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From high school intern to published writer in NYC

 

Hannah was a junior at Needham High school, interested in journalism and fashion. After meeting Hannah and learning about her interests, Dr. Jabbawy contacted three seniors at Harvard who had just begun a startup for collegiate women. It’s been very rewarding to follow Hannah’s career, since her high school internship at HerCampus.com.

Hannah (center right) with the founders of HerCampus

HerCampus.com is now the #1 global community for college women, written entirely by the nation’s top college journalists from 340+ campus chapters. Hannah was Her Campus’s first editorial intern in Summer 2010 and continued her involvement with HC as the High School Editor. Hannah was accepted to her dream school, NYU and while there, wrote for Washington Square News, blogs at Mademoiselle Hannah, and the Huffington Post Teen.

The following is her article on Internships:
http://www.hercampus.com/career/intern-day-employee-night-it-possible-balance-internship-part-time-job

Hannah went on to NYU where she studied journalism and history, becoming the assistant features editor at Seventeen Magazine. She has written for Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and is the dating editor of Elite Daily. We are excited for Hannah as she received accolades for her first novel, named “A Best Book of Summer” by Refinery 29, Bustle, and Pop Sugar.

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.
With interests in education, history and business, we placed Chloe, a sophomore at The Rivers School and Derek, a junior at Noble and Greenough, under Claire’s mentorship.

“HSTRY’s mission is to captivate students. I think it’s wonderful that both Derek and Chloe can see how a new product is launched and how many modifications are made.

-Mentor Claire Varner, Chief Academic Officer

HSTRY is a company that has created a digital learning tool that enables teachers, students and historians to create and explore interactive timelines. Using a platform designed to mimic social media, HSTRY presents content in a format that is easily understood, engaging, and familiar to the 21st century student.

On her site visit to Derek and Chloe, Dr. Jabbawy observed a weekly seminar where interns presented their work on PowerPoint from the previous week. Their mentor complimented their work and at the same time, posed questions that would lead to a deeper awareness of the company’s mission.

Excerpts from Derek’s Journal:

  • Having autonomy when doing my work, creating the timelines; I think this was a rare opportunity for a high school student to gain exposure to this type of internship. It wasn’t just getting coffee but a true learning experience.

 

  • I didn’t realize the enormous scope of the startup industry in Boston- all the various business accelerators, including this one. It’s really a hot industry in Boston.

 

  • Creating content for the timelines took much longer than I thought. It was important to tailor the content to the developmental level of the audience and finding various sources for my research.

 

Excerpts from Chloe’s Journal:

  • I learned that I should be comfortable voicing my opinion in a group setting. Claire loved my idea about using a different color palate for their new concept, wedding timelines. I created a spreadsheet on my wedding research and also created wedding timelines to advertise the product.

 

  • I love the environment, as it is very collaborative and friendly. I already feel like I have a better grasp on what working at a start-up would be like.

 

  • I’ve really enjoyed talking to Claire about her experiences at conferences, meetings with other start up businesses and also asking her questions about her background in education.

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?

Continue reading “21st Century Education: The Importance of STEM Internships”

Uncovering Your College Sophomore’s Future Career

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.

Recognizing the Value: Visiting Our Students During Their Internships

Dr. Jabbawy visiting Hannah

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.

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

Students Take Time Off From College With A Fall Internship

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.

5 Tips To Help You Think About Your 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.

 

Eshaan’s Two Startup Internships Got Him Innovating and Building Businesses

We met Eshaan when he was a sophomore at Newton South High School. Eshaan had many interests including science. We connected him To Hyungsoo Kim, a graduate of MIT Sloan School, who was developing a watch for the blind and was a semifinalist in the MIT 100k competition. Hyungsoo was happy to hear that high school students were interested in entrepreneurship.

A watch for the blind

Eshaan helped with research and general tasks and wrote a script for the company video. He wrote:

 

“Many times Hyungsoo, or one of his colleagues would give me an assignment and I would have to figure out what they wanted and deliver it to them. In essence, they gave me a lot of freedom, but at the same time I had lots of responsibility because they would be counting on me to meet their expectations. One of the best parts of my internship was meeting interesting individuals who are all extremely talented and genuine. This internship has been one of the most productive and memorable experiences.”

A Second Internship in San Francisco

Eshaan stayed in touch with his mentor and became passionate about startups. He came to us for a second internship the following summer. Because he had relatives he could stay with in the San Francisco area, we established an internship at Chewse, a startup company that provides office administrators a customized, simple way to get lunch catered for their businesses.

Eshaan was involved in Customer Acquisition and Growth

He gained in-depth exposure to the process of building a business. He said:

“I worked directly with the head of customer acquisition, who gave me interesting long-term projects. I tracked new leads, researched start-up companies, determined who to target and how to target through various media channels. I conducted analysis of both competitors and customer feedback. Often times my mentor would give me a project to complete and I would have to find a way to finish it by coming up with and using my own methods.”

 

By the end of Eshaan’s junior summer of high school, he had already gained exposure to two very different startup companies. He continues to stay in contact with his mentors and we are certain that he will build upon his high school internships throughout college.

10 Tips For Teens To Prepare For An Interview

Job interviews are infamously anxiety-inducing, particularly when you haven’t ever experienced one before. The good news is that basic preparation goes a long way toward quelling those inevitable nerves.

10 Tips For Approaching Your Interviews

Here are 10 tips for approaching interviews so you can be sure you’re best conveying your strengths and charms when it matters.

(1) Read up on the company.

Research the business you’re applying to on its website so you can directly relate your own interests and skills to its mission.

(2) Have another set of eyes proofread your application.

You may think your application is concise and flawlessly constructed. It’s tough, though, to spot even glaring spelling or grammatical errors in our own work, especially if we’ve been slaving over it endlessly. Have somebody else proof the materials so silly mistakes don’t slip through.

(3) Role-play. 

Don’t just tremble at what you imagine an interview will be like—rehearse! No, you don’t know exactly what an interviewer will ask, but it’s easy to brainstorm a list of sample questions. Have somebody assume the role of your questioner and do several dry runs so you can practice your presentation and bearing.

(4) Plan a “business casual” outfit.

Appearance matters: You want your interview outfit to reflect your professionalism and suggest the diligence with which you’ll approach the job. Dress conservatively and smartly; don’t try to impress with bold fashion statements.

(5) Arrive early.

Come to the interview 15 minutes early: Punctuality shows organization and commitment. Don’t forget to turn off that cell phone: You don’t want a blaring ringer abruptly ruining your first impression.

(6) Send the right signals.

You may be saying all the right things, but if your body language is off you may be sabotaging yourself. Maintain direct eye contact and don’t give a limp handshake. Sit up straight and lean slightly forward, which project confidence and engagement. And remember to smile!

(7) Demonstrate your preparation.

Mention the research you’ve done on the company: Specifically cite a few details from the website (or whatever other materials you perused) and how they resonated with you.

(8) Be ready with questions.

Your interviewer will likely conclude by turning the tables and asking whether you have any questions. Don’t make the mistake of saying, “Nope!” Have some queries—about the company or the position, say—ready in advance.

(9) Inquire about the next step.

If it’s obvious that the interview is indeed winding down, highlight your initiative—and prove you really want the position—by inquiring about next steps. Ask, for example, about the hiring committee’s decision-making timeframe and whether you can provide any more details.

(10) Follow up.

Send a thank-you email after the interview, and again offer to supply any further information about yourself.

If you do your homework and rehearse a few times before an interview, you’ll likely discover on the morning of the big day that you’ve actually developed some well-earned self-confidence: You know your material and you’re ready to put your best foot forward. And that’s a great feeling!

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

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