About College

Reviewing a College Application in Just 8 Minutes?

It was rather shocking to read recently in the Wall Street Journal, that admissions officers at approximately 30 elite colleges read applications in eight minutes!

Because so many more students are submitting applications, the workload for individual readers has become oppressive. Instead, staffers now divvy up individual applications:

“One person might review transcripts, test scores and counselor recommendations, while the other handles extracurricular activities and essays.
Continue reading “Reviewing a College Application in Just 8 Minutes?”

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.

 

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Building Your College Application Story With An Internship

Computer Chip

When we meet with high school sophomores and juniors, applying to college is often at the forefront of their minds as well as the angst of their parents. While their previous experiences may seem a bit disjointed to them, we are able to help them find the unique “thread of interest” that runs through their high school years.

 

The idea for us, is to establish an internship that directly relates to their academic interests. On their college applications, students are able to show that they are pursuing their passions and talents, not only within the school day, but also in a much deeper way. This becomes their story on their applications and college interviews.

 

Setting yourself apart from other students

 

Taking this idea one step further, the following is an example of one student’s college essay about nanotechnology. Not only does he write about his interest in this particular field of science, he is able to talk about the in-depth experience he had through the internship we established for him in high school.

 

 

Ben followed our suggestions about “Telling his Story” in a creative way.

As a side note, he was accepted to both Cornell and Columbia for engineering. Today, years later, he is a businessman, in a field unrelated to science.

 

 Cornell_University_logo.svg

 

 

Academic Interests Essays

 

-Describe your intellectual interests, their evolution, and what makes them exciting to you.

 

A Path to Discovery

After slipping into a white coat, I insert my hands into tight latex gloves, carefully covering my hair with a cap made of thin, crinkly paper. I slide open the heavy rubber curtains, stepping into the clean room, enveloped by dust-collecting Styrofoam and silence. Facing me are two computers and a state of the art, half million-dollar Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), powerful enough to see anything a few billionths of a meter in size. For the next six hours, I will work alone in this room, etching off misaligned carbon nanotubes through wafer-scale electron beam lithography using SEM to define high-resolution features on test chips.

 

Why am I doing this on a beautiful summer day? Imagine computers that boot up instantaneously, cell phones with enough memory to run full-motion video and music clips for days. Or picture a trillion bits of data stored on a chip the size of a postage stamp. These are some of the potentially radical implications of technology being developed at Nantero, the place of my summer internship. I hope in this generation to contribute to the development of these exciting new discoveries in the interrelated fields of engineering, nanoscience and biology.

 

 

-Consider the academic programs in the school/college you indicated on page one. How will you utilize them to further explore your intended major or field of interest (or general academic interests if you’re undecided)?

 

Cornell’s reputation for interdisciplinary research and advanced approaches in nanotechnology are very exciting to me. The Duffield Hall facility and collaborative partnerships within programs is exactly the type of academic setting that is so appealing to me. The Center for Nanoscale systems and ongoing research in carbon-based nanoelectronics and silicon nanoelectronics is are of particular interest and relate to my separate summer internships working with printed circuit boards as well as carbon nanotubes. Also, the opportunity for undergraduate research at Cornell is very important to me.

 

I am seeking a broad-based and well-rounded education and Cornell’s strengths in Liberal Arts combined with excellence in science and engineering would provide the perfect match for my academic interests.

 

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Should You Include High School Experience On Your College Resume?

Continuing our series on resume writing, college students often ask us if they should include their high school experiences on a college resume.

 

Staff members at college career centers will often tell students that once in college, you should never list high school activities on a resume. However, from our perspective, most college freshman and even sophomores really don’t have enough college experiences that would reveal enough to a potential employer.

 

Plus, students should really be focusing on academics for the first year! Therefore, we suggest a combination resume that lists college activities first and relevant high school activities second. As the student gains more experience each year, high school activities can be pared down or eliminated.

 

Here is a resume that includes both high school and college experiences:

Sample College Resume

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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.

 

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How Students Achieve Success With Internship Connection

Interns

 

These days, it’s more stressful than ever to have a child in high school or college. As a parent, you hope she’s performing well in class, participating in extracurricular activities, and productively navigating the ever-complicated social sphere. That gives you (for better or worse) plenty to worry about, but such concerns aren’t the only ones you and your son or daughter grapple with: There’s also the question of the future. Can he get accepted to a good university and a course of studies that engages his interests? Can she find a well-paying job in her field upon graduation from college?

 

For high-school and college students at the cusp of higher education or the job market, an internship can be a powerfully transformative experience. Interning places them in a real-world position so they can gain direct experience in a field that interests them as a potential career. In a good internship, they’ll master both basic workplace and industry-specific skills while also significantly boosting their attractiveness to colleges and companies. An applicant who can reference a reputable internship complementing her occupational goals sets herself dramatically apart.

 

Ben was interested in both technology and business

Ben Prawdzik intern

 

Internship Connection has helped steer countless young people onto rewarding career paths. Take Ben Prawdzik, for example. As a sophomore at Phillips Andover, Ben was interested in both technology and business, and got in touch with us to test the professional waters. We found him an internship with Wayfair where—working directly under the firm’s vice president of technology—his assignments included everything from delivering new computers to company employees, to setting up workstations, to writing code.

 

He sat in on many departmental meetings, spent a day at the company warehouse and listened in on customer calls. “My position at CSN Stores really allowed me to see how the different departments (tech, customer service, finance, HR, PR, creative, logistics, and administration) all worked as one company to achieve larger goals.”

 

Now enrolled at Yale, Ben was able to apply what he’d learned through the Internship Connection program to land further interning opportunities at the Ragon Institute at Mass General Hospital and then Shell.

Lindsey Berg was intrigued by public relations

Lindsey Berg intern

 

Ben’s focused, accelerated path isn’t unusual among Internship Connection participants. Lindsey Berg, for example, hooked up with Internship Connection as a freshman at Ithaca College intrigued by public relations. We helped her find an internship doing PR for a variety of different clients at Marlo MC in Boston. A few summers’ worth of interning led her to a fulltime brand-marketing job with PMK*BNC Los Angeles, a leading marketing communications firm in the entertainment and lifestyle industry.

Amanda Korff was interested in the television and communications fields

Amanda Korff intern

 

Amanda Korff, meanwhile, was a high-school student interested in the television and communications fields when she came to us. We placed her in the news division of a cable-television station, where she learned her way around cameras and sets. Like Ben, that experience helped Amanda pursue several other high-end internships in the industry as a communications major at NYU. She’s now working at No. 14, a celebrity partnership agency.

 

In a Boston Globe interview, Amanda’s dad, Robert, reflected on the value of his daughter’s Internship Connection program.

“It was well worth it,” he said. “It’s hard to put a price on something like that when you’re talking about your kids.”

 

Mike wanted a mentor and an introduction to business

Mike Spiro intern

 

The mother of another of our students, Mike Spiro, said this about his experience interning with the CEO of Big Fish Communications:

“It was Mike’s first experience in the adult working world, a great introduction to business; he developed responsibilities and relationships with his mentor and colleagues and gained information for his future.”

 

Mike, who engaged in several more internships while attending UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management, is now a senior associate in business strategy at Vistaprint.

Climbing the ladder of success starts with seizing the first opportunity

There’s a science to landing a truly fulfilling and beneficial internship, and that’s where Internship Connection comes in. We offer an array of specialized programs for Greater Boston students in both high school and college, and they all lead to guaranteed internships.

 

We’re there for students throughout the entire internship process: We help them define their career goals, shape their resumes, prepare for interviews, and connect them to the best internship positions for their ambitions. We also keep in touch during the internship and help our participants best capitalize on their experiences.

 

Consider the immense value of an internship experience—it’s one that can set a student firmly on the right trajectory in life, after all. We’d love to talk to you about the possibilities.

 

There’s nothing more rewarding for us than connecting students with opportunities that advance their education and careers, and we take real pride in our track record.

 

Get in touch with us today if the tried-and-true Internship Connection approach sounds like something your son or daughter could benefit from—we’d love to work with you!

 

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Highlighting Your Summer Internship On Your College Application

Harvard College Veritas Flags

 

While it’s true that any extracurricular activity can potentially boost your attractiveness to colleges, those reviewing your application will be especially impressed if you demonstrate you’ve specifically pursued academic interests outside the classroom. That kind of initiative suggests an individual who’s truly passionate about something and takes the long view in career-planning. Often enough, it’s just such an individual who seeks out an internship.

 

Through the Internship Connection program, students keep a journal while interning and relate those reflections in interviews and college-application essays. We’re not only here to help you land an internship, after all. We also provide counsel on how to summarize your experiences to better place them in context—essential for promoting yourself to prospective universities and employers.

 

For instance, we’ve actually seen the following question on an Ivy League college application: “What are your academic interests and how will you pursue them on campus?”

“What are your academic interests and how will you pursue them on campus?”

The question provides an opportunity to show how interning honed your passions. You want to convey that you wouldn’t be arriving on campus with some nebulous, purely theoretical game plan, but, rather, with firsthand experience under your belt that refined your career goals and continues to motivate you.

 

One student applying to Cornell answered a question about his “intellectual interests” with a vivid description of interning with Nantero, a nanotechnology firm. After sketching out the company’s innovative research and development—in which he participated as a summer intern—he writes, “I hope in this generation to contribute to the development of these exciting new discoveries in science and technology through my study and research in the interrelated fields of engineering, nanoscience and biology.” Buttressing this statement with a few details from his internship makes the goals he lays out seem not just ambitious but entirely within his grasp.

 

Another student of ours did a fine job summarizing his internship with the Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD). There, he assisted in a departmental program rewarding state companies that generate jobs in low-income communities. The intern, interested in a business career, found his time at MOBD illuminating—“a real eye opener.”

 

“Helping less well-to-do communities in Massachusetts was very fulfilling,” he continued, “and I got a backstage view of how businesses operate. I also think I became more mature and responsible.”

Get A Solid Letter Of Recommendation

Another way to directly reference your internship in a college application is to ask your workplace mentor to contribute a letter of recommendation for you. Besides providing positive feedback on your character and skills, this serves as more evidence how much you valued interning and considered it formative.

 

Getting the most out of an internship goes beyond the actual doing of it: It also means productively assessing its impact on your life and career. That’s just what Internship Connection can help you do.

 

Photo credit: NathanF

5 Simple Steps To Ask For A Letter Of Recommendation

FivePerhaps you’ve completed a summer internship and are easing back into the school year. You’re suddenly struck with the realization that you haven’t yet asked for a letter of recommendation from the organization you interned with.  A letter is key—you’ll need it for college or job applications. It’s crucial “proof” of your experience reinforcing your resume.

 

It’s not too late to solicit that letter of recommendation. Follow these five easy steps to gracefully and effectively land a well-crafted one.

How to Get a Letter of Recommendation:

(1) Acknowledge how busy your supervisor is. The last image you want to project is one of self-absorbed entitlement; this person is taking time out of his or her busy day to do you an important favor, so acknowledge that generosity. At the same time, somebody taking on interns is obligated to provide letters of recommendation, so don’t be bashful about your request.

 

In short, be assertive—but not presumptuous.

 

(2) Offer options. Make it easy for the person to get the letter into your hands. If you’re still interning, ask for it well in advance so you can carry it home on your last day—about as easy for all involved as can be. Include your mailing address in your request no matter what to be safe.

 

(3) Ensure the letter of recommendation looks legitimate: Request that your supervisor print it on company letterhead. Also, ask that the letter be addressed “To Whom It May Concern:” so that it’s applicable in whatever situation you need it—applying for schools, jobs, or internships.

 

(4) Make sure academic interests are emphasized. You don’t want to suggest you were simply running around making copies as an intern, but instead forging practical workplace and problem-solving skills. Ask your supervisor to highlight the relevance of your internship duties to academic interests.

 

(5) Ask for a story. Encourage your supervisor to incorporate anecdotes that demonstrate your personality and abilities. This is partly to make the letter enjoyable to read; it’s also about humanizing yourself. Your letter should demonstrate you’re a real person with unique attributes—someone really worth hiring or accepting into a program.

 

Follow these straightforward tips, and you can feel more confident that a genuine, encouraging letter of recommendation is in the hands of people you’re trying to impress.

 

Photo credit: losmininos

Test Drive Your Career With A Fall Internship

Boston SkylineAre you a college student or recent college graduate in Greater Boston seeking some real-world experience to improve your career prospects? Or are you taking some time off to explore new opportunities through a gap year or semester?

 

You may already be aware that an internship is a fantastic choice for those purposes. But perhaps you associate such an option exclusively with summer.

 

The fall, however, can actually be the ideal time to complete an internship—and the highly trained team here at Internship Connection is here to help you do so.

The Benefits of an Internship

An unpaid internship offers an unparalleled opportunity to advance your academic and professional future. It’s a way to test drive your career: to sample the waters of an industry and see how it appeals to you.

 

You can fantasize about one job or another, but you can’t know what it’s really like without diving in. As an intern, you can try a job on for size and start mapping out a nuts-and-bolts career strategy.

 

It’s rewarding whether you’ve got a narrowed-down field of interest or not. Perhaps you’re drawn to the healthcare industry, but also harbor an abiding passion for politics. Internships shed light on the day-to-day jobs available in those fields, and thus help steer you toward one or another.

 

On the other hand, maybe you’ve got your heart set on a career in environmental work, but don’t know exactly in what capacity. Non-profit group? State management agency? Interning helps you navigate to a position best suited to your inclinations.

 

Let’s not forget that internships can lead directly to paid jobs: Think of them as auditions!

Fall Internships

What are the benefits of a fall internship? For one thing, a position tends to be easier to land: You’ll have less competition than in the summer crunch, when out-of-town students can compete directly with Boston-area locals.

 

Furthermore, most companies tend to take on fewer interns in the autumn. This means fall interns can cultivate deeper relationships with their workplace environment and colleagues as well as tackle more tasks, thus broadening their skill sets.

Internship Connection Works With You

Internship Connection is dedicated to connecting students and recent grads with internship positions and helping them succeed there. We’ll help you focus your goals, design your resume, and prep for interviews; we’ll also be there throughout your internship as guiding support.

 

Contact us today and test drive your career with a fall internship!

 

Photo credit: City of Boston Archives

Internships for College Graduates?

Lately, We’ve been contacted by graduates from prestigious colleges who haven’t been able to secure a job related to their college major. Well let us emphasize this; there is no shame, for many of you are in the same boat. An internship after college, paid or unpaid, gives you career exposure, builds your resume and provides valuable networking contacts that often lead to a job.

We recently placed an Ivy League English major on a prestigious government internship where she is using her writing talents, communicating to constituents. We connected a RISD furniture design major to a set design company for theater and trade shows. We brainstormed together and thought about different career fields that would make use of their talents and skills. A little tweaking of their resumes and voila- they were off in a new career direction. All it took was a little “out of the box” thinking.

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

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