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.
Like many undergraduates, Nicole Franco knew her dream job would involve helping people, but felt unclear as to how she could do it. This past summer, she decided to intern at Christian HELP and learned a great deal about social entrepreneurship. She also gained experience in research, writing business proposals, and e-commerce.
Toward the end of the internship, Nicole even pitched and named the jewelry-making program she participated heavily in at this social entrepreneurship and sustainability initiative (SESI) designated site. She called it the Women’s Initiative for Sustainable Employment (W.I.S.E.). She denotes in a separate blog post, “The purpose of the jewelry program is to provide transitional employment for women who are active seekers by assembling jewelry and selling it online and in local boutiques.”
Below, Nicole discusses her duties in detail at Christian HELP and the skills she developed.
I can’t believe it’s already been a month since I started my internship. Time has flown by so quickly, yet I’ve learned so much within the first month. Today, I will be joining Royce, the program coordinator for social entrepreneurship at a networking event at the Citrus Club. It will give me the opportunity to work on one of my learning objectives of learning how to effectively network and create work relationships. It’s something different from what I’ve been working on for the past month, but I think it will be a great experience. It will enable me to gain a better understanding of how networking should be done and help me improve my communication skills.
Aside from networking, one of my major tasks has been to research. During my research, I have learned so much about the non-profit sector. It has enabled me to get a better understanding of how they operate and most importantly how they sustain themselves. Every now and then during my research, I have came up with several questions about non-profits. The great thing about doing an internship at a non-profit is the knowledge you receive by the hands on experience. I’ve learned about misconceptions and how to carefully select potential donors.
Another learning objective that I’ve been able to focus on is how to write business proposals. I had no idea the requirements for business proposals were so complex. In order to successfully write a business proposal, one must spend HOURS of researching to come up with specific details and come up with a logic model to facilitate the completion of the proposal. The constant changes or rewriting of the proposal is what makes it a lengthy process, but it’s definitely a gratifying feeling once all of the above has been accomplished.
One of the things that I most enjoy about my internship is that I am able to fearlessly throw my ideas to the table. It makes me feel as though my opinion is considered during the projects that are taking place. Since I have experience with e-commerce, my main focus has been on the jewelry line. Recently, I had the opportunity to join another member of the jewelry project on a “mini” shopping spree for jewelry making supplies at a local supply shop. Not only was I able to pick out supplies of my choice, but I was allowed to freely design pieces. I received positive feedback upon showing my samples to the women part of the jewelry project and other employees at Christian HELP. Creating the jewelry and doing extensive research has been one of my major accomplishments, as well as networking.
As a result of the internship, I am learning to effectively and fearlessly communicate my thoughts about projects, ideas, etc. It has enabled me to become even more passionate about social entrepreneurship. This experience has taught me so much in such a short amount of time. Not only has it enriched me but it has enlightened me. I always knew that I wanted to help the community, but taking part in the social entrepreneurship aspect of a non-profit has become my passion. I am grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to continue learning and growing as a person.
Submitted by Ashley Williams, Career Services Graduate Assistant
Remember when you were a kid and dreamt of training dolphins or whales? Well intern Bethany Eriksen got to live the dream this past summer with her internship at the Georgia Aquarium!
Here, Bethany reflects on her new competencies in animal husbandry, dolphin physiology and psychology, and running a marine mammal show. She also offers valuable advice to individuals shooting for a career in animal care.
Hi Everyone! As I begin my final blog post, I have learned so much this summer that I don’t know where to begin. My knowledge of marine mammal training has increased tremendously through participation in this internship. Prior to starting this internship, I had little comprehension of the steps necessary to properly train dolphins, however I now possess an extensive understanding of the professional techniques and tools of the trade for training animals. I also now have a much better grasp on what it takes to run a marine mammal show. It is incredibly fast paced, as most live show productions are, and involves a lot of running around backstage. However, unlike most productions, our shows involve animals with unique personalities who can decide to deviate from the script and perform their own adlibbed version of the show. I’ve learned to think on my toes and be ready for anything!
I have gained a lot of experience in animal husbandry by preparing the dolphin food, cleaning up the areas and maintaining their cleanliness by completing AM, PM and weekly cleaning duties, as well as assisting the trainers as they care for the dolphins. I have also gained an incredible amount of knowledge by standing back and observing how the trainers react and work through each situation with the animals. Through my internship’s lecture series, I have learned even more about dolphin physiology, training, and troubleshooting situations. I have been able to get to know a talented team of trainers who each possess a unique background and lots of experience in the field. Through conversations with them, I have been able to gain personal insight that will help me navigate this competitive field.
Moving forward, I hope to continue to learn more about the marine mammal field and about the conservation efforts of zoos and aquariums. I am interested in experiencing other animal training facilities too, to gain as many different perspectives as possible. One of my new goals is to visit Marineland, the Georgia Aquarium’s sister location in St. Augustine, FL! Check it out: www.marineland.net I believe that the more people I can talk to and the more I can learn, the more successful I will be in my future career.
As I come back to Rollins, I hope to apply this internship to my academics and Environmental Studies major. Through my study of the world’s environment, I will continue to reflect on the value of zoos and aquariums and the important role they play in addressing today’s environmental issues. My previous studies combined with this experience will help me as I persist in defining my career path and the role I hope to play in making the world a better place for animals, the environment, and people.
My advice to students interested in pursuing a career in the world of animals is to gain as much animal experience as possible through volunteering at zoos, aquariums, vet clinics, shelters, etc., but to also talk to as many people as possible. When you visit zoological parks, talk to animal care takers, animal trainers, education staff- ask them questions and try to get a feel for what each job involves so you can figure out what might be the best fit for you. Even spend a day shadowing at one of these facilities if possible. Attend an IMATA conference to meet current animal trainers and network- students are allowed to attend too!
For students interested in interning at the Georgia Aquarium, be ready to work hard, do dirty work, be a good communicator, and have a positive attitude. Above all, when pursuing any internship, don’t give up! Apply for EVERYTHING- you may not always be accepted to your ideal internship the first time, but if you are persistent you never know what may come your way.
Submitted by Ashley Williams, Career Services Graduate Assistant
This past summer, Rollins students interned in great numbers in a variety of settings around the globe. Over the holidy break, we wanted to share some of their experiences with you as they all had some very interesting experiences. Taylor Wejkszner left Pennsylvania after high school to attend Rollins for undergrad, returning home for her Summer 2013 Internship at Lehigh Valley Health Network. Despite going to school in Florida, her hometown network proved useful in securing the position with LVHN.
As an intern, Taylor worked 70-hour weeks, “waking up at 5am for 6:30am surgery,” interacting directly with patients, shadowing in multiple departments, and conducting her own research on robotic surgery. Here, she also offers insight into doctors’ self-care habits that best serve their patients in high-stress environments.
Taylor Wejkszner @ Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, PA
As I pass the halfway marker of my internship, I cannot believe all I have accomplished in the last four weeks. Securing this internship at Lehigh Valley Health Network has not only been a blessing, but one of the most hands-on learning experiences I have had to date. Though in the past I have shadowed in many departments, such as Dermatology and Respiratory Therapy, I have never been able to get the opportunity to scrub in for surgery or have so much direct patient contact as I have in my current position.
I am beyond fortunate that I heard about this opportunity but feel as though now that I have had so many great experiences in this program, it is my duty of spread the word to other college students interested in the medical field. As a person who grew up in the Lehigh Valley but went out of state for college, it can be difficult to stay on top of open positions or opportunities available at home when I am in Florida nine months out of the year. I spoke with Jean Hoffman, Internship Coordinator for LVHN about researching where high school students attend college if they do not stay in Pennsylvania and sending out flyers about the research program to the school’s in that particular area. This will ensure that every student who has gone to high school in the Lehigh Valley has a fair shot at scoring such a great summer internship.
In addition to spending time in the Operating Room, Gynecologic Oncology doctor’s offices, and the Labor and Delivery floor at Lehigh Valley Health Network, I have also been in the process of collecting data for my research project which I present on July 26th. As of now, I will have all the data I need by the end of the week and then will be working with a biostatistician at the hospital so we can analyze cost of the hysterectomies, rate of readmission and complications based on type of surgery (i.e. robotic, laparoscopic or open) and post ICU times. With this analysis, the focus is to show the payback of performing robotic hysterectomies vs. open hysterectomies based on the economic and quality of life benefits. I chose to undertake this research topic because of the skepticism toward robotic surgery. Though it is a relatively new way to operate, it has repeatedly and consistently shown its advantages.
I have also had time to reflect on the learning goals I created in the beginning of my internship. I feel as though I have been able to accomplish most of my goals but still have a lot to learn before I can say I have what it takes to be a doctor. As I continue to read the book, Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance by Dr. Atul Gawande the reality of the medical field and healthcare become more noticeable as I walk around the hospital each day. One of the most relevant topics in the book is how doctors cannot help patients if they do not take responsibilities for basic acts such as washing their hands in between each patient. The book goes into detail about the contentious history of hand washing in hospitals. Though rubber gloves are used in each examination, they do not substitute for using hand sanitizer in between patients. It is these simple rules that must be followed to allow doctors to continue to help patients and keep disease out of the hospital.
In addition, I have still been learning about the psycho-social aspect of being a doctor. After seeing 25 or more patients who are suffering from different forms of abdominal cancers, it is hard to go home and go back to everyday life knowing that 25 more people in this world may not see tomorrow. I spoke with Doctor Martino about this and he said it takes time before anyone who becomes a doctor can accept that he or she is only human and can never or will never be God. He said it never really sinks in until you lose your first patient. Though a sad fact, it is one everyone has to come to terms with.
Submitted by Anne Meehan, Assistant Director of Career Services
In a competitive job market, it is important for job seekers to stand out. In addition to impressive, easy-to read resumes and smart, personable cover letters, young professionals need to be aware of what they’re sharing on their social networks. Two months ago, AC Online released a free career resource for young professionals. “How to Clean Up Your Social Profile: 4 Steps to a More Professional Online Presence” reached thousands of college students and professionals seeking internships and employment across the nation. However, social media is an ever-changing marketing platform, and a few social networks have made some changes. The updated guide highlights key places on social profiles where hiring managers look for “red flags”, and offers quick and easy steps to help turn potential disaster into professional success. You can view the updated guide here:
Submitted by Ashley Williams, Office of Career Services Graduate Assistant
Ariel Rivera first discovered her Summer 2013 Internship opportunity at the Rollins Career & Internship Expo this past spring. Ariel not only secured an Intern position with Where Orlando magazine, but also received both academic credit and scholarship toward the opportunity due to her thorough investigation and timely follow up.
In this post, she describes her tasks as an intern, the challenges she overcame, and the skills she has developed half-way through her internship.
by Ariel Rivera, Summer 2013 Intern at Where Orlando Magazine in Orlando, FL
As I approach the midpoint of my internship with Where Orlando I have realized the hard work and dedication that goes into not only publishing each issue of the magazine, but organizing advertisements, dealing with clientele, and informing the community of our publications. I feel that I have progressed immensely on completing my learning objectives. For example, as I work closer with the circulation manager and editor, among other personnel, I have learned the process of completing each issue and assignment by working together to make everything from articles to emails as effective as possible. Most of my work entails posting on the company’s social media sites, which has made me proficient in using these tools for successful advertising and as great sources of information. I have always felt intimidated by complicated computer programs and now I find myself using Excel and design software with ease. Embracing the power of online interaction and realizing how useful websites like Facebook and Twitter can be in promoting a company has helped me to feel connected to my community and a helpful asset to the company.
Learning to be in a new environment was initially the hardest part of my internship. I am used to working in fast paced environments so being in a cubicle for hours at a time took a lot of getting used to. However, I now enjoy going to work and I definitely see myself working in this field as a career. Seeing the power of group work has impressed me the most. I am used to doing things on my own, including homework and other assignments. Working together with everyone on staff step by step in creating e-blasts (emails sent out to clients and advertisers), newsletters, and event updates has taught me that it takes a lot of time, energy and teamwork to keep a magazine running. Especially when I attended my first Where Wednesday event at Bon Posh Fashion Jewelry was I able to see how advertisers, concierge, clientele, and those on the magazine came together to create a fun way to connect with each other and sponsor other projects. Helping with that event and finally seeing it unfold was perhaps my most proud moment with the magazine thus far. I was able to see how Where Orlando actually affects the community and it helped me connect to other businesspeople and feel the satisfaction of a job well done. Read More…
Submitted by Chad Chernet, Central and North Florida Recruiter for the US Peace Corps
As the central and north Florida Regional Recruiter I encounter many people with varying levels of knowledge about the United States Peace Corps and what Volunteer service entails. I have heard everything from “Wow, I didn’t know Peace Corps still existed!”, “I am too old to serve”, “If I decide to apply, will I be placed in Iraq or Afghanistan” and “I do not have the money to serve”. In fact, none of these statements or questions is accurate and it is my job to ensure that the next generation of Volunteers is fully informed of all aspects relating to Peace Corps service. For full information regarding Peace Corps, please visit www.peacecorps.gov or contact Chad Chernet at 407-450-8840 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below I have listed the top 10 common myths regarding Peace Corps followed by the facts regarding each topic.
1) MYTH: Peace Corps Volunteers must cover their own expenses while serving abroad.
FACT: Peace Corps service does NOT require any out-of-pocket expenses. As an agency of the Federal government, Peace Corps is in a unique position to cover the costs associated with service. This means that we cover housing, monthly expenses (such as food, local travel and incidentals) as well as travel to/from the country of service. We also fully cover medical and dental expenses. Furthermore, returning Volunteers receive a “readjustment allowance” which helps them transition back to life back in America. Even immunizations and all legal documents (Passport, Work permits, etc.) are covered.
2) MYTH: Peace Corps Volunteers serve in dangerous countries.
FACT: We are a “need based” Agency and only send Volunteers to countries who have requested trained men and women and who are stable enough to ensure the safety and security of our Volunteers.
3) MYTH: As a recent college graduate, I am not competitive.
FACT: The majority of Peace Corps Volunteers are recent college graduates and work in all six of our program areas. They bring energy and creativity to the local community and job assignment. Read More…