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Get LinkedIn with SI!

SI Career Services is encouraging students to sign up with LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a career related networking site that lets you build and maintain professional relationships. As you may already know, networking is the number one way of landing a job/internships. LinkedIn is a good way of keeping in touch with your SI classmates, especially for those of you graduating.

Some feedback that we have received from current SI LinkedIn users are:

1. Allows you, classmates, and former co-workers to leave positive feedback for each other.

2. Being able to keep track of former co-workers and classmates. You can see which companies and what positions they may have moved to.

3. Has the potential of introducing you to new networking contacts through people you already know.

Check out LinkedIn to find out more.

Posted by choidh on April 24, 2006 at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)

Microsoft: Anna Falkowska

Here is what Anna did to land her internship at Microsoft

I started preparing for my internship search at the beginning of the school year. I went to all the workshops I could (the ones on resume building and networking were especially useful). I practiced my networking skills by identifying alumni who work for companies I was interested in and sending them e-mails asking for information interviews. Most of them responded and were happy to talk to me about their jobs and companies. One person even checked with his boss if they had any internship opportunities for the summer.

I started actively looking for internships during spring break. I first dropped my resume into various resume books on iTrack. This led to interviews with HP, IBM and Pfizer. I then went through the many e-mails Joanna sent out regarding internship positions and identified the ones I wanted to pursue. I also searched iTrack’s internship listings, looking for something promising. I sent out some cover letters and resumes, but heard nothing.

Having gone to the College of Engineering as an undergrad, I knew about its February internship fair. A lot of big and well-known companies usually attend the fair, so I went to try my luck. Most of the companies I spoke with either had no positions fitting my interests (HCI back then) or never contacted me. I did manage to somehow impress the recruiter from Microsoft, because a few days later I got an e-mail asking me to interview with them on campus.

In the middle of March I started getting worried since I interviewed with at least four companies and sent out resumes to many more, yet no one was showing interest in hiring me as an intern. At that point I started asking professors if they would hire me as a research assistant for the summer. Then I got a call from Pfizer. And IBM. And Microsoft. All of a sudden I had three offers, and I chose Microsoft since the type of work (program management) best matched my long term career goals.

Throughout my internship search, I made good use of the career services staff. I would drop by their offices to tell them how I was progressing and to ask if I could be doing anything more to get a good internship. I would also talk to them about which companies would be a good fit for what I was interested in. They even helped me decide which internship offer to accept. Overall, I think SI provided me with a lot of resources and support throughout the whole process and I am pretty happy about how it all turned out.

Posted by choidh on April 20, 2006 at 04:19 PM | Comments (0)

Months of nothing, and then internship offer bonanza

I began my internship process in early January. This was for three reasons. First, I was (and am) specializing in HCI, and was anxious that my lack of programming experience would set me apart from other candidates seeking the same jobs. I felt a strong need to prepare for the process in order to distinguish myself from other candidates through better preparation. Second, I had never experienced a formal interview in my life. I felt that I needed to prepare early in order to polish my non-existent interviewing skills. Lastly, I had never written a resume before. I felt, (once again) that I needed to work at it if I was going to represent myself favorably against the competition.

The results of my preparation were not encouraging, at least initially. I went to every SI-sponsered pizza-party-job-search- powerpoint event offered this winter. I endured two mock interviews. I had several long, concerned discussions with a tailor about the right color of tie to wear to an interview. I met with Tonya at least 5 times in order to get my resume, coverletter, and interviewing skills in order. I went to the drycleaners. I even tried to critique my own body language (an appalling, fruitless task) by interviewing myself in front of the mirror. By March, I had painstakingly crafted coverletters to 10 internships I felt were enticing, including PARC, SAP, Honeywell, IBM, Oracle, and Pfizer. I had written a "strong" resume, honed several times over the months, and had been interviewed several times.

But nobody was interested. No one. By late March I had recieved no offers. Or rejection letters, even. I started to panic. I decided to go to the SI internship/employment fair, and talked to representatives from the top 10 employers there that interested me. I rehearsed my internship fair schpiel, did research on my target companies, and ironed my pants. At the fair, I talked to employers, (far easier this way than in formal interviews) distributed my resume, and asked how long it would be before I was contacted regarding employment.

Again, nobody was intereseted. By mid-April, I still had no offers. Or rejection letters, even.

And then, suddenly, I did have an offer. Early one morning MITRE (a company that had said they would contact me the next day about employment, and never did) called me offering a job out in Boston that is right up my alley and pays spectacularly. The next day I interviewed with Jewelry Television and was approached by their recruiter a week after. This week, I received 3 emails from employers I met at the SI job fair, including Organic and Enlighten, regarding internship opportunities. It seems that the internship process for HCI is famine and then feast, with many job offers arriving very late in the semester, most likely because recruiters don't understand why Michigan's school year ends so early.

I accepted the job with MITRE and have taken considerable relish in the task of writing chilly, polite, terse, apologetic-but-patronizing letters of rejection to employers that just don't meet my internship experience needs.

Posted by cwmatthe on April 20, 2006 at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)

Samsung, South Korea: Mario Baumann

I started my internship back in October by getting in contact with recruiters at some of the larger companies I was interested in working for, specifically Microsoft. By end of January, early February, I begin looking in other places, such as iTrack, and I have a list of other companies I wanted to contact. One day I received an email from Joana stating that a new Samsung DFE, at SAIT in YongIn South Krea had been posted. I read over the DFE, and the job description fit my abilities very well, so I went ahead and emailed the contact person my resume and a cover letter. He got back to me within 24 hours and told me to email the recruiter. He CC'd the recruiter, so she already had my cover letter and resume. When I wrote to the recruiter, I wrote an additional cover letter, expanding on how I thought my personal interests and experiences would help me at Samsung. I received an autoreply; she was on vacation. About five days after she was scheduled to get back, I still had not heard from her. Instead of emailing, I had her phone number from the Samsung website, so I called her up. After telling her why I was calling, she told me I missed the application deadline and she would not take my application. I told her about the DFE posting, and she told me to contact the person who had posted it, and if he was interested in me, have him contact her. I had his number too, from the DFE posting. I called him up and he tried to refer me back to the recruiter again. I informed him of my conversation with the recruiter. The first question he asked me is if I have any programming experience. I did, from my SI classes (Java and Complex Websites), but instead of answering the question, I directed him to my portfolio website so he could see my work, not just hear about it. He said he would get back to me in a few days. Within 30 minutes, I received an email from him stating that he had recommended me to the recruiter, and I was one of the 300 potential candidates for the position. He also mentioned I was high on the list due to my effort and enthusiasm. I believe this is because I made the long distance call to Korea, twice. Three weeks later I get an email from the contact person again, asking me if I could guarantee I would be willing to go to Korea, and if I have had any other offers yet. I informed him that Samsung was #1 on my list. He promptly wrote back with my unofficial acceptance letter, and said the recruiter will send me the official one with all the job details soon. He also asked if I was going to CHI, which I am, so we are going to meet there.

Long story short, I had almost given up by the time I was applying to Samsung. I had probably applied to 20 places between October and now, had a number of interviews, but no solid results. I was really excited about Samsung, because I have always wanted to work/study abroad. I decided to call Korea because I wanted to show them how interested I really was in the position, and it worked! Within 3 weeks of applying for the Samsung internship, I now have it. I am still waiting on the details, but I am finally able to just concentrate on school, just in time for finals, papers, and my 622 presentation,

Posted by baumannm on April 14, 2006 at 03:30 PM | Comments (0)

Consulting Job Search: Maurice Solomon

So, even before i came to SI, I knew i wanted to get a job in consulting... i had turned down industry jobs to leave for a summer internship in DC, a year in japan and grad school... now, my second time through the recruiting process, I was filled with trepidation. Recruiting here at UM is very standardized, and its a process, which I really only locked down by the end of it. Consulting recruiting started as soon as the winter semester go tinto swing, with invitations coming from firms to attend their dinners and the like. These came because i had attended their events in the past, stayed to talk with people, applied to their summer internships last year, had made contacts at firms, etc.

The resume drops are very standard: you can't get into iMpacts drop function, so you need to watch the calendar like a hwak, and email the recruiter directly. "Hello, My name is Maurice Solomon, and im an information economics student here at the Unveristy. My degree is like an MBA, focused on strategy and competitive dynamics surrounding information..." Standing in front of the mirror, practicing that over and over. Keeping a "recruiting" folder full of killer interview questions to read on the bus every morning. Meeting friends for mock interviews in the library and at coffee shops. An MBA friend helped me, meeting with me everyweek to strategize about which firms to target. Career services saw 7 drafts of my resume. You think thats too much... overkill... until you realize that *everyone* is doing it, and youre just keeping up.

You go to fancy dinners, you go to fancy flyouts, you pull stupid shit like forgeting important names, sending emails to the wrong recruiter. You are mostly alone during the process: in the interview room, waking up in high-rise hotel rooms just before all day interviews, sitting and deliberating offers, blank stare over a steaming cup of coffee. Your friends back you up, mock interviews, sending you up to the minute info, offering to rush you home from the airport when two interviews stack onto the same day.

My advice for SI students fighting for MBA jobs:

* The "you need to have at least two years industry experience to qualify for an MBA interview, if not youll be at the same level as the BBAs" line is true, but sometimes it isnt. This will be my first real job, but my "two years experience" was explaining dynamic capabilities to the head of IBM strategy for 10 minutes. Just those 10 minutes justified my entire two years at grad school intellectually and financially. (note: SI doesn't teach dynamic capabilities, or RBV, or any strategy framework - future consultants should take Afuah's strategy core class and Ethiraj's Tech Strategy course at the bschool)

* Sign up to iMpact, TODAY. The other "best decision" i made all recruiting season.

* Don't apply to everything. Strategize, get a short list, dont back down from your top firms. Its tons more fun with a friend to talk over things with, who can get your back at recruiting events.

* Have fun. When i was deep in the recruiting process, it took some effort to pull my head up and look at the bigger picture. I spent 20+ hours a week on recruiting over Nov. If your not having fun doing while doing it.....

Posted by solomonm on April 14, 2006 at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)

Oregon State Library: Buzzy Nielsen

As a dual degree student with the Ford School of Public Policy, my internship process began early in October. Ford School students are required to complete a summer internship to satisfy the program requirements. Thus, my challenge became to find an internship that blended my dual degree interests in library science and public/nonprofit management.

I began by meeting with Joanna Kroll at SI and Tiffany Wallace at the Ford School. They gave me some valuable advice on how to proceed with my search, including what proved most beneficial for me: use my own contacts.

Needing a combination of libraries and public policy, my first thought was the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress. They accept interns to help provide reference and research help to Congress. I emailed the internship coordinator, checking back with her several times. Unfortunately, CRS was not accepting interns this year due to a restructuring.

CRS got me interested in serving as a reference library intern in a policy environment. I looked into other internships at NPR, CNN, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Environmental Protection Agency libraries. I applied to NPR and CSM. The idea of working at NPR particularly excited me, and I put a lot of time and thought into writing my cover letter to make myself sound interesting. Alas, it was all for naught.

While disappointing, this rejection spurred me in March to take Joanna and Tiffany's advice. As it so happens, I know the Library Development Program Manager at the Oregon State Library. I emailed her to see if they had a place for a motivated library grad student, and they did! Although OSL does not have a formal internship program, they worked with me to design an interesting and useful internship for both of us. This summer, I will be researching Oregon library law since its beginnings in 1901. The result will be a digital archive of current and historical laws and policies affecting Oregon public libraries.

In closing, I must reiterate Joanna and Tiffany's advice: use your own contacts to find internships. Even if your contact's organization doesn't need an intern, they might know somebody who does. Plus, cold-calling may give you an opportunity to shape your future internship and make it very relevant to your goals. You never know what could happen!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me.

Posted by menielse on April 12, 2006 at 08:18 PM | Comments (0)

Pfizer Informatics Internship: Amy G

Even though I meant to start looking for an internship in the fall, mid January was when I started looking in earnest. I knew I wanted to stay in Ann Arbor for the summer, but I wasn't confident that would be possible so I didn't look at Ann Arbor positions exclusively. The first position I applied to (through iTrack) was for Pfizer and a I got an interview with their recruiter who was at SI for the day.

My interview went very well, and I think a lot of that was luck. The interviewer had the same undergraduate degree I had (Industrial & Operations Engineering from U of M) and we'd even had some of the same instructors. Having this in common, as well as a previous internship of mine he found very interesting facilitated the kind connection you really want to have during an interview. During the interview he suggested that I consider an internship in the Pfizer Kalamazoo location doing work that related more to my undergrad engineering degree than my current HCI studies; I said I would consider it but reiterated that I would like to stay in Ann Arbor.

I didn't hear anything for a while, and in the meantime I applied for a few other positions, one at U of M and several in California. In early March though the Pfizer recruiter called me, and after a week of playing phone tag I was offered a position (at Pfizer in Ann Arbor) early Friday morning on St. Patrick's Day. (I was actually at the bar, so it was a pretty good day). Even though I was very happy to have an offer, I wanted to wait and see if there was anything else that would come across my plate. However, Pfizer wanted a response within 3 days of them sending the paperwork, so I accepted the position.

Since then I've had a few responses to other applications asking for interviews, which I have turned down. It's a little hard each time because you wonder if maybe you should have made a different decision, but overall I am really happy with how it all turned out. Like I mentioned before, a lot of it was the luck of having a connection with the recruiter.

Posted by agrude on April 08, 2006 at 07:37 PM | Comments (0)

My Internship Process: Tonya McCarley

I started my internship search in Fall 2005. I started early because I knew my circumstances would limit my opportunities. The geographic location I could search for an internship needed to be local to Southeastern Michigan and Northwest Ohio. In November I met with Joanna Kroll to ask for tips and suggestions. My homework from her was to identify a Top 10 list of employers. She was able to give me contact information for most of these employers.

I had all of these great expectations for that list. Unfortunately, I didn’t do much with it. There was the end of classes, project due dates, the holidays. Wow, it was January already! I started my new job with Career Services then. I continued to try to contact a few of the employers on my list. I also scoured the posting to iTrack, attending employer information sessions, and placed my resume in many resume books.

I had one interview with Pfizer (#10 on my list) in late February. At the time, I felt pretty confident about my opportunity there. I didn’t hear anything from Pfizer, so I continued on with my search. I continued my search process: try to make contact with my Top 10, scour iTrack, look on company websites, and attend information sessions. For the SI Employment Information Fair, I identified another Top 10 list. I strategically stopped at those tables to discover internship opportunities. I walked away with 1 really good opportunity with the UM Public Relations and Communications for the Health System department and a few others.

By now, it’s early April. I feel like the UM PR & Comm group is going to call me, but I’m really frustrated. I thought this year’s internship search was going to be easier. Feeling sorry to myself, I complained to Joanna. She asked me if I had heard from Pfizer. I said “no, but other people have.? She asked if I had followed up with them. I said, “no.? “What are you waiting for?? she said. I sent an email that morning to the contact at Pfizer inquiring about my status. He emailed me back within 20 minutes asking for my contact number. Within the hour, he contacted me and made an offer. In addition, I notified the UM PR & Comm Group of my offer and now I have an interview with them.

The moral of the story is that finding an internship is a PROCESS. You can’t just rely on one avenue, but need to formulate a strategy using all of your resources.

Posted by mccato on April 06, 2006 at 03:49 PM | Comments (0)

Canton Public Library: Emily Smith

Emily has shared her experience in obtaining a public library internship.

I'm one of the first semester SI Students that just started this January. I attended a tour of the Canton Public library early in the semester (thanks to our ALA chapter). When it came time to think about internships my goal was to get as much experience as possible this summer to see what type of information science careers I like and what I don't like. I figured I'd love to try a public library and see if that's a direction I want to head in. I applied for the AADL PLA position and also contacted the director of the Canton PL to see if they had any positions available for the summer. The director confirmed they did and asked me to come in to meet the Children's library staff (the area where the internship is based). After a discussion about my goals for the summer and what she was looking for in an intern I was offered the position.

I'm so excited to be able to sample what I think I'm interested in doing when I graduate. I’m hoping my experiences this summer will help me determine which classes to take in the next 3 semesters too. I'm only working 20 hours a week so I have time to take on another internship or two (hopefully in a University library setting to round out my experiences).

The lessons I learned from getting this internship is, like David and Tonya keep telling us, to make a list of where you think you might like to work and then network with those companies/libraries to see what they might have available. The CPL didn't post their internship since they prefer to recruit through networking/students they know, so this is also a good example of using your existing connections at SI to get an internship. One other item I noticed is that most library internships are 20 hours a week or less, so don't stress out about finding a full time job. I think it's a great opportunity for us to try several different experiences (maybe a mixture of paid and unpaid too). I also have a second summer coming up so I'm not worried about setting up my internship as a DFE (and I haven't taken 501 yet either).

If you have any questions, please let me know! (emilyhoo@umich.edu) Good luck everyone! -Emily

Posted by choidh on April 06, 2006 at 02:05 PM | Comments (0)

Proctor and Gamble: Amy Anderson

For those interested in LIS internships, here is how Amy got here internship at Proctor and Gamble.

My internship search started with a little research. I looked for job postings that I found interesting on SI's career board and all the various librarian-friendly sites. I noted skills that might appeal to promising employers. Through the alumni board, I arranged an informational interview with a fellow tech-happy librarian in the corporate world, and I discovered more about my field and the day-to-day of various jobs. Then, I worked on getting some of the right skills - through classes, DFEs and on-campus jobs. Judy gave me some helpful advice on improving my resume during the fall resume rally. I started applying for jobs in February and March. I only applied to a few, but I tailored my resume for each one. During ASB, I found a contact at the LC that eventually yielded an internship offer (unpaid).

The perfect job appeared on SLA's job board just before spring break. It sounded like a great fit, but I didn't hear anything until April (and I didn't even answer the phone, since I was watching my best friend give birth). The next week, the phone interview went great - but, again, I didn't hear anything right away. Right when I was about to give up (just a week later), I got an e-mail. My HR contact was out of town, but my supervisor wanted me to know that they wanted to fly me out for an interview. Since I was the only one flying out, I knew that I had a pretty solid chance of getting the job. I flew out during finals week, and they gave me an offer that afternoon. I accepted immediately and asked if I could use their printer to make a copy of the 503 final (posted that morning) to take on the plane ride home.

Posted by choidh on April 06, 2006 at 02:02 PM | Comments (0)

Mudd Library, Princeton University: Jen Sharp

Here is some helpful advice from Jen Sharp about ARM internships:

Hey everyone,

This summer I will be interning at Princeton University's Mudd Library. The Mudd houses the University Archives and the Public Policy Papers.

A few months ago I made a list of all the internships I was interested in and noted all the deadlines on my calendar. Somehow, though, the date I wrote down for the Mudd internship was actually two weeks beyond the deadline. I discovered this error less than a week before I had to have all the materials in, and was contemplating not applying. I wrote to the Mudd asking a couple of questions and ended up having a good email conversation with the person who would eventually hire me. Turns out he and another person on the hiring committee are both SI grads. They both also worked at the Bentley, as I do. I decided I had to go for it. Luckily my resume was already in good shape. All I really had to do was write the cover letter. Tonya was awesome and read it over for me even though we were on break and she wasn't technically working.

Amazingly, the search was really was that simple. The most difficult part was getting one of my professors to actually send in the recommendation she promised she'd write (it got there two weeks late). Soon after I had a half hour phone interview. A week later I was offered the position.

Finding jobs/internships is all about networking. I'm sure the connections with SI helped me out. Either way, I can't wait to get started!

Jen (jsharp@umich.edu)

Posted by choidh on April 06, 2006 at 01:54 PM | Comments (0)