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The Ultimate Guide to Internships

Posted by on May 2, 2015 in Internships

Ultimate Guide to Internships CoverI’m very pleased to announce the recent publication of my new book, “The Ultimate Guide to Internships” !

It offers my very best advice about…

1) How to Get an Internship

2) How to Thrive in an Internship Once You Have One

If you or someone you know is after an internship or on their way to one, then this is the book you need to get your hands on!

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Take Pictures During Your Internship

Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Internships

Steve JobsYou know what a lot of interns forget to do during their internship? Take pictures. You should take pictures during your internship?

Why?

Well, your internship is likely going to be part of your personal legend, your origin story. When you run for President and they do the documentary about how you got your start, you’re going to want to have some early photos of that time you started as an intern in XYZ place.

Some people will go back to the places where they got their start, when they are older, to recreate photos – but those are never as genuine or compelling.

Get some photos from the very beginning – your future self will thank you.

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Pay Attention to the CC During Your Internship

Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Internships

Reply AllSo…this falls under the category of one of those habits/skills that most professionals should have in the workplace, but often don’t.

Which means, as an intern, this is something you should get used to doing from the get-go.

If you get an email in the workplace and the sender has added somebody to the cc line, there is probably a reason they have. Which means, when you reply, you should keep whoever is copied on the chain copied.

The only exceptions to this are:

1) When it’s a big group email and you obviously don’t want to cc 9000 people on your individual response.

2) When you are sure you understand why the person who has been cc’d has been cc’d, and you have a specific, good reason to leave them off the reply. If you leave them off the cc, it might even be worth explaining why you’ve done that in the text of the email.

Otherwise, it just seems like you’re being careless with the reply/reply-all button. Don’t be a careless intern; be a careful one!

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Less is More During an Internship

Posted by on May 11, 2015 in Internships

LessWhen you first get into an internship, it is very normal to approach it with the assumption that more is better…

Bigger desk is better

More work outfits to choose from is better

Knowing more people is better

Being involved on more projects is better

Being there longer is better

But, it might be worth considering how sometimes, less is more during an internship.

Don’t be tied down to one work station, be flexible, be mobile

Don’t waste mental energy on what to wear – have three suits that are all the same

Know fewer people, but know them better

Do fewer projects, but do them really well

Be there less time, but make the time you are there spectacular

Sometimes less is more in life, and in internships.

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Add Value During Your Internship

Posted by on May 8, 2015 in Internships

MonopolyWant to know how to really knock it out of the parks during your internship? Figure out how you can add value.

“Value?” you may ask. “That sounds pretty vague! What does that mean? How do I know how to add value?”

Well my friend, that is a fair question. In order to measure value, you need to have some kind of currency. So maybe ask yourself: what is the currency of your internship site? It’s probably not money, it’s probably something like customer service or learning or the quality of editing.

Figure out what that currency is, and then offer more of it. That’s how you’ll really crush that internship.

Added bonus: the more value you offer, the more you will likely learn. You get out of an internship what you put into it.

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Sometimes You Shouldn’t Take No For An Answer

Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Internships

DeniedIt might not work all the time, most of the time, or even half the time, but sometimes when you’re looking for an internship, not taking no for an answer is the smart move.

Any application you fill out in your life is a filter. That’s all applications are. Just a way to figure out who should move onto the next step from those who won’t. Usually, the filtering takes place when a reviewer tells one applicant, “you go” and another “you stop.” But sometimes, more often than most would-be internship applicants may realize, there are opportunities to go even after one has been told “no.”

Sometimes, the “no” is just another, albeit extreme, part of the filter. If, even after an applicant is given a “no,” they come back and make a strong case about why they should get to make the next step, it can be a demonstration about how much they have to offer.

It’s not something one sees often on TV shows like Shark Tank or American Idol (where pleas to judges often lead nowhere). But in the internship world, it can almost never hurt – even after a “no” – to make a case one more time.

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One Page Intern Resumes

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Internships

PaperMulti-volume tomes could be written about the philosophy of the resume…it is a very favorite subject of so many!

One of the biggest debates is whether a resume should be one page or whether it can be more than one page. Which is right?

Well, the fact that so many people have a variety of opinions likely means that there is no one right answer. I tend to think that one page is the way to go, but a lot of people whose opinion I respect disagree.

Probably the most important thing to understand, however long your resume happens to be, is what is its purpose? Is your resume meant to:

1) Just get somebody’s attention?

2) To convey information about your skills?

3) To convey information about how awesome you are?

…or is it something else?

If your answer is, “well…all three” that’s ok – but it may be worth choosing which one is the most important goal, and designing your resume around that goal. Don’t try and make one resume do too much – there are other channels of communication to a prospective intern supervisor. Resumes can be really useful, but don’t forget to use other things, for other purposes, too.

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