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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?

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

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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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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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.

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!

 

Internship Consultation Free

 

Internship Connection

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Get in touch:

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

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