By Jacqueline Kanasz
Summertime: While revered throughout those K-12 years as a time to relax and enjoy a fun-filled break from the educational daily grind, the entrance into college certainly changes that cycle for most.
Since my entry into the University of Massachusetts Amherst two years ago, the word “internship” has become a part of my regular vocabulary, inducing a number of emotions ranging from excitement to anxiety. While returning to the familiar summer jobs we’ve had in high school is tempting, I’ve realized that internships are becoming a truly vital tool for students to break into the working world and secure a place for their futures – making summer the prime time to find them.
After my experiences here thus far, below are 3 main reasons that you should take an internship:
Networking, networking, networking. I can’t say it enough, but when people say “It’s who you know,” they definitely mean it. Working for any company supplies you with an unlimited source of contacts and references. You never know who your supervisor or fellow interns may know – someone you meet could help land you the job that provides a lifetime of income. TIP: Connect with your coworkers on LinkedIn after your internship is completed to maintain contact and make sure they remember you.
Experience. Nothing can replace the skills, confidence, and communicative abilities one gains from engaging regularly in the working environment, especially if within the field you desire to be a part of in the future. TIP: Refer to the internship’s position requirements at the end of the summer (or semester) to make adding the new experience to your resume easier.
It displays initiative. Potential employers will see your resume and you’ll stand out throughout the interview process for having taken the initiative to remain active during a time when most people just want to go to the beach. When interviewers ask “So what did you do all summer?” you’ll have a great professional experience to share.
Internships are a long-term investment – the time and effort you invest now will pay off later. The rewards, both personal and professional, are immense.
By Stacy Wilbur | @swilbur24
I always say to my interns you are going to either love or hate public relations – there is no in between – and an internship is a good way to find out if you are meant for a career in the field. Since many college students are starting their internships this week, I have put together five helpful tips every public relations intern should know while at their internship.
Read the local papers: It is important to know what is going on in the world and how it can/will impact clients. Whichever city you are working in, read the daily newspapers, and scan for relevant articles that are pertinent to the agency’s clients. Also, monitor news websites for regular updates.
Ask questions: When in doubt, ASK. When you are working on a project and have some questions, ask your supervisor for help. We would rather help you get it right the first time than have you do it again.
Be proactive: There is always plenty of work to be done, so don’t hesitate to ask for work when you are done with a project. You are at your internship to learn as much as possible, so make sure you are getting as many projects as possible to build your skill set. Also, don’t forget to always have a notebook and pen in hand to write down your assignments!
Google it: A big component of many interns’ jobs is research. Many firms have databases and subscription programs but it’s always a good idea to supplement this research with Google searches to make sure you are gathering the most – and most relevant - information.
Network: Public relations is all about networking. Take advantage of any events that you are invited to. You never know, your next boss could be there! Also, don’t forget to create a LinkedIn profile and connect with the people you have met with throughout your internship.
This summer I will be celebrating my 11th year in public relations, and while there have been highs and lows, I would not change my career for anything. I hope all you future PR pros have a great summer internship. Enjoy every moment and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way!
By Keri McIntosh
A colleague of mine recently informed me about the launch of KLM Airlines’ Meet and Seat program. The airline allows passengers to share their social media profile (LinkedIn or Facebook) to see and select who they would like to sit by. My first response: “Are you kidding?!?”
Call me crazy or even antisocial but does the world of social media really need to invade our air space, too? Yes…okay, it was cool when Jet Blue allowed us to play games with our fellow cabin mates on their in flight entertainment system. But Meet and Seat takes things to a whole new level.
For the business traveler I suppose Meet and Seat does present great networking opportunities (i.e. you are heading to the same conference and can talk shop!) However, I suspect the program will be used more often in the hopes of finding a soul mate or at least a flirt mate. Next Animation Media in Taiwan creates a pretty vivid interpretation of the service. Yikes.
But is this whole thing bordering on creepy? Or at the very least, disappointing? KLM allows you to change your seat as many times as you like 48 hours prior to departure. What happens if you select your “perfect” seat mate and immediately following they change their seat for another? When you actually see that person on board next to a more cosmopolitan, attractive hipster this can lead to a pretty depressing flight.
Side note: if you do miss that connection, there’s a cure. Here’s a web service – wemetonaplane.com – that reunites passengers who traveled aboard the same flight.
The interesting part about Meet and Seat is that unlike LinkedIn or Facebook, you can’t hide behind your computer screen. You are now sitting next to the person engaging in live communication…and for a looong time (currently this service is only offered on KLM flights between Amsterdam and New York and San Francisco to Sao Paulo). Enter another potential pitfall: your profiles seemed so compatible initially but after discussing your mutual affection for Xbox and classic Nirvana songs the passion runs dry after only 30 minutes. What then? 6 more hours until wheels down. Ugh.
So I wonder if I am alone in wanting the last vestige of peace from the world of social media, cell phone calls, texts and tweets when I fly, left to enjoy my ever diminishing leg room and lack of on board food service in privacy? Does anyone else send a secret cry of joy when the one or (bliss!) two seats next to you are empty? I admit I probably have become hardened traveling so frequently on Southwest Airlines which, in a way, can be dubbed the original Meet and Seat program. The open seating forces you to trump friends and family members for strangers with available seats. You hope for a friendly face to offer a seat, but instead everyone avoids eye contact and strategically places awkward shaped packages around them to not Meet and Seat…until of course the flight attendants eventually force you into it.
Maybe I should just get used to new ways of traveling. It seems other carriers such as Virgin Airlines will soon be following suit with similar programs. And since their sister company Virgin Galactic is now booking seats for space travel, I wonder if we will eventually be able to select who we’d like to be weightless next to. Now that’s something I might sign up for!
Let us know what you think….Would you use it?
By Hilary Allard
It’s great that you loved your lunch at that new restaurant. And I’m sorry that you’re upset over the Pats (who isn’t?).
And I’m happy to hear about those things – just not on LinkedIn.
Lately when I’m on LinkedIn, I am inevitably greeted with an endless series of tweets by the same four or five people.
I like these people, a lot. But I don’t want to see this information from them on LinkedIn. Just as people unfollow others who “hog the feed” on Twitter, the effect is even more pronounced on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn and Twitter are two distinct platforms and they shouldn’t be treated the same way. See the reference to “adding a new dimension to professional conversation” in the original announcement.
As with all channel management, the content and approach should vary. Just because LinkedIn offers the option of linking in your Twitter feed doesn’t mean you should do it. (Chris Brogan agrees so, hey, I must be on to something!
Here’s what I’m looking for on LinkedIn:
Interesting professional content shared by contacts and colleagues
The latest on contacts’ professional news
Relevant industry information from the groups I belong to
If you tweet only in those three “buckets,” then, sure, link away. But if, like most people, you are tweeting about a wide variety of topics, please keep it out of LinkedIn.
Do you agree or disagree? What are you looking for on LinkedIn?
The Sunday Times launched its social list this week, a social media measurement application with a spin that makes the list attractive beyond the scope of the paper’s readership. “The Social List” doesn’t rank its users according to their follower numbers and ratios – it ranks them according to the response they get from their network. This concept makes sense. Having a lot of followers on Twitter or fans on Facebook doesn’t mean that people are paying attention to your posts. To rank its users, The Social List gathers data from Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and LinkedIn and puts together a composite score; sub-lists let users compare their rank to their immediate social circle.
“The Big Time” is going live this week, launched and presented by Bud United, a platform for Budweiser fans. The Big Time is a “social-reality show” and currently casting young adults for the first episode via Bud United’s presence on Facebook and the Chinese social networking site Renren. According to Bud United, The Big Time “is an hour-long competition show where a determined few set out to realize their greatest dream.” The show was designed to increase Budweiser’s social media follower and to spark online discussion.