Hanna Cody @ Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL) in Washington, DC
As the saying goes, time always flies when you’re having fun. It seems like it was only yesterday that Sabrina and I were moving into the Berkshires and coming home excited after our first days at work. Within a short four weeks, I can already see the growth that has occurred since I entered the Washington Summer Internship program. Just like anyone starting something new, you always begin doubting yourself at first; you question every single one of your actions and always look for confirmation that you haven’t committed some horrible mistake that would to bring your entire workplace to shambles. When I first started at SMYAL, I can safely say that I was that tentative person who wasn’t always confident of her work or abilities. Though I still have doubts, I feel much more confident in my abilities and knowledge. If my boss had told me at the beginning of the summer to plan a donor fundraising event to rejuvenate the Women for SMYAL program all on my own I probably would have panicked. Now, I feel capable and prepared to put together a donor cultivation event all on my own. Read the rest of this blog post here.
Sabrina Kent, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) in Washington, DC
As my time here in DC continues, I continue to grow as a professional. I have felt myself become more comfortable with taking on ambiguous tasks without much direction and finding positive results. My supervisor has an invested interest in NGLCC’s interns continued growth and success during our time at the organization. In order to monitor my growth as a professional, each week I write a detailed report of the projects that I am working on, how I feel I am growing at NGLCC, and what I seek to be challenged by in my internship; this system has encouraged me to be accountable for the growth I am achieving. I have recently been working on becoming a business-oriented, succinct writer, which my supervisor has encouraged and guided me through. Read the rest of this blog post here.
Since the Summer of 2009, the Johnson Family Foundation has provided grant funding to send Rollins students to Washington, DC to intern with LGBT advocacy organizations. This summer, Sabrina Kent and Hanna Cody were selected for this program. They have been asked to post periodic blog entries, sharing their experience with our blog readership over the summer.
As the Rollins Career and Internship Expo is now over, many students have asked about next steps following their initial introduction and meeting with an employer. Regardless if it is a career fair, professional networking event, or formal interview, follow up is key. A short conversation at a career fair or networking event can lead to an employment opportunity with the proper follow up. We have some simple, tried and true action steps you can take to help insure your initial meeting with the recruiter doesn’t blend into the mass of other eager candidates who connected with a particular employer.
- Send a thank-you note or email. If you have the name of the recruiter, or collected their business card, write a short note, tthanking the employer for taking time to meet with you and remind them of your interest in their company and any positions you discussed. It also can’t hurt to submit your resume again as an attachment to the email so that they now will also have it in electronic format. You may also write a formal cover letter to accompany that resume, expressing your interest in the company and positions you discussed. Sample thank- you letters may be found on the Office of Career Services website here.
- Complete any “next steps” they gave you. If the employer asked that you complete an online application or submit information to them, be sure you do that as soon as possible. Quick follow up on these tasks shows the employer you are task oriented and are enthusiastic about working for them.
- Connect on LinkedIn. Now that you have a professional LinkedIn photograph (taken at the LinkedIn booth at the expo), connect with employers you met with on LinkedIn. While some may not always want to connect with applicants through LinkedIn, many will. Also consider following their company’s LinkedIn page. This reinforces your interest to the employer. New to LinkedIn? Now is a great time to develop a winning LinkedIn profile. You may get started by watching one of the LinkedIn webinars on the Office of Career Services website here.
- Do your research. You may have heard something new about the company during your meeting with the recruiter or networking contact. Perhaps it is a new program the company is starting, a recent acquisition they made or a new business unit being brought on line. Show your interest in the organization itself, not just the position you are applying for, by researching the company and strategically mentioning what you have learned during your next meeting/communication with the employer.
- Call Them (Maybe). It is difficult to walk the line between appearing eager/enthusiastic and annoying. You want the employer to think that you are interested but not as a pesky candidate who continues to annoy them. If you have a legitimate question or were encouraged to call an employer about setting up an interview, by all means, go ahead. However, if you have completed a formal interview and are eager to know whether you got the job, it is best to stick to less aggressive forms of followup such as those described above. The exception would be when you are applying for a sales position where a more aggressive approach is in line with the role.