Internship Connection featured in Business Insider

Todd Stone, a writer for “Business Insider” in New York City contacted me about our students interested in entrepreneurship. We had quite an interesting conversation and I was happy to tell him that many students lately have a real interest in business. I love placing students with young entrepreneurs who may be 5-10 years older and just a few steps ahead of them career wise. The mentors are so enthusiastic about their new ventures and our students learn what it takes to create and run a successful business including all the highs and lows. Students learn about venture funding, marketing, managing employees, the importance of networking and much, much more.

Currently we have placed students with interests in entrepreneurship at: a young NYC digital marketing agency, a Harvard University incubator, a science related start-up in the Boston Innovation District, a fashion forward start-up on the Boston waterfront and a focus group for a new beauty company in NYC.

-Dr. Internship

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

Great News from Students and Mentors, Summer 2012

We have been receiving wonderful updates from students and mentors.  A few samples:
David Zhao from Acton Boxborough High
Tell me about your experiences.
The workplace feels more like the set of “The Social Network” than an actual workplace; FanPier’s harbor location and the informal work environment are truly invigorating and inspiring. The work was involving, but all I needed to recuperate was the view out the 14th floor-windows, where I could see all of Boston sprawling beyond the harbor. In terms of the internship, my mentor Jason started me off with a research project for potential business partners (preferably start-ups) and I compiled an Excel spreadsheet with data for each partner. That project took the entire day, though Jason took me out to lunch with a fellow MIT-Sloan peer. We discussed my college plans, the application process, and potential majors.
Jason truly embraces the role of mentorship–he’s been recommending books, checking in constantly, and teaching me various business essentials (e.g. LinkedIn, database-use, etc.) Jason’s also been asking me for ideas. All in all, the first-day experience was really eye-opening and exciting. I really think that I’ll enjoy this internship and learn a great deal about business, particularly if I want to pursue entrepreneurial business myself.
Daniel Alpert from Needham High.
What has been the best part of your internship?
I am learning about business, especially how to run a start-up company. Also, there is a ping pong table there.
Describe a situation in which you took a risk by putting yourself in a new position, such as meeting new people, asking questions, making suggestions.
I’m the only high school kid with a lot of college students. I didn’t know anyone and they all knew each other so I had to put myself out there to make friends. Over time, I felt less intimidated and now I go out to lunch with them.
Ally Reiner Wellesley, MA.  Lehigh University College of Business and Economics.
It’s been going great at the fashion company. I have a lot of responsibility and have been learning a lot. I’ve been able to help out with a lot of the marketing ideas and events in addition to some PR responsibilities.  
From the Mentor of Max Lasser from the Dexter School in Brookline, MA.
Good morning Carole,
Max is doing great! He attended the EACC meeting last week where he got to see how companies are awarded state tax incentives based on their job creation commitments. The meeting was open to the public; he saw various company executives, local, and state politicians. It was a good experience for him. He is very well mannered and always eager to help. We are glad to have him for the summer. Aiden
Emma Witherington from Deerfield Academy.
I’m really enjoying myself at the non-profit. Janel, Blake, and Kay have all been welcoming and helpful guides. That said, they still treat me as a mature adult and expect me to be able to handle important projects.  Because it is just these three women who work in the office, I have great opportunities to partake in hands-on work relevant to the organization. I am taken seriously, and feel I like I am genuinely helping them during their busiest season by providing a fresh and thorough hand on time-consuming projects.
List the kinds of things that you’ve been doing at work.
I’ve been three days so far. The first day was largely about understanding the organization, so I went over a binder of materials that Blake had prepared for me. After this introduction to the business, I completed my first task of choosing photos from recent events in Tampa and Dallas and uploading them, now displayed on the company’s Facebook page. Since then, I’ve been given a larger assignment in which I research other organizations (some for charity, others not) and put information like event size, fundraising means, and sponsorship into an organized spreadsheet.
Kevin Zhu from Newton South High School.
The internship at the State House has been quite relaxing and interesting. They said that the real fun begins in July, because that is when all the bills and policies really start to take motion into being passed, so next month will be quite hectic in the State House.  What I have been doing for my first week is participating in the Speaker series that they have at the statehouse, as well as creating a e-mail list for my representative when there isn’t a speaker at that time.
Griffin Green from The Rivers School, Weston, MA.
List the things you are doing relating to your interest in robotics and engineering: 
1.     I created a pallet of potential stained glass samples for use in their tesserae software
2.     I worked in Solid Works (CAD software) designing 3d models for a potential tool to cut the glass
3.     Started to make a design and cut glass tile by hand (soon to be replaced with a more efficient method)
I have been very excited about my internship. I feel that the work is very important to the company. I have had the opportunity to work extensively with Ted as he helps to guide me in the right direction and with Paul and Blake. Each of them has shown me a different aspect of the company. When I work with Paul, I focus on the design process, which eventually leads to the creation of the product. On the other hand, Blake allows me to explore the business aspects of the company. On top of all of this, the work environment is very relaxed and makes me feel right at home.


New York High School Students make a Splash on their Summer Internships!

Congratulations to Evan Attipoe, Mt. Vernon, NY and Sophie Nir from Manhattan who started their career paths through their summer internships in marketing and fashion.

Evan’s objective was to gain exposure to the field of marketing and digital media. We helped Evan create a resume and prepare for a workplace interview that emphasized his interest in graphic design as well as previous participation in DECA,the International Association of marketing for students. We matched Evan to a NYC brand development and marketing agency where the office vibe was young and energetic. The CEO told us that Evan was a valuable addition to his staff and was responsible for much of the research for their clients.

Sophie is a young woman, who like many girls,is interested in fashion and makeup. Yet because of her experience as a consumer, she was able to express her own opinions about how items they might be packaged and marketed more effectively.We matched Sophie to a seasoned marketing mentor who was in the initial stages of starting a focus group and online community for girls to share their shopping finds, beauty advice, and style tips. Her responsibilities included:involvement in online marketing + social media efforts through short-form communications, watching, storyboarding and writing short video segments on new trends. Sophie reported to the Senior Directors.

Now, even as high school students,Evan and Sophie have resume and interviewing skills that will enable them to secure their own internships and jobs in the future. Fresh from their summer internships,with significant experiences to include on their resumes, they have opened the doors for exciting opportunities in their college years and beyond.

-Dr. Internship

Announcing 2 Fabulous Fashion Internships in NYC

These CEO’s just contacted me for high school or college interns from our program.

1. West 21st St. Creative Marketing Agency with prestigious fashion clients:

  • Research fashion trends
  • Write blog posts
  • Manage social media properties and support and maintain fashion sites (ecommerce and branding)
  • 3-4 days a week with Fridays off!

2. Mid-town agency has created a new site for girls to share their shopping finds, beauty advice, and style tips with each other and the world.

Are you a High School Junior or Senior who has shopped at a mall?

In this part-time internship you will:

  • Become part of a focus group for teens
  • Work with online marketing + social media
  • Watch, storyboard, and write short video segments on new trends
  • Report to the Senior Directors


Updates from Former Internship Connection Interns

It’s so rewarding as an educator to keep in touch with our interns. We love to hear how their high school internship jump-started a career or helped with a college acceptance.

I was honored to help our former student, Jennifer Pierre from Roslindale, MA. We secured a government internship for Jen when she was a student at BB&N. She then went on to become class president at Bryn Mawr. I came to bat several times for her, recommending her as applied for and was accepted to several internships during her college years, from a position with the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development to an internship at the UN.

Ben Prawdzik, formerly a student at Philips Andover wrote to say that he is enjoying his freshman year at Yale. We placed Ben on an internship as a sophomore in high school with the VP of Technology at the fastest growing e-commerce business in the US. Ben was offered a paying job there his junior summer and made fabulous career connections.

I recently heard from Lauren Cohen. When she was the editor of the Newton North High School newspaper, we matched her to a journalism internship at Women’s Business, Boston. She then went on to U Wisconsin and told us that her high school experience led to an internship at Dateline NBC in NYC.

As I tell my friends and colleagues, this is certainly the most rewarding work that I have experienced in my professional career. To my former interns, keep in touch and let me know if I can help you as you embark on your career paths.

-Dr. Internship

A Sampling of 3 New York Internships- Summer, 2010

Divya, from Old Westbury NY is a junior at Boston University and contacted Internship Connection about a summer internship in Public Relations. We matched her to an internship at Publishers Clearing House where her mentor crafted a thoughtful letter of recommendation. Certainly this letter will be valuable as she applies for jobs after graduation. “Divya has taken on individual responsibilities more often assigned to a full time associate. She diligently prepared the team for projects and attended numerous meetings, both internal tactical meetings and vendor appointments.Divya is not only intelligent, but she also possesses the intangible qualities of being adaptable, dependable and passionate about new opportunities.”

Tanna, a high school sophomore from New York City, was interested in antique books. After much research, we connected her to a rare book dealer. In her recommendation letter, the owner described Tanna’s experiences there. Tanna catalogued new arrivals and wrote catalogue descriptions, archived a NYC poet’s body of work and personal library, working on location in the poet’s residence. She participated in rare book field trips around the city, meeting professionals in the field. She went on book-buying trips and visited a professional paper conservator and book binder and even attended an auction of books and manuscripts at a prominent New York auction house. Her mentor wrote, “Tanna has the intelligence and ambition necessary to make a valuable contribution to the field of literature and rare books, or whatever field she chooses to pursue.”

Jared, a high school sophomore from New York City, was interested in “helping people” and social justice. We matched him to a famous non-profit that empowers young people to change the world. In his Internship Connection Journal, Jared wrote that he executed write-ups on social networking, prepared for an award show on VH1, and researched and contacted every minor baseball team! He especially enjoyed the intern scavenger hunt because it was a great bonding experience.

Internships illegal according to the NY Times?

New York Times Article: “The Unpaid Intern, Legal or Not”

Lately, the legality of unpaid internships is being discussed in the news.It’s common knowledge that employers expect students to have completed more than one internship before graduation. The National Association of Colleges and Employers survey found that 50 percent of graduating students had participated in internships.Yet, state and federal government are now looking at certain legal criteria that must be satisfied for internships to be unpaid.

The bottom line is, “Is the internship educational?” When I talk to a potential internship mentor, the first question I ask is “What type of projects and activities would our student be involved with?” The experiences must be meaningful and educational or I would never place a student there. Both the student and mentor should benefit equally.The article mentions Trudy Steinfeld, director of N.Y.U.’s Office of Career Services, who said she increasingly had to ride herd on employers to make sure their unpaid internships were educational.

The interns in our program would never experience what this article describes:

“One Ivy League student said she spent an unpaid three-month internship at a magazine packaging and shipping 20 or 40 apparel samples a day back to fashion houses that had provided them for photo shoots. In a second case, a N.Y.U. student who hoped to work in animation at a Manhattan children’s film company was assigned to the facilities department and ordered to wipe the door handles each day to minimize the spread of swine flu. If that happened in our program, I would pull the intern out immediately and arrange for a different placement!

Personally, I have seen so many benefits for our students. A high school internship leads to a more prestigious one in college which leads to a meaningful job after graduation.Internships — paid or unpaid — serve as valuable steppingstones that help young people land future jobs. “Internships have become the gateway into the white-collar work force,” said Ross Perlin, a Stanford graduate and onetime unpaid intern who is writing a book on the subject.

As always, the deciding factor must be, “Is the internship educational?” which of course, is core of our Internship Connection program.


My Comments on the NYTimes article “The Unpaid Intern”

The Unpaid Intern, Legal or Not
Published: April 2, 2010

I recently heard from a parent of a former student we had placed on a government internship. He commented on the Times article and complimented our internship program, stating that he so appreciated our emphasis on educational internships.

National Association of Colleges and Employers survey found that 50 percent of graduating students had participated in internships. Internships — paid or unpaid — serve as valuable steppingstones that help young people land future jobs. “Internships have become the gateway into the white-collar work force,” said Ross Perlin, a Stanford graduate and onetime unpaid intern who is writing a book on the subject.

However,Many students said they had held internships that involved noneducational menial work. To be sure, many internships involve some unskilled work, but when the jobs are mostly drudgery, regulators say, it is clearly illegal not to pay interns.

One Ivy League student said she spent an unpaid three-month internship at a magazine packaging and shipping 20 or 40 apparel samples a day back to fashion houses that had provided them for photo shoots.

At Little Airplane, a Manhattan children’s film company, an N.Y.U. student who hoped to work in animation during her unpaid internship said she was instead assigned to the facilities department and ordered to wipe the door handles each day to minimize the spread of swine flu.

Trudy Steinfeld, director of N.Y.U.’s Office of Career Services, said she increasingly had to ride herd on employers to make sure their unpaid internships were educational.

Biomedical Internship for an 8th grader?

Believe it or not, I’ve had more than one request for this …and the answer is….. no! Which brings up a very important point. What is the best age for an internship?

It really depends on the maturity of the student. Sometimes a high school freshman can be more mature and ready for an internship than a high school senior. One very young student in our program did so well at her internship at an arts organization, the director told me that she was better than interns they’ve had from Harvard.

Ideally, sophomore and junior summer is ideal for a high school student. By then, they may have had an interesting course that sparked their interest or a school or family trip that inspired them. One mom told me that she thought her daughter would enjoy interior design but when we met with her, she spoke enthusiastically about a school trip to Washington, D.C. We placed her on a government internship at the State House where she was exposed to a myriad of experiences- everything from seeing how legislation is passed to attending hearings and lectures from mayors and governors.

With the internships fresh in their minds, students talk about their experiences during college interviews and on college essays.

So…. to our 8th graders (and their parents) – not this summer, but it’s always good to plan ahead.

-Dr. Internship

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