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21st Century Education: The Importance of STEM Internships

In the book 21st Century Skills- Learning for Life in our Times, author Charles Fadel explores three main categories of skills needed for students to excel in modern times:

  • Learning and Innovation
  • Digital Literacy
  • Life and Career Skills

As early as sophomore year in college, students are expected to choose a college major, but without workplace exposure, how is a student really able to make that determination?

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Guidelines Eased for Unpaid Internships

Could your Business Benefit from an Intern?

The U.S. Labor Department rolled out new guidelines for 2018 that make it easier for companies to hire unpaid interns.

Our highly structured, educational program has always met the strictest guidelines for both paid and unpaid internships. We have matched talented interns to startups and businesses for last fourteen years. Students are pre-screened, receive assistance with resume, interview prep and are supervised during their placements. Interns add value in many areas including research, social networking, marketing and more.

Read about the seven factors determine whether the internship can be unpaid

Best Mentor in History!

At Internship Connection, we seek out mentors who take a genuine interest in each student. After speaking to Claire Varner, the Chief Academic Officer of HSTRY, https://www.hstry.co/ an exciting startup related to education, Dr. Jabbawy felt that her heartfelt enthusiasm to mentor students as well as her company’s mission related to education would lead to a great internship experience.
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Michael, High School internship – Medicine

Discovering a true career interest often takes a circuitous path. Michael is currently a Tech/VC attorney representing emerging companies and venture capital investors at Morse Barnes-Brown & Pendleton. However, in high school, Michael thought he would be interested in medicine, so we matched him to a medical internship where he had the opportunity to work in a hospital and observe 2 surgical procedures. To Michael’s surprise, he realized the hospital environment was not for him.

Michael wrote, “Through this experience, I realized that working in a hospital environment, while fascinating, wasn’t for me. Because it gave me such early exposure, I was able to eliminate it as a career interest before investing time and money in a college major as well as medical school.” Following this experience, Michael’s college internships took an interesting turn.

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Uncovering Your College Sophomore’s Future Career

College Sophomore

What if my college sophomore has no idea what type of career to pursue?

 

This is a question we hear from both parents of college and high school students. In terms of career advice, when we meet with students, we do a very thorough intake of their interests, experiences and what they are passionate about. Some students can tell us right away about their career interests while others have no idea.  Our specialty is extracting enough information to be able to pose suggestions about the types of careers that might pique their interest as well as the internship placements that we establish, relating to those careers. The following are two examples of students and what we take into consideration as we connect them to internships.

 

 

Alison is a Psychology Major who has always loved Fashion

 

Online marketing is the way to go these days in just about any business and who better to snag marketing positions, than a young person who uses Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. The term “Fashion Tech” describes what’s happening these days in the fashion industry. Almost all businesses need young people to do their social networking. A psych major will be able to apply her classroom studies to approach the idea of how consumers think and act. By experiencing an internship at an online fashion retailer she will be able to observe all the different marketing channels that companies utilize. Over the last 10 years, we have placed students in “Lifestyle” careers that include not only fashion, but Public Relations, Interior Design, Event Planning and more.

 

 

Jonathan is studying Political Science and Chinese

 

Often students have more than one interest. Recently, we met with a political science major who had a minor in Chinese. At this point, he was simply pursuing subjects that he was interested in but really had no idea about what career path to pursue. So we reached out to a Massachusetts State Senator who has a majority of Chinese speaking constituents. Now this young man will be able to intern at the State House, utilize his fluency in Chinese and observe the day-to-day workings of the state legislature. Furthermore, he will be under the supervision of a legislative aide, and by observing what is involved in that position, could potentially lead to a job after graduation.

 

 

Best advice: Nurture your child’s interests

 

Help them find out what they truly enjoy, let them run with it and finally, encourage them to gain as much early exposure to the workplace.

 

 Internship Consultation Free

Recognizing the Value: Visiting Our Students During Their Internships

Carole and Hannah
Dr. Jabbawy visiting Hannah at work

 

One of the most rewarding components of our program is the on-site visits to our students. Their worksites include everything from tall high rises in the financial district, quaint brick buildings on the Boston waterfront to high tech business accelerators in Back Bay, Kendall Square and Downtown Crossing.

 

 

Fort Point
Fort Point Waterfront offices

 

Parents often tell us that getting dressed up and learning how to commute to work is just as exciting and important as the internship itself. Our students commute in various ways. Some take the subway, others combine driving and taking the train, while some have taken the commuter boat from both the South and North Shore.

 

 

International Place
One International Place

 

During the visit, it’s wonderful to meet the student’s mentors and very often we get a tour of their offices.  The visit also provides the opportunity to sit down privately with each student to discuss their journal responses, talk about how things are going and what they are learning. It’s always amazing to see how students have grown and matured since our initial meeting with them as they gain experience and confidence on the job.

 

Lobby LearnLaunch
Back Bay Business Incubator

 

 

Students Take Time Off From College With A Fall Internship

red boston ivy

 

At Internship Connection, we are busy visiting our current students on their internships. In addition, since August is the time to start the process of snagging a fall internship, we have been taking many calls from students who are taking a Gap semester off from college.

 

As we speak to students taking time off, it’s evident that there are many valid reasons for taking a break. Sometimes students find out that during freshman year, the college they are attending was not the right choice for them. If a student is applying to transfer to a new college, a fall internship would be a very productive use of their time and could also enhance an application.

 

Other students, often during sophomore year are unsure what to major in. Experiencing the workplace often sends the student in a new and rewarding career direction.

 

What is our Process?

 

  1. We meet with each student either in person or via Skype.
  2. We help them update or create a business resume.
  3. We prepare them for their workplace interview using role-play.
  4. We establish an exciting fall internship in the field of their choice.

 

Our best advice – Start now!

 

It takes time to secure an internship. Don’t wait until fall to apply for a fall internship. While other college students are still on the beach, get ahead of the crowd in the process of securing your internship.

 

Internship Consultation Free

5 Tips To Help You Think About Your Career

Thinking about a career

 

As early as sophomore year in college, students are expected to choose a college major, but without workplace exposure, how is a student really able to make that determination?

 

Too many college students switch their majors, mainly because they haven’t gained the career exposure necessary to make a career decision. Participating in a summer internship is one of the best ways for a high school or college student to “try on a career,” gain work experience in the field of their choice and walk away with a solid letter of recommendation.

 

An internship can either confirm a career interest or lead the student in a new direction, saving valuable time and money. Often an internship is the first step in building a resume, offers the opportunity for networking, and provides the student with confidence and life-skills for the future.

 

Identify an initial career interest, then gain career exposure through an internship related to that interest.

 

1. Think about a subject in school that interests you.

 

Perhaps you have several interests that could be combined in an internship. If you like to write and you also enjoy music, the communications department of a symphony orchestra would be one place to begin. If you are interested in the environment but also business, you might think about a green technology start-up.

 

2. Do you spend time on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter?

 

These days students are versed in social networking and employers simply don’t have time to dedicate to these important tasks. If you a decent writer you could even work on a company’s blog.

 

3. Do you have a particular talent?

 

An internship would provide an opportunity for you to understand how that talent could be applied to the workplace. For example, artistic ability is sorely needed for every organization in terms of web design, marketing materials and photography. If you enjoy acting, interning behind the scenes for a theater company would be great exposure.

 

4. Computer skills are sought out by every business.

 

If you are familiar with Power Point, Excel or basic programming, your skills would be highly valued in the workplace.

 

5. Has a travel experience inspired you?

 

Perhaps you participated in a travel program or school field trip that inspired you. Community Service work can be parlayed into an internship. For example, previous experience with Habitat for Humanity abroad could be applied to organizations in your own city. A field trip to Washington, DC could be inspiration for a government internship in your own city or state.

 

Whatever your initial thoughts are related to a potential career, early and successive internships will help you decide on what career is best for you.

 

Learn how Internship Connection made an impact on these students’ careers.

 

 Internship Consultation Free

 

6 Tips on Asking for a Letter of Recommendation

Recommendation letters students received during Internship Connection program

 

Whether on a job or internship, asking for a letter of recommendation is one of the most stressful but important tasks. Students in our program tell us that they use their letters for many years to come.

 

Here are a few helpful tips:

 

1. Ask your immediate supervisor, the person who you are working directly under.

 

2. Don’t wait until the end of your internship. Two weeks before your end date would give your mentor enough time.

 

3. Ask if you could possibly get the letter on your last day but have a stamped, self-addressed envelope ready to give them in case they need more time.

 

4. Hand them a written request. This will make it much easier for your mentor.

 

Your letter requesting the recommendation should look something like this:

 

I have learned so much working here. If possible, I would appreciate a letter of recommendation on your company letterhead for my files. I will be using this letter for college and work applications.

 

My email is:
My mailing address is:

 

I would appreciate a hard, signed copy as well as a digital signed copy.

 

It should be addressed as: To Whom It may Concern

 

Since colleges are particularly interested in my academic interests, I have described them below. If possible, I wondered if you might mention them and how they related to the internship.

 

 My academic interests are:

 

I have also bulleted a list of tasks and activities that I participated in on this job:

 

Thank you for taking the time to mentor me on my internship.

 

-Your name

 

5. Don’t pester your mentor if you haven’t received the letter. Wait 1 month and only ask them one more time.

 

6. After you receive your letter of recommendation, send a hand-written thank you note.

 

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Internship Connection

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Get in touch:

  • Email: carole@internshipconnection.com
  • Phone: 617-964-0715

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