Intern Spotlight: Arielle Schrader

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School: Belmont University

Major: Public Relations

Graduation date: May 2015

Current city: Nashville, TN

Hometown: Southaven, MS

 

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

AS: I’m a PR gal and creative who is passionate about fashion, leadership, and relationships. Originally from a small town in Mississippi, I knew I needed to be in a city that could provide me with ample opportunities in the public relations industry. Since I moved to Nashville three years ago, I have participated in six amazing internships, while holding positions as a Campus Tour Guide, an officer of Belmont PRSSA and an officer and sister of Alpha Gamma Delta.

 

S: Where have you interned to date?

AS: Two Nashville-based public relations firms, the Country Music Association, Nashville Fashion Week, the Office of New Student and Parent Programs at my university and Educational Services of America, a provider of alternative and special education schools and programs.

 

S: Why do you intern?

AS: To find my passion. I have always been very ambitious towards my career path, so my sophomore year I participated in my first internship simply to start early and get ahead of my peers. After that first internship, I realized internships are actually a great way to learn more about what you do and do not want to do, while also gaining valuable experience and making connections. Thus, I began interning in a wide range of industries with the purpose of discovering where my greatest passion lay.

 

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

AS: There is always room for improvement. You may land amazing internships and be praised for impressive work, but no matter how big your accomplishments are, you should be seeking challenges that push you to work harder and learn more. Don’t ever let yourself get comfortable.

 

S: How would you advise someone to push themselves? Self-motivation can be tricky business.

AS: Self-motivation is most successful when it is driven by another factor. For example, one of the things I value most is excellence – always striving to become the best I can be. This value motivates me to seek out challenges and growth opportunities. I would advise others to think about their values and passions. Then, evaluate how they can use that value or passion to motivate them. Find what motivates you!

 

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

AS: Oh goodness, this is a tough one. Each of my internships have been such valuable learning experiences there is no way I could choose just one favorite. I can say I really enjoyed interning full-time with the Educational Services of America this summer. I was allowed to take on a lot of responsibility, especially with large projects. I was given creative freedom and room to experiment and explore. I felt more like an employee than an intern.

 

S: Would you say the discrepancy between working as a full-time intern and a part-time intern is clear? Is one more beneficial than the other?

AS: There is definitely a difference between the two, but part-time and full-time internships are beneficial in different ways. Part-time internships are a convenient way to gain great experience while you are taking classes during the school semester. Full-time internships provide an opportunity to be fully engaged in an internship. When you are in the office everyday, you form better relationships with supervisors, have more responsibility and learn how to manage your time outside of work. Full-time internships are experiences every student should try to have on their resume!

 

S: Who are some of the mentors who have inspired you?

AS: My supervisor on the Orientation Council has been a huge inspiration. He always expected the best from us and never settled for anything but our best work. Ever since, I never let myself do anything less than my best. He also challenged us to “live beyond reproach.” Ethically, PR professionals, as well as other professionals, can find themselves in sticky situations and be tempted to do act unethically to get ahead. As young professionals, it is very important to remember that our actions represent our character.

 

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

AS: A cover letter doubles as a writing sample, so give as much attention as a school or work assignment. When you are applying for several internships, it is easy to get lazy and just copy and paste each letter or just send one paragraph in the body of an email. When you do this, you are losing a great opportunity to display your communication skills. Make sure each cover letter is exactly that, a letter personalized to the company stating why you feel you are the best fit.

 

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

AS: Tailor your resume to the internship you are seeking. You should include only relevant experience and skills based on what they expect from an intern. This method is extremely helpful when you have enough experience to cover almost three pages, like I do. Open the internship description and requirements, then highlight the specific experience and skills you have that directly line up with what the company is seeking from an intern. Just like a cover letter, you should never use the same resume for every internship application.

 

S: As 1 of 10 orientation council members at Belmont University, you interviewed 325 applicants. That’s a lot! Did you see any common mistakes interviewees made?

AS: It was tough! Anytime I was not in class, I was interviewing someone. The most common mistake we noticed was the lack of genuine answers. I heard a lot of cookie-cutter answers, things the applicants thought I wanted to hear. When you interview for any job, it is so important to be yourself because employers can tell when you are not being authentic.

 

S: What’s the most common cookie-cutter answer you’ve heard, and how would you advise someone to answer differently?

AS: “I’m a hard worker.” With this type of answer, the interviewer does not learn how you are any different from the last person they interviewed. If you really are a hard worker, answer the question with an example or change the language of your answer. For example, “I work harder than other people. In college, I always took five classes and had an internship while keeping a great GPA,” or “I am someone who takes initiative during difficult projects and only stops working when the project is complete.” Your responses should give the interviewer a good sense of who you are and what you are about. Answer questions in a way that authentically represents you!

 

S: You seem to be super busy on campus with all of your leadership positions like being President of Belmont PRSSA and PR Director of Alpha Gamma Delta on top of interning. How do you structure your time management?

AS: I schedule everything I do in my iCal, keep very detailed to-do lists and actually stick to it. By “everything I do,” I mean my meetings, meals, showers, workouts, coffee dates, everything. My to-do lists keep me focused and help me avoid getting caught up on Pinterest or Buzzfeed for an hour. On top of all of this, I am an extrovert who needs to spend time with people, which means little sleep and lots of coffee. When it comes down to it, I am very passionate about everything I do, so I make time for it all.

 

S: From working for Nashville Fashion Week to assisting at Country Music Association events, you must be an event planning master! What’s been your experience with event planning, and what advice could you give to someone looking to become involved in event planning?

AS: I have been involved with the planning, check-in, seating, decoration, catering, sponsorships, and media of several events. I have two pieces of advice. First, do not expect an easy, glamorous job as an event planner. Event planning is hard work and almost never goes as planned. Secondly, get involved. The best event planners started gaining experience in the industry early and kept notes, contact info and ideas they now use in their career.

 

S: Any fun stories or mishaps from any of the events?

AS: I have learned firsthand that mishaps occur at every event, no matter how well the team has prepared. At the CMA Music Festival nightly concerts, we used three golf carts to escort members of the media who had heavy equipment. At the end of the second night of the four night festival, one of the golf carts ran out of gas, then the headlights were blown in another golf cart. So, we were down to one golf cart and several media teams ready to get back to their cars and head home. In these types of situations, you just have to stay calm and work diligently to resolve the issue. It’s all about customer service!

 

S: You’ve interned in the fashion, education and entertainment industries and worked with clients in the health, festival, venue and non-profit industries. How does this mesh and where does your true interest stand?

AS: Within each internship, I focused on helping to create mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and its publics– the core of public relations. However, I learned each industry has its own way of accomplishing this goal. Personally, I feel most passionate about promoting brands and organizations in the fashion and education industries.

 

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

AS: Don’t spread yourself too thin. When you do, you are unable to be extraordinary.

 

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

AS: Always strive to be a better version of yourself. Discover your talents and values and then strengthen them, instead of trying to develop the talents and values other people possess. Your well-developed talents and character will set you apart and help you stay grounded in who you are.

 

S: What’s next for you?

AS: I am actually moving to NYC this month. I’ll be there for one semester interning with the Department of Public Relations at Hearst Magazines. It’s my dream internship and I am so excited to get started!

 

S: Closing thoughts?

AS: If you live in NYC, I would love to meet you this fall!

Industry Spotlight: Kelly Howard

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Name: Kelly Howard

Company: Post + Beam

Position: Director

Education: Iowa State University

Current City: Los Angeles

Hometown: Owatonna, MN

 

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

KH:I currently oversee consumer fashion, beauty and lifestyle in the LA office of Post+Beam, playing a key role in new business development, and execution of media, social media and event programs for a diverse client roster. Every day of my job is truly unique, and having the opportunity to work with a variety of clients, create PR and marketing strategies that work for their business, and see how our work ultimately contributes to their bottom line is something I thrive on.

 

S: How did you get your start in the industry?

KH: I’m originally from MN, but made the move out to NY for an internship during college. My first internship was with Alan Taylor Public Relations in New York – I was put on the Diageo Liquors account team, pitching a variety of accounts including Smirnoff, Guinness and Jose Cuervo to various outlets. After graduation, I made the move to LA for my first job in fashion PR with a small, boutique agency. It was there I learned an incredible amount about the ins and outs of pitching and what it takes to elevate a small brand in the eyes of the press.

 

S: What are the top three traits you look for in interns?

KH: Enthusiasm, communication and common sense. As an intern, you’re not expected to know much, but you are here to learn. We want you to be enthusiastic to take on any task, effectively communicate where you at with your assigned responsibilities (and when you have a question), and the savvy and common sense to understand the bigger picture.

 

S: What are the most common mistakes you see interns make?

KH: Lack of communication. Interns are often scared to ask questions and therefore fail to complete assigned tasks effectively or on-time. Additionally, senior team members sometimes get busy with their daily work and forget to explain how smaller tasks contribute to the larger project at hand. As a result, that small task may not seem important to the intern, and therefore not get done in a timely manner. It falls back on the senior team to explain why certain tasks are being assigned, so that interns can not only learn but also understand the importance of deadlines.

 

S: Biggest intern pet-peeves?

KH: Lack of communication (sensing a theme yet?)

 

S: What do you look for in a cover letter? A catchy introduction or a to-the-point statement?

KH: A catchy introduction is always good, as long as it’s not too over the top. I also look at a cover letter to see someone’s writing style, or to convince me of their experience if their resume can’t speak for itself.

 

S: Do you recommend interns paste their cover letter in the body of the email or attach it?

KH: I prefer it in the body of the email. One of my biggest pet peeves with intern applications is an email with two attachments (cover letter and resume) and nothing in the body of the email.

 

S: What’s your stance on the one-page resume “rule?” Do you trash those that go over?

KH: I’m indifferent. I’ll read both pages, but just make sure that your experience warrants two pages, and that everything you’ve listed is relevant to the internship for which you’re applying.

 

S: How important is email etiquette to you?

KH: Incredibly important! Not only with the initial cover letter, but the follow up emails as you schedule your interview. Take the time and care to be just as professional and spell check with every email thereafter.

 

S: What are the biggest interview turn-offs?

KH: First impressions last a lifetime – be sure to arrive on time, dressed appropriately and always, always bring a copy of your resume.

 

S: What would you tell the intern wondering why he or she didn’t get the position?

KH: If an applicant isn’t offered a position, it’s usually because they aren’t a fit. However, sometimes it has to do with lack of availability or timing issues.

 

S: What would you advise interns to wear on the job?

KH: Follow office dress code, but always err on the side of professional. For example, even if the office team shows up super casual, always good to show up a little more dressed up. You’re there to impress.

 

S: Have you had a mentor and/or act as a mentor? If so, what’s been your experience?

KH: Yes to both! Mentors are a great opportunity to learn and be inspired! I’ve had the opportunity to mentor a few individuals, helping to make introductions where I can, review  resumes, as well as just be a sounding board for ideas and frustrations. For those I’ve mentored, seeing them move up from internships to professionals has been a truly rewarding experience.

 

S: We all want to know. Do you stalk intern candidates on social media before hiring them?

KH: Yes! Be aware of your social presence and what’s private vs. public.  And a new one that I’ve recently started paying attention to – your Google + picture. It shows up when you send through your resume and cover letter – I’ve seen some crazy ones and it definitely makes an impression.

 

S: What differentiates an average intern from a superstar intern?

KH: The ability to think ahead, contribute new ideas, and always going above and beyond the task given.

 

S: How would you advise an intern to turn their position into a full-time job?

KH: Staying in communication with the leadership, not only your immediate supervisor but the person who will ultimately do the hiring (if applicable). Make sure you ask for feedback, ask questions, and should a position not be available at the completion of your internship, stay in touch!

 

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

KH: Always manage expectation, it will set everyone up for success.

 

S: What’s the best piece advice you could give an intern?

KH: Take advantage of every opportunity, no matter how small! Every task you’re given, no matter how mundane, has a meaning. Take it upon yourself to learn what it is and how it contributes to the bigger picture.

 

S: Closing thoughts?

KH: Internships are an amazing opportunity to get your foot in the door – do as many as you can!

5 Resume Tweaks

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Have we mentioned that it’s time to apply for Fall? Well, if you haven’t already (which you can here) you may be at an advantage. Yes, an advantage! If you haven’t applied yet, you still have time to tweak your resume. Yay! But you don’t have to do this alone. Here are 5 resume tweaks courtesy of Mashable, but with a spunky FFI twang.

1. Everything you own in a (box) to the left

Listen to Beyonce and move everything you got to the left. Aligning all of your information to the left is much more appealing to the eyes and makes your resume easier to read. Even move your heading to the left. Just remember – to the left, to the left!

2. Maybe not…

Ok – Queen Bey got it wrong here… You shouldn’t move EVERYTHING to the left. The right deserves a little love too. When editing your resume, move the date and location of your position to the right side. That way not all of your information is in a big jumble. You can do this on most word processors by creating a right-tab or a separate column

3. Stop playing (eye) games

Making your resume readable is an eye game. You’re supposed to manipulate the various font sizes to tease the eye into neat pleasure, right? Wrong! Aside from your name at the top being in a larger font (because you’re important ;),) the font size throughout the rest of your resume should be the same size. Doing this make your resume much easier to read. A way to substitute this manipulation is to take advantage of bolding, italics, and all-caps – sparingly. Try bolding either companies you worked for, italicising your positions, and using all-caps for your dividing titles (ie. education, work experience, skills, etc.)

FYI: employer favorite fonts include: Calibri, Arial, Georgia, Garamond, and Times New Roman.

4. Avoid the paragraph phenomenon

The whole point of using bullet points is to avoid the paragraph phenomenon. If your bullet point goes past two lines, you’re heading into dangerous territory. That being said, keep your bullet points to two lines MAX. The less reading required the more likely your resume will be read.

5. One hundred vs 100

Are you ninety percent done editing your resume or 90% done editing your resume? You should be 90% done because, chances are, you skimmed over the words “ninety percent” and comprehended 90% almost immediately. Employers are lazy readers, so using digits greatly improves readability and helps them better understand your quantifiable accomplishments. Bonus – it also saves space!

On an editing high? You can access Mashable’s full 12 simple resume tweaks here!

Look The Part!

Meet the marriage of a concept and a confusion: the infographic and dressing for an interview.

In an age of impatience that is making reading near obsolete, infographics make digesting information smart and snazzy. Also, who doesn’t like pretty pictures?

Dressing for an interview, particularly in fashion, can confuse even the stylist fashionista. Do you want to be bold and stand out our modestly blend in?

Fear not! Our friend Lauren Berger “The Intern Queen” shared an infographic that solves the head scratching!

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Want even more style advice? Check out the style section of our blog!

The Perfect Cover Letter Formula

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A cover letter may be one of the most complicated documents you’ll ever construct. The premise seems simple: introduce yourself to the employer. The catch is standing out in the slew of introductions growing taller and taller every day. From the battle between sounding personable and professional to the ideal construction, if only there was a formula as simple as one, two, three… But, there is! Well, maybe not an exact formula, since every cover letter should be as individual as its author, but there are three components that formulate the perfect cover letter.

Be you!

From the beginning, the way to catch an employer’s attention is to let your personality shine through black and white, Times New Roman font. No matter how many advice columns instruct you to start a cover letter by saying something along the lines of  “My name is Slater Katz, and I am a rising junior at the Fashion Institute of Technology,” it’s monotonous, unoriginal, and says nothing about whom Slater Katz (me) is.

Taking my own advice, here is how I spruced up my editorial cover letter introduction to show my personality:

Words have meaning. Whether it is imparting wisdom on peers retrieved from personal experiences or reporting the hard-hitting news of the moment; the right formula of adjectives can transform an anecdote into an article.

More interesting, right? Using a writing style that reflects your personality is how you sell yourself as an individual. But remember to keep the language professional. Confused? Here is our post on how to make your cover letter passionate and professional.

Employers are selfish

So you’re an Excel mastermind. Good for you… It’s not valuable for an employer to read about what your talents are unless you describe how your skills will  benefit them. They’re very selfish beings. Ask yourself how your superpowers will add value that what they do on a daily basis. A way to do this is to relate your skills back to the job description or reiterating previous accomplishments to these skills.

End with a bang!

A wise man once told me every piece of communication should be closed with “I appreciate your time and look forward to being in contact.” No “I hope to hear from you soon” nonsense. Saying you “look forward to being in contact” implies that you may be the one to initiate contact, taking the ball into your court. If you’re feeling confident (which you should,) end your cover letter with an additional sentence reading “I will follow up with you in one week.” Bam! That’s assertive!

Have additional cover letter advice? We want to hear from you! Comment below!

 

4 Things To Keep Off Your Resume

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Bring out the combat boots and throw out the strappy sandals because Fall is on it’s way! While Fall fashion is something we all need to prepare for, so is the Fall internship season. Now is the time to start looking for internships (here.) From the Nylon fashion closet to paid positions at Valentino, the best of the best are looking to snatch up, well, the best of the best. But before you race to apply to these lavish positions, you need to update your resume.

We’ve given you advice on what to put on your resume to make it shine like glitter on a heap of bland pieces of paper; but now it’s time to take off the training heels. You know what to put on your resume, but, now, we’re disclosing what you need to take off…

X the objective

Unless you’re purposefully looking to eat up space on your resume, listing an objective is more than obsolete. You’re applying for an internship; your objective is obvious. Plus, no busy employer is going to take the extra three seconds to read an actual sentence. Regardless of typing an objective, fragments, fragments, fragments, my friend!

You don’t matter

Frankly speaking, whom you are as a person is irrelevant and a waste of space on your resume. Being a tennis prodigy or a knitting queen says nothing about yourself as a worker. Until you have the position, no one cares about your individual quirks. Your resume should act as a straightforward layout of what you can accomplish in a cubicle.

Confidentiality is key

If an employer wants references, they will ask for them. Simple as that. Listing references on your resume is a space eater and detracts from any valuable information you could be including. To organize your references and have them on hand, create a seperate document including your reference information and bring it along to your interview. That way you won’t have to dig through the deep depths of Victoria’s Secret promotions and OkCupid updates when looking for your previous boss’ email.

No selfies, please

It’s not Instagram, and including a picture is just down right creepy. Don’t believe me? At one of my internships my boss flat-out told me to delete any resumes that came with pictures. If they want to know what you look like, they’ll cyber-stalk you.

You’re all set! Now, get to deleting so you can get applying!

Your End Of Internship To-Do List

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As back to school season floods the aisles of every major department store, it also signifies the approaching end to the summer internship season. This means two things. Number one: it’s time to apply for Fall (find the hottest jobs here). Number two: you need to get working on your end of your internship to-do list. The end of an internship may seem like a simple close, but, if you want the experience to have been game-changing, there are multiple considerations associated with ending your internship with a bang.

Stay awake!

As much as you’ve loved your summer experience, fall anticipation can’t help brimming to the surface. But, remember to live in the moment. Summer isn’t over just yet, so keep a pep in your step and intern at full force. Even if you feel you have mastered the position’s responsibilities, complete them with as much enthusiasm as you did on your very first day. If your energy and effort starts to lag towards the end of your internship, that’s the final and lasting impression impression you’re going to leave on your boss.

Ask and you shall receive

The end of an internship is a sentimental event. Now, it’s time to reflect on your experience by asking for advice and feedback from you boss. Assuming you’ve established a relationship, ask your boss about the journey they’ve embarked upon to get to the place they are today. They may have some invaluable advice on how to climb the professional ladder and avoid silly mistakes.

In addition, ask them for feedback or an evaluation of your performance. Beware – it’s not going to be a shower of compliments. The point of receiving feedback is to gather constructive criticism that will help you understand your strengths, weaknesses, and areas where you could improve. Not only will this greatly help you grow as a worker and perform at a higher level in the future, it shows your boss that you’re not just interested in being an average intern; you’re interested in being the best worker you can be. That’s the type of person they hire.

Do yourself a favor

The key to a stand-out resume is listing what you accomplished, not what you did. So, while it’s still fresh in your mind, write a list of everything you achieved at your internship. It may seem hard to believe but, a few weeks after your internship comes to a close, all you’ll seem to remember is the tasks you completed on a daily basis. When it comes time to update your resume, a play-by-play of your daily intern life is not what employers are looking for. Better yet, keep a log of your achievements throughout the duration of your internship. Having all of your accomplishments compiled before the end of your internship will save you some major brain racking.

Get yourself an ego-boost

You’ve been absolutely amazing! Though, realistically, it’s onto the next company. To prepare for the next application process, ask your current boss for a letter of recommendation. Don’t worry – they won’t be offended. They know how the process works and that it is time for you to spread your wings and move on. Make sure to ask for a general letter of recommendation as opposed to a specifically tailored one. That way, you’ll be able to use the letter for multiple opportunities and create an “ego-boost” folder.

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART!

Say thank you! But don’t just say thank you to your boss; say thank you to everyone in the company you’ve established a connection with. They will be so flattered, and this will instigate a continued relationship. Include your contact information, as well. Need proof? Including my personal information in a thank you card is how I got this job!
Have any questions regarding how to end your internship smoothly? Comment below!

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!