ll file paperwork with the CCNY registrar; this usually happens during the first two weeks of the Spring ’10 semester. Note: You cannot register for your internship online and the paperwork must be filed by the MCA department (not students); the university has instituted new policies.

7. Now the real work begins. Before your first day on the job, you should learn all you can about your new employer. Ideally, you will have done that during the interview phase, but here’s an opportunity to learn even more. That way you can start to impress you supervisor from day one.

Throughout the semester, we’ll touch bases to keep you on track. Your employer will evaluate your progress and you’ll be required to write a paper reflecting on your experience. This will include what you learned on the job and a little about how you could have been better prepared for the experience.

Stay tuned … near the end of the semester we may schedule another Internship Bootcamp to share tools for success. At the start of the Fall ‘09 semester our boot camp allowed dozens of students to share resources, gain confidence and be one step ahead of the pack in deciding what internship path may be the best fit.

Good luck with your midterms and good luck as you begin your search for a 2010 internship!

Best Regards,

Prof. Lynne Scott Jackson
Shepard - #466
917.748.8917 - cell

Prof. Lynn Appelbaum (currently on sabbatical)
* will resume internship advising duties January '10

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