How To Get More Responsibilities

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Unlike designer leather goods, not all internship programs are created equally. Some internship programs will have you slaving away all day in a fashion closet with little room to breathe, let alone take a bathroom break. Other internship programs will have you prancing around town like a pack mule bouncing from magazine delivery center to a showroom to the office. The worst internship programs have you sit idly for hours with nothing to do but submit to social media. What all of these specific, stereotypical internship programs have in common is the lack of responsibilities offered to the intern. If you find yourself stuck in one of these disappointing internships, there is a way to get more responsibilities to make your internship as fruitful as possible.

Put your thinking cap on

If your supervisor isn’t giving you projects, that doesn’t mean there are no projects to be done. Take it upon yourself to put your thinking cap on and create your own projects. Of course, coming up with these projects is easier said than done. How do you know what your boss wants you to do if he or she isn’t telling you? Take a second and evaluate the company. What’s important to them, and how are they ultimately profitable? If the answer to these questions is still a mystery after a good think, don’t be afraid to simply ask your supervisor and coworkers what problems they have that you could help with. Even if sharpening pencils is your new project, you’ll be a superstar intern for having an enthusiastic work ethic.

Date around

It’s very possible that there simply isn’t a lot to do in your department. It happens. Instead of accepting this, reach out to other departments (with your boss’ permission,) and see if there is anything you can help them out with. Doing this will make you valuable to the entire company and give you more responsibilities all at the same time!

Get your Scooby Doo on!

Sometimes downtime isn’t accompanied with downtime activities. If this occurs, a great activity to create for yourself is to research the competition. Sending your boss a Word doc of all of their competition’s recent projects and activities will not only make you look like a rockstar, it’s a huge contribution to help the company be successful. If you’re concerned with their success, they’re concerned with you.

The last resort

When all else fails, ask your boss for more responsibilities. It is very possible your boss has absolutely no idea you have so little to do. How you phrase this is crucial, though. Never open by saying you’re bored and have nothing to do. Respectfully restate some of your strengths you brought up in your interview and ask how if there is anyway you could utilize those skills to help them. It’s a win-win!

Ever created your own responsibilities? Share your story by commenting below!

How To Stay For More Than One Semester

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While autumn leaves have not yet sprouted into view, Fall is quickly approaching; especially in the internship world! When checking out our internship listings, you’ll see everyone from Harper’s Bazaar to Tom Ford is on the hunt for the perfect Fall interns to join their esteemed company. But what if you’ve already found your home? A home so cookie-cut to your hopes and dreams that every other company, no matter the prestige, does nothing to make your heart skip a beat. It’s love.

Interns commonly hop from company to company looking for the perfect fit but, if you’ve been lucky enough to find your soul internship, you don’t have to leave! Commit to your love! But you have to act quick if they’re unaware of your infatuation, because they may already be courting other candidates. Don’t fret! Here’s how to stay onboard for another semester.

The first step should obviously be being the best intern you can be. Show up early; stay late; complete all of your projects on time; go above and beyond on projects; email etiquette; etc. Everything you need to know to be the best intern is covered biweekly in FreeFashionInternship.com’s blog – so check it out (even though you are already here!)

Since you’ve already spent a semester learning the ins-and-outs of the position, you’re already more qualified than any other candidate off Fashion Ave. Mastery of these tasks is essential, but how to elongate your time with the company is by building on them. Ask for more responsibility to make yourself an invaluable asset to the company; an investment they couldn’t stand to lose. The more involved you are, the more sense it makes to keep you on board.

Similarly, hopefully you’ve maximized your days at the company not just hiding in the intern closet, but meeting and greeting with the other employees in the company (check out our blog post on how to meet your executives.) Making connections with everyone in the company is how you integrate yourself into the company culture and family. You want to become one of them! Leaving a lasting impression on more than just your boss can lead to a team of cheerleaders rooting for you to stay at the company.

After you’ve done everything necessary to qualify yourself for a multi-semester intern, it’s time for “the talk.” Email your boss asking him or her if you could sit down and speak with them when they have a chance. Once in your mini-meeting, start off the conversation by showering them with compliments. Compliment the position and how much you’ve learned from him or her. Not sucking up, but kind of suckng up… Follow your “sucking up” with something along the lines of: “That being said, I would love to have the opportunity to continue to grow with this company and expand my education here for another semester.”

If you’ve lived up to your superstar potential, they’ll be more than thrilled to keep you for another semester.

Stayed at an internship for more than one semester? Share your story by commenting below!

How Employers Look At Your Resume

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Just after the school bell rang while you were entrapped in an Olympic-like game of tag with your elementary school gal pals, you knew what time it was. Snack time! You froze solid in the sandbox, and then sprinted in your grass-stained Keds to be the first 1st grader in line at the cookie jar. You knew you wanted that jumbo chocolate chip cookie on top of all the rest and was not going to let that bully Billy push you out of the way. In this daily routine, you knew just what steps to follow to claim that perfect cookie sure to satisfy your adolescent sweet tooth. Just like you knew what to look for in the puffy-painted mason jar, employers are looking at your resume with the same eagerness and tenacity. They know just what they want, and won’t waste their time digging for it.  Employers obviously don’t want cookies (we think…), so what are they looking for in a resume?

The 5-second rule

Remember the 5-second rule you lived by in elementary school every time your baby hands dropped a piece of your delicious yet crumbly chocolate chip cookie? Now, every time you drop your resume into the hands of an employer, the 5-second rule applies. Except, the difference is they don’t want you (yet) as much as you wanted the cookie. Especially if you’re applying to a large company, the employer merely scans your resume for mere seconds to determine if your resume is a yay nor a nay. To combat the reinvented 5-second rule, use bullet points and fragments in your job descriptions so they are easy to read and digest in the few seconds they’re receiving attention.

Snickerdoodle bias

When you reached into the oversized cookie jar during snack time, your sweet tooth knew just what flavor it craved. If you were a snickerdoodle gal, the sugar cookies didn’t stand a chance. Just like your elementary cookie bias, employers are looking for specific keywords that pop out like jumbo chocolate chips. Refer back to the job description and add some relevant sprinkles of keywords to your resume. Just like how you manipulated your mom to bake your crush’s favorite cookies to bring to your assigned snack day, tailor your resume to the employer’s liking. A little secret: leadership experience, team building, problem solving, and written/oral communication skills are always craved.

Gingerbread; peanut butter; frosted; oh, my!

But don’t let the prettiest cookie catch your eye! It always turned out that the cookie slathered with a heap of buttercream frosting invisible under a layer of blue sprinkles was the one that make your tummy ache. Resumes decorated with fancy fonts and distracting colors do just the same, except an employer is smart enough to throw it in the trashcan. To keep your resume tasty and sweet, keep your recipe limited to a standard black, Times New Roman font.

Ewww, walnuts..

Walnut cooke? No, thank you! Typos and grammatical mistakes in your resume are just as icky as walnuts baked into a cookie with so much scrumptious potential and will be thrown away immediately.
Have any cookie jar stories (or resume advice)? Comment below!

5 Reasons You Didn’t Get The Job

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You’ve slaved over concocting the perfect cover letter that exudes professionalism and personality (tips here) and found the perfect “hire me” blazer only to find a rejection letter float into your inbox. It’s heartbreaking, but it happens to the best of us. Two options follow rejection: sit, sulk, and deem yourself a failure, or reflect on the mistakes you made that could have led to you not getting the position. The superstar intern chooses option number two, and we have the inside scoop for the mistakes he or she made.

Knowledge is power!

Without knowledge of a company and what they represent, a denial letter may be coming to your email. Knowledge is power! Not only may you be asked questions that imply a previous familiarity with the company’s work, a great way to stand out is to bring up their mission yourself and incorporate it into your answers. For example, if you’re interviewing for the Council of Fashion Designers of America, bring up their most recent work with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. If you’re interviewing with a PR firm like Krupp Group, bring up Jonathan Adler product placement on the blog Something Navy.

Do you research and troll the company’s website, Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. This will give you a well-rounded understanding of the backbone of the company, its key players, and reveal any recent news or accomplishments.

Be passionate

You need to have a valid reason why you want to intern for a company. Merely finding the job posting online and applying, only wanting an internship for the sake of having one, or being a die-hard fan of the company are not valid reasons. The intern who gets the job is the one with a deep passion for the company and the work they do. If you are applying to the position for shallow reasons that are apparent, your name is sure to be crossed off the list.

Brag, brag, brag!

Bragging is a HUGE turn-off, right? In the real world, yes, but in an interview, brag to your little heart’s desire! One of the biggest mistakes interns make is being timid about their strengths and accomplishments and failing to sell themselves. Employers aren’t mind readers and haven’t read your autobiography, so if you don’t tell them all of the amazing things you’ve done, they’ll never know! Impress them by pointing out how you spearheaded the creation of your school’s fashion magazine or created a list of over 2,000 bloggers at your previous summer internship. Those are wow factors!

You kept your mouth shut

After flawlessly answering every question the interviewer asked with poise and eloquence, you’re exhausted and ready to beat it. You know the you nailed the interview, so what’s the point in sticking around, right? Wrong! While you may have razzle dazzled the interviewer in the Q and A session of the interview, answering “do you have any questions for me?” with a blank stare can negate all of the perfectly formulated answers you gave beforehand. No worries, though – check out our post on interview questions you need to ask.

The plague of Solo cups

Guess what’s the easiest way to take yourself out of the running? It’s not a fresh coffee stain on your silk blouse; it’s not stuttering over your answers; it’s inappropriate use of social media! Welcome to 2014, where everyone is social media stalked under every circumstance. For the low-down on how you may be using social media inappropriately, check out our posts on social media etiquette you need to know and the truth about social media.

Have any more advice? Comment below and help your fellow interns!

Intern Spotlight: Courtland Thomas

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Name: Courtland Thomas

School: Columbia University

Major: Photography & Entrepreneurship/Innovation

Graduation date: May 2016

Current city: NYC

Hometown: Stuart, Florida

Currently working on:Halcyon Magazine, Jon Lou™

 

S: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your experience.

CT: I’m a journalist-turned-entrepreneur with a love for fashion, photography, and culture. I knew very early on I needed to move to New York to pursue my interests, and, even though I only applied to two NYC schools, I lucked out. A lot of my experiences meet at the intersection of Luck and Greediness; an opportunity came along, and I was very greedy and took it. As a result, I am very content with my overall experience in NYC and can’t wait to add to it.

 

S: Where have you interned to date?

CT: A luxury fashion/tech brand, the top modeling agency in the world, a B2B software company, a big-data marketing firm, a mobile app, a menswear blog, a ‘think tank,’ and a fashion PR firm.

 

S: What’s been your favorite internship and why?

CT: I prefer to think of having favorite parts from each of my internships. In some positions, I’ve had the chance to dress models backstage at Fashion Week and also attend the annual SXSW in Houston. I’ve prepared and presented pitch decks to investors, where I gained a lot of knowledge and skills that I wouldn’t have gained elsewhere. And, for some, it was just the experience itself, of working with like-minded people who are passionate about what they are doing.

 

S: Why do you intern?

CT: To learn. I emphasize that there is so much learning that needs to take place outside of the classroom prior to graduation, especially at Columbia where there is no real emphasis on pre-professionalism. I started my first internship in New York before I even arrived at Columbia because I was very adempt about learning as much as could about the various industries I was interested in. By interning here and there, and at different levels and in different departments, you eventually begin to learn which ones you dislike and which you want to spend the rest of your life working in. (It’s almost like dating.)

 

S: Can you elaborate on your comparison between interning and dating? I like that!

CT: Dating isn’t easy, nor is finding the right industry. My best friends and I used to always complain we were far too interested in too many fields to select a major; how would we choose one job? But once you start to really investigate what you’re interested in, and try working there (almost like going out on a first date, second, third…), you begin to understand what feels right. I was convinced I wanted to work in fashion, and, with my interest in journalism and that I barely got through art classes in elementary school, I naturally gravitated to PR. After my my stints at Fashion Weeks in New York and Miami, I realized PR isn’t entirely my favorite, and I moved onto fashion journalism.

 

S: What would you say is the most valuable thing you’ve learned through all of your experience?

CT: Two things that go hand-in-hand. The first – it’s all about presentation. Whatever you’re doing, you need to think of how it is going to look to the other party, whether it’s a customer, a business partner, a boss, or your parents. Something that appears put-together will look put-together, even if it isn’t. The second would be about passion. It’s so cliché, but for a reason – if you don’t love it, don’t do it. You don’t want to put time and energy into something that you won’t value five years later.

 

S: What do you think about unpaid internships? Worth it?

CT: It varies on industry, but generally, unpaid internships, regardless of the employer, are unfair to the student. Even cheap stipends aren’t valuable. (Where can you find a lunch under $10 in Manhattan?) However, I understand that some of us must “pay our dues,” especially if we have no experience or knowledge in the field we are interested in. I worked two unpaid internships before I realized I had certain skills that would be beneficial to an employer.

 

S: How do you define “paying your dues?” How long do you think it takes before your dues are paid?

CT: This relates to thinking in terms of the other party, particularly the company you’re interested in either working at or interning for; if you know nothing about the industry (ie. how it works, why certain things are done the way they are, etc.) you cannot offer much to the company. You have to start somewhere. I never knew how much effort went into a Fashion Week presentation, but I was very grateful a PR firm offered an unpaid internship to me; at the time, I was a bubbly, vivacious pre-college freshman with no fashion experience. Of course, nowadays, students can complete a lot of research online, but I wouldn’t necessarily equate research with real-time experience.

S: Who do you look up to, and who inspires you?

CT: Too many! I love Diane von Furstenberg, Cara Delevingne, and the founders of Proenza Schouler for being fun and true to who they are. I look up to Blair Waldorf, Marie Antoinette, and Cooper Anderson. I’m also inspired by three key entrepreneurs: Angela Ahrendts, who turned around an aging fashion brand; Sarika Doshi, who created an algorithm that determines the most sought-for fashion and beauty products; and my mother, who taught me to work diligently and choose your battles strategically.

 

S: Do you have any advice for writing a cover letter?

CT: Condense it into one paragraph and stick it in the body of the email. Your email is the first impression you set for yourself, and if it’s a five paragraph rambling of your experiences or a one-liner with no information, you’ve already lost. From the moment you introduce yourself, you need to capture your reader, which often involves summarizing who you are, what skills you have, why you want the work for the employer, and why you’re the best for the position. And yes, in one paragraph.

S: What about for resumes, since it is very important part of your application and is always up for debate by means of presentation?

CT: Don’t try to be fluffy or cute. Cut the fancy script fonts and special presentation. It should be one full page with the margins extended to the edges, one black font (extra points for serif), and the information listed linearly in chronological order in categories: education, recent/relevant experience, less recent/less relevant, and skills, with some space for your interests. I used to interview interns and some of their resumes included self-proclaimed titles like ‘Teen Journalist’ and ‘Superstar Fashionista’ – no.

 

S: When you interviewed interns, what did you look for? Where there certain mistakes they made that could be avoided?

CT:Passion and knowledge. You need to not only present yourself as intelligent and insightful about the industry the company is related to (whether it be fashion, music, finance, etc.), but also speak with conviction. The two should be easily synced because passion drives you to learn more. A large mistake I see students are making is asking about compensation too quickly. One intern literally asked me how much she would make per hour in a first-round interview. No. You need to explain why you are the best for the position, and once the company expresses an interest in working with you, then ask what compensation is involved, if any.

 

S: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

CT: Never settle. You should only apply to internships, apply to work at companies, or start companies if they excite you. If your stomach doesn’t churn with nerves on your way to the interview, if you don’t nervously await the response, and if you haven’t already picked out the first day’s outfit, you’re wasting your time. The best experiences are those in which failure is an option, but you work to prove it isn’t.

 

S: What’s the best piece of advice you could give to fellow interns?

CT: Probably the second best piece of advice I’ve ever received – just do it. If you skip any opportunity that you wholeheartedly consider, for fear of failing, you will literally spend days wondering ‘what if?’ It is better to fail than to not have tried at all; you only learn from the former.

 

S: You’ve created 292 Magazineand Halcyon Magazine. How did you get started and what was the process like?

CT: Both fell in my lap, and it was very hard to say no to such great opportunities. There was a lack in the market for the two magazines I created, and whereas one began as a hobby that turned into a publication, the other was already a serious publication. Because I had never founded or ran a magazine before, a lot of it was trial-and-error; but we were passionate, so the errors didn’t feel like failures.

 

S: What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a magazine?

CT: The mistake many first-time magazine publishers make is a lack of balance. A magazine, while can be all creative, isn’t truly successful without the business side. Who are you writing to? Doesn’t something like this exist already? How will you make money? These are the questions that anyone turning a creative hobby into a career needs to contemplate. Find someone who loves doing what you hate. If you don’t want to look at financials, find a statistics major who loves Excel, and vice versa. It’s about balance.

 

S: What were some of the errors you made in the process, and how did you learn from them?

CT: I didn’t know any of the answers to the questions aforementioned when I started 292 [Magazine,] and I only learned these were the right questions to ask when I started Halcyon [Magazine.] Luckily, however, magazines aren’t as complicated as other industries I’ve worked in; because a magazine is flexible, you can change gears much quicker than, say, a fashion designer, who has to research trends, purchase fabric, and work with a manufacturer weeks in advance.

 

S: It looks like you’ve risen from interning to obtaining actual jobs. How did you climb the ladder as only a college student?

CT: Passion, commitment, and an insatiable curiosity.

 

S: What field would you ultimately like to go into? You’ve worked in marketing, editorial, and photography. How do those mesh?

CT: Fashion! It’s such a creative, vibrant industry. The fact that there is always a changing component, that not every day is the same, is most attractive.

 

S: Where does your interest in fashion stem from? Was is always a passion of your’s?

CT: Pretty much. I’ve liked styling since high school, although I could never communicate my interest clearly. I really enjoyed how people had different styles, and how one outfit would complement one person’s wardrobe, but not another’s. I was really convinced, in the twelfth grade, that I could design clothes, so I staged an eco-fashion show for my philosophy final. Needless to say, my designs never made it to market.

 

S: How do you juggle all of your commitments? You seem like a pretty busy guy.

CT: I get this question a lot. It’s about passion and discipline. If you think about it, everyone from Alexander Wang to James Franco has 24 hours in one day. You should often prioritize and aim for simplicity. Setting yourself up for success helps: Barack Obama only wears brown and black suits because it is one less decision he has to make each morning.

 

S: Any interesting stories or celebrity sighting from working at New York Fashion Week?

CT: After brushing arms with Olivia Palermo, spotting John Jannuzzi, and taking a selfie with Chiara Ferragni (I didn’t know she wrote The Blonde Salad at the time!), it’s hard to top S/S 2013.

 

S: What exactly was your role in working the shows?

CT: I’ve moved around a lot. My first show was dressing the models. One of a bathing top’s straps broke, and we had to quickly fashion a makeshift rubber band in its place seconds before call. My second was coordinating a presentation, involving everything from greetings to gift bags. The next season, I worked in Logistics, communicating with PR agencies to handle seating. My most recent, I attended as press, making standing room at Nautica and sitting front row at Zac Posen. I think the only roles I haven’t yet filled are the model and designer.

 

S: Wow! Which publication did you attend as press for? Did you sit or stand next to anyone notable?

CT:My own! 292 [Magazine] was awarded press credentials. To be honest, I was more focused on the models. I always find the models more exciting than celebrities. I remember seeing RJ King, Elisabeth Erm, and, watching Coco Rocha open for Zac Posen, was amazing.

 

S: Dream NYFW Schedule?

CT: Stella McCartney, Carolina Herrera, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, Topshop, Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, and end the week with an industry party.

 

S: Any networking advice?

CT: Call it ‘making friends,’ not networking.

 

S: What’s next for you?

CT: Aside from continuing my work with Jon Lou™, launching a photography magazine in September, and attending Fashion Week in the same month, I’m not entirely sure – and that’s what makes it so exciting.

 

S: Any last words?

CT: I will be be launching a new blog on my adventures in fashion this fall! Stay tuned x

 

How To Show Your Personality In An Interview

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The last thing anyone wants is to come across as a boring, bland Plain Jane in a much anticipated interview. No one wants to hire a big old bore. But you have to stay professional in an interview, right? While it is very important to maintain a mature, professional demeanor during an interview, there are ways to showcase your personality as well. Knowing how to show your personality while staying professional is how you nail an interview! Showing two sides of yourself at once isn’t as complicated as you might think, though. Here’s how:

Show your passions

Are you an avid reader? Play tennis on the weekends? It’s all applicable! It may happen that an employer asks you what your hobbies and interests are. This question is an excellent opportunity to show your personality in a natural way. It gives an employer an idea of whom you are as a well-rounded person, not just a worker. Who know – maybe you’ll have something in common?

True life: I’m in an interview

The best way to set yourself apart from all of the rest is to show yourself! Using real-life examples that show your strengths and weaknesses add a personal element to an impersonal interview. Check out our article on how to discover your biggest strengths and weaknesses.

Be a stalker

Let’s be real – we are all professional social media stalkers. From tracking down your ex’s latest wayfarings to envying the glamorous lifestyles of the girls you hated in high school, we know our way around Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. When it comes to an interview, put those skills to the test by researching the interviewer. You most likely will not be able to access their Facebook, but Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are great platforms to gain some inside information about whom they are as an actual person.

Who knows – maybe you’re sorority sisters? Although, the connection doesn’t have to be as major as sisters for another mister; it should just be something you can casually allude to in the interview. Don’t be afraid to say you stalked them (but don’t use the word “stalk.”) It shows that you are very interested in the company and have done an extensive amount of research. If anything, they’ll be complimented. In addition, a great way to make that connection is to take a break from sharing your life story and ask the interviewer about him or herself. Try asking them what drew them for the company, about their career history, and why they chose a career in that industry.

Have some tips and tricks to add? Comment below!

How To Know If An Interview Went Well

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We’ve all been there – the relentless obsessing if last night’s date went as well as you thought it did. Was it just “nice to meet me?” When will he pick up his phone and text me? If only we possessed the power to read every compliment or insult running in his mind! Just like we fret over these silly, frustrating boys, walking out of an interview is just as anxiety prone. While you’re not wondering if he meant to brush up against your hand on the stroll to the subway just before you doze off, after an interview, you obsess over every little question the interviewer asked. Was the interview too short? Were my answers good enough? How many other candidates are being interviewed? Forget about receiving the boy’s casual “hello,” now you’re anxiously waiting for the wonderful notification of a new message in your inbox.

Instead of gluing your phone to your hand, here are some ways to know that your interview went well (you’re on your own about the boy.)

They ask for references

One surefire way to know if an employer is interested in hiring you is if they ask for references. It shows that they’re very interested in knowing what kind of a worker you are. They wouldn’t spend the time contacting your previous employers if they weren’t interested! In case this (hopefully) happens, make sure you come prepared with a printed list of three to five references. A printed list is much more presentable than writing them down on the fly.

The difference between 15 minutes & 30 minutes

Even though the measurement is only in minutes, there is a huge difference between a fifteen minute interview and a thirty minute interview. The longer the interview, the more apparent it is that you’re hitting it off with the employer and that they’re interested in learning more about you. They’re very busy people who wouldn’t waste their time talking to someone they saw no potential in. One way to instigate a lengthy interview is to keep the conversation flowing at a reasonable pace by not rushing through your questions and answers. Take time to think what you’re going to say. Not only will your answers be better, the conversation will be more developed.

A second date!

The boy finally texted you! Yay! Just as his casual “hey” proves that he likes you, an employer asking to meet again is a great sign that the interview went well and they want to see more of you. They may even introduce you to other members of their team. Basically – it’s the best sign.

Have any stories of a time an interview went really well? Share it with us by commenting below!

The 5 Essential Internship Skills

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Everyone has special talents that makes them a superstar intern. From a smiley, positive attitude to a classy sense of style (with fabulous shoes,) whether you realize it or not, success is a result of an impressive skill set. While we all have individual skills that make us the awesome interns we are, there are basic, specific skills every intern should learn as a basic basis for success. Behold…

We already know this

As inhabitants of generation Y tasked with copious school projects and essays, we’re familiar with Microsoft office. Whether it is creating a PowerPoint for your marketing class or writing a 12-page essay in a dreaded liberal studies class, the software is a most likely mastered essential. We may have mastered those two programs, but there is a third related component that will elevate your internship skill set: Excel. Depending on the internship, you will be tasked with creating extensive Excel documents filled with meticulous details about the company’s relationships. The more you know about Excel, the better. Having the ability to add fancy pivot tables and formulas will set you apart from all of the other interns who are struggling to input each individual number. Knowing these hacks will extremely expedite your work, resulting in impressing your boss with your timeliness and work ethic.

Be a leader

From Greek life incolvement to contributing to your school newspaper, there are many ways to get involved on your campus. We’ve been told getting involved a way to make friends in a new environment, but it’s also a great way to develop leadership skills that look outstanding on your resume. When applying to your first internship, it may be worrisome what to put on your resume since you don’t have any prior experience in the professional workforce. Getting involved in extracurricular activities and joining campus organizations can act as substitutes for prior experience in the industry and put you right up there with those who have it.

Ditch the adjectives

In school, we’re accustomed to writing mature sentences decorated with adjectives and persuasion. But, in the work world, this style of writing will work against you. Employers are busy and don’t have time to read pretty sentences. In your cover letter and resume, keep your writing straightforward and to the point. The same rule applies to writing emails to your boss. Short and simple.

Find your inner-techie

Knowing how to use Photoshop is only applicable to graphic design internships, right? Wrong! Having the ability to use Photoshop is especially useful in marketing and PR. It’s very common to use Photoshop to make press clippings in those internships. Having this skill is favored by your boss because they don’t have to take the time to teach you. As crass as that sounds, it’s true. Try taking a Photoshop class at your school. If your school does not offer a class like that, download a free trial of Photoshop and use the many educational resources on the World Wide Web to teach yourself. Don’t worry – learning Photoshop is a lot easier than it sounds.

Keep a smile on your face

Nothing compares to an intern who brings a bundle of sunshine to the office. A happy intern is a memorable intern. Having a smile on your face automatically makes employees at the company think “wow, what a positive intern eager to work.” You’ll stand out from all the rest.

Know of any other skills you think are essential to know? Comment below!

How To Rock A Remote Internship

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Lackadaisically strolling into Starbucks to order your much needed soy latte with sugar-free vanilla, you see caffeinated freelancers captivated by their blacklite computer screen. Not only do they make you feel extremely unproductive for having just put yourself together, how cool do they look! Substituting a cubicle for a swanky cafe – yes, please!

While we’re not at the level to freelance just yet, we can emulate these hipster worker-bees by interning remotely. Our recent article on the benefits of interning remotely brought you the inside scoop, but now it’s time to learn how to rock your remote internship!

Plan it out

One of the great aspects of interning remotely is the pleasure of working at your leisure. But the independence can work against you. If you don’t plan a work schedule, it’s very likely procrastination will meet disorganization and cost you the intern of the year award. Create a schedule just like an office job, deciding which days you want to work and allocating time slots.

Don’t get distracted!

Whether it’s the Law and Order: SVU marathon or the dreamy-eyed hunk sitting across from you at the coffee shop, distractions are like a moth to a flame when interning remotely. Without a supervisor, who’s going to know about the hour long gossip sess with you GBF? While you may not get caught, these interruptions will hinder your work ethic. Combat these distractions by finding a space where you can focus. In addition, do a digital detox. Turn off the TV; put your phone in your bedside drawer; change your Facebook password for four hours. And, whala – distractions gone!

Keep in touch

Just because you don’t have the ability to walk up to your boss’ desk to ask about your daily duties, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask. In a remote internship, it is more important than ever to keep in close communication with your supervisor. E-mail is a common method to do so, but integrating Skype or Google Hangout can drastically improve your communication.

Dress for the day

No office means PJs all day, right? While that’s a viable option, how you dress really does have an effect on how you feel. If you dress like a lazy bum, you’ll work like a lazy bum. If you dress like a poised professional, you’ll work like a poised professional. Slipping off the sweats and pulling on a pencil skirt can really get you in the work mode. If you can’t find the point in dressing this way while staying at home, join the bundle of freelancers in the outside world while looking your best.

Switch it up

At school and in the office, you’re confined to a designated area that is just as rigid as elementary school assigned seating. Choosing the same scene for your remote internship can emulate this monotony and add to a slip in productivity. Take advantage of your freedom and switch up your office spaces. Venture out to your local coffee shop; find a quiet nook in your public library; even bring a hotspot to the park. Mixing up your working space prohibits the formation of a comfort zone, allowing you to work alertly.

Additional suggestions for your fellow remote-ees? Comment below!

The Biggest Cover Letter Pet Peeves

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Whether it be the overuse of the word “like” or bad parking, we all have individual pet peeves that drive us crazy to the core. The aggravating annoyance of the nails-on-a-chalkboard action occupies your every thought with fuming anger. Since these actions are such an imposition to our sanity, we not only avoid them at all costs, but religiously refrain from doing them ourselves.

Believe it or not, the same pet peeves that make you want to tear out your freshly ironed hair are applicable to a cover letter. Certain tweaks common in cover letters bug employers just as much as the girl next to you in class chomping on her nail bits. No need to fret; here are the pet peeves that may be getting in your way.

Keep it clean

Just like you want to look sharp and professional in an interview, your cover letter should have the same shirt-tucked-in personality. The outfit: clean, white paper; 11 or 12 font size (preferably Times New Roman); minimal bolding and italics; and no bright, distracting colors.

Consider your audience

Let’s clarify this – a cover letter is not a Facebook message to your best gal pal painted with slang, fragments, and kitty-cat emojis. The tone of your cover letter should be as if you are speaking to the employer or a professor in-person: with pose, professionalism, and a business mindset.

Consider your audience, again

How would you feel if someone called you Mr. or Miss. when you’re only in your twenties? Addressing a cover letter to “Dear Miss. X,” “To whom it may concern,” or “Dear sir or madam” is not only extremely impersonal, it’s a bit of an insulting turn-off to young adults. Check out how to scour the Internet to find an employer’s name here.

The worst of them all…

The biggest pet peeve of all is (are you ready?): careless grammatical errors. Spelling errors, typos, and even accidently writing the wrong company name are one-way tickets to the trashcan. Double-check. Triple-check. Quadruple-check!

Eager for more? Check out our article on the 5 biggest employer turn-offs.