The Lakeland Mirror

Interns learn tips for success

Karalee Manis, Managing Editor

During the spring Internship Orientation meeting, on Thursday, Jan. 21, students learned some key tips for a successful experience while interning.  

Hosted by Student Success and Engagement Coach Rick Herian and Great Lakes Grant Coordinator Lucas Dulmes, the orientation began with students introducing themselves and their internships.

After introductions, going over some upcoming events, notably the WorkForce Career & Internship Fair on Tuesday, Feb. 16, and then briefly outlining what would be discussed during the presentation, Herian began to speak about skills desired by employers. Some of these included communication, interpersonal, problem solving and leadership skills.

Dulmes continued the presentation by going over professional expectations.

“One of the key ways to act professionally is to dress appropriately,” said Dulmes.

Other expectations included arriving on-time, conveying a positive attitude and respecting employer deadlines.

Again stressing the importance of communication both from the intern and with the employer, Dulmes said, “Always be asking ‘How am I doing?’”

This will help interns know where they stand and if they need to work on improving certain aspects of their performance.

Regarding constructive criticism, Herian said, “Don’t take anything personally.”

Expectations continued with advice about learning how an organization works.

Understanding the goals, plans, or organizational chart of a business is a “great way to impress” superiors, said Herian.

The student interns were encouraged to demonstrate initiative through seizing opportunities to work with others, volunteering for tasks, conducting their own research and asking questions.

Regarding asking questions, Herian said, “Employers will always be receptive to that.”

Students were then asked what their personal and/or professional goals were for their internships. Most students agreed that their goal was to boost their portfolios.

Other students, like Janel Weir, junior Spanish and hospitality management major, said “Mine’s more about networking.”

Herian then went over some tips for advancing career goals, which included doing informational interviews with other departments and meeting with professionals to network.

The presentation highlighted what to do if students were having issues with their employers, such as not having the necessary tools to be successful or a supervisor not meeting with the intern regularly.

Herian said, “If you’re having a negative experience … we want to know.”

This information is necessary for the success coaches to help with the issues interns may be having at their job or so that they know that a certain business may not be a place for interns in the future.

The final slides of the presentation went over building a brand for the student, via LinkedIn, social media and other internships, and what to do now that or once a student has an internship, like updating your resume, tracking your hours and staying in constant communication with an employer.

Pointing out the benefits of a successful internship experience, Dulmes said, “Showing that you understand an organization might lead to a full-time job.”

If students decide they do not want to work for the organization where they interned or there is not a post-graduation job available through their internship, there are other resources for students to seek employment.

“Career Connect is a good place to find job postings,” or students can always “talk to their success coaches” for help in this area, said Dulmes.

For more information on internships, visit the Student Success and Engagement offices in the Campus Center.

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