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Your Winter Break Internship Search Guide

A first year student at SI recently requested that I map out a winter break internship search plan. I thought that this would be a great blog topic to share with you all, so here you go…

In the coming weeks take time to think about where you want to do your internship (in terms of both organization and/or geographic location) and what function you’d like to be working in. Consider whether you’ll want to move away from Ann Arbor for the summer or not. I do want to share the internship search success often comes easier to people who are more geographically flexible; however, finding a local internship is not at all possible – in fact, over 50% of our internships are in Michigan!

Take some time to think about organizations that you learned about in class – or organizations that are close to your interests, hobbies, ideal geographic target, or are known leaders in the function/industry that you are most interested in. I suggest making a list of twenty organizations that you are interested in working for during your internship. A “dream list? isn’t unrealistic for coming out of SI, but it’s always good to balance your list with a few “amazing organizations? to a few that you would consider as “shoe-in’s.?

Then, go and check out the website of each of those 20 companies. First, check to see if they have internships posted. Then, book mark their employment site on your computer so that you can easily access it in the coming months. I suggest checking corporate websites and other organization’s websites about once a week to see if position and internships have been updated.

Then, start cross-referencing your list of companies with the wide range of resources that SI Career Services has to offer you.

Start with iTrack. Check first to see if there are internships posted for the company you are interested in. Then, check to see if there are contacts for the company that you are interested in – if so, email them and ask them if they know of any upcoming internship openings and who is the main contact person for them. You can also request from them tips or advice on how to apply for internships with them.

You can also use the Student-Alumni Network to see if there are SI alumni working at the organizations – or even in the close geographic area – that you are interested in. Then, email them and ask them not for an internship, but for advice on how to find an internship in the area and/or suggestions for other people to talk to if they aren’t the appropriate contact for your specific interests. If there is a specific posting that you are applying to, ask them for tips on how to tailor your application documents – and you can ask them to review your resume and cover letter before sending it. And, don’t forget about checking contacts on LinkedIn in the SI Alumni group that you could contact regarding companies that you are interested in.

Back to iTrack. A little known secret about iTrack is that all internships that have been posted are archived in the system and easily accessible to you under the Jobs Menu choice – then select “Archived Employer Contacts and Jobs/Internships.? Here, you can look at internships that were posted last spring or summer and check out the org’s website to see if they have been posted again or you can email the contact requested applications details. This is a great way to plan ahead and see what is again going to be posted. I checked today as I wrote this blog and there are 554 archived internships in iTrack – and 226 currently posted ones. That’s almost 800 internships to consider!

If you want to broaden your list of organizations, Hoover’s (accessible through MIRLYN) is a great tool for learning about other orgs that fit your search range. Type in your preferred company name in the search box, click on the company’s entry, then, scroll down… You can get valuable information on what industry to search for to find other similar companies – and it will also suggest for you their top competitor – sometimes companies that you may never have heard of but are an even better fit for your interests and targets. You can find this information either under “Competitors? or by clicking on “Find Similar Companies? which allows you to narrow your search.

Don’t forget about listservs! If you aren’t on at least one professional listserv that is relevant to your specialization or career interests, you need to sign up now! You can find some great lists of listservs on the SI Career’s Online Resources site at http://si.umich.edu/careers/online-resources.htm under Job and Internship Resources by Specializations. Many of the internships that you see on iTrack are from listserv postings and contacts. You can also use the contacts that come with being part of a listserv community in order to find leads to an internship at an organization that you are interested in. If a contact from one of your “dream organizations? posts a message, follow up with them and ask them about internship opportunities at their organization. You may be surprised what your enrollment in this program can do to open doors.

Also, don’t discount your national jobs sites such as Indeed, simply Hired, or Monster. I’ve heard from students that have posted their resume on Monster that they have gotten relevant leads for positions. Just remember to keep it updated! Doing a quick and regular search on these sites isn’t a bad idea – just don’t focus all of your attention on these sites. You will have much better luck with industry specific sites such as Dice.com, the ALA jobs site LibraryCareers.org, or the Nonprofit Tech Jobs site.

If internships are posted, apply! If you would like me to take a look at your resume and cover letter, please let me know. Always, always, always have someone look over your documents before you send them – especially for your dream-list companies! If you’ve applied to one internship with a company and didn’t get it and there’s another one, go ahead and apply – just make sure that your application materials are updated and different!

There are many other resources that you can explore but this is a good start and should keep you busy for the next few months. Note that the number one way of finding an internship for MSI candidates is via networking… so I strongly encourage you to use job postings and the contacts that we make accessible to you equally. Apply to a position – but try to find a contact within the org – hopefully an alumnus – that can help move your resume along.

Questions, comments, words to share!? I’d love to hear them. Happy Internship searching…Kelly (kkowatch at umich dot edu)

Posted by kkowatch on December 18, 2008 at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)

Online Interviews: The Future of the Library Field

On the Chronicle of Higher Education's website, Young Librarians Discuss the Future of Their Profession:

Joe Sanchez, U. of Texas at Austin
Libraries in virtual worlds will join physical libraries.

Susan Gibbons, U. of Rochester
Library schools need to update their curricula.

Nick Baker, Williams College
Companies like Google will bring "new blood" to libraries.

Casey Bisson, Plymouth State U.
Libraries need to be more than community centers.

Jessamyn C. West, Librarian.net
Librarians are not very "change oriented" as a culture.

Sarah Kostelecky, Institute of American Indian Arts
Diversity is important to the library profession.

Char Booth, Ohio U.
There will always be a need for librarians.

Brian Mathews, Georgia Institute of Technology
There's too much "bandwagon jumping" with new technology.

Posted by kkowatch on December 16, 2008 at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)

Local Updates from Ann Arbor SPARK -- including MiIntern!

Times are tough, no doubt. However, there are some bright spots out there! Be sure to have your graduates keep watch of small, emerging tech-based companies. The best way to learn more about them is to check out the Career Services section on the SPARK website at http://www.annarborspark.org/career-services/. Also, check out the variety of student resources we inserted below!

Other Helpful Student Resources:

(1) Coming Soon, "Manufacturing Jobs Portal"
MiManufacturingJobs.com is a new industry-specific jobs portal that connects job seekers with manufacturers who are looking for the skilled workers they need to be competitive in the global marketplace. Soon, you will be able to search for jobs online and post your resume! Check them out at: www.mimanufacturingjobs.com

(2)Internships in Michigan!
What is Miintern? Miintern is a one-stop online solution to connect student interns to jobs. The site is powered by the Michigan Talent Bank and offers valuable tips for students, employers and educators. There are also Web resources and various internship sites that are linked to the portal at http://www.michigan.gov/miintern.

This search engine allows students to review more than 400 internship opportunities by employer/organization name or location.

The Miintern site includes: An Internship Tool Kit with information on getting the important first job, resume and cover letter writing, and job interviewing; Tips for students on applying and securing an internship in a competitive market; and Tips for educators on writing agreements with faculty and students.

Why an Internship?
It's the best way to stand out in a competitive job market.
It's the next best thing to a job offer.
It applies classroom learning to authentic work experience
It allows exploration of many career options, interests and abilities.
It develops and enhances professional skills.
It increases self-confidence.
It develops job search skills.
It provides networking opportunities with professionals.
It helps build a strong resume.
It shows interest and commitment to a specific field.
It helps earn academic credits
It can help pay for educational expenses.
It develops leadership skills and builds character.
Learn more at http://www.michigan.gov/miintern

(3) Career Portal for Job Seekers - Search for Jobs and Post Resumes
Job seekers can search more than 15,000 new job openings monthly and post resumes so that more than 40,000 employers can find them.

(4) Learn about Jobs and Career Fairs
Click here for more information.

(5) Temporary Employment Agencies - A Place to Start!

(6) Exploring Career Preferences
Click here for more information.

(7) Save the Date
March 13, 2009
The Michigan Collegiate Job Fair (MCJF)
The MCJF is a state-wide job fair held in spring and fall each year. It is a cost-effective means both for companies who want to recruit qualified graduates for primarily degreed, entry-level positions, and for job seekers who want to broaden their job search and network with hiring employers. Throughout Michigan, no other job fair has attracted as many schools, graduates and companies at one time, in one day as demonstrated in MCJF's history. http://www.mcjf.org/index.php.

(8)SPARK's College Connections Career Portal
This is a listing of events and companies that are specifically geared for college students that would like to stay in Michigan after graduation.
Events: Check out local events that are geared towards college students.
Companies: Check out our ever-growing list of companies located in Michigan that regularly hire college graduates into entry level, professional positions. We list information about the company, including links to the web site where they have additional information about their training programs or specific job postings.
General Resources: This is a collection of links to job posting sites and other information that could be a good resource during your job search process.

Best regards,
Amy Cell and Mary Salley
Team Talent
Ann Arbor SPARK
Questions / Comments to: Mary@AnnArborUSA.org

Posted by kkowatch on December 11, 2008 at 03:22 PM | Comments (0)

Want to Live and Work Overseas?

The UM International Center is pleased to announce the availability of a fantastic new online resource for people interested in seeking employment abroad. The Big Guide to Living and Working Overseas is filled with advice for securing overseas employment. Topics include acquiring international experience, the international job search, professions abroad, and various international career directories.

This service is paid for by the UM International Center and is free for the UM community. Click on the link below to register and get started!


Posted by kkowatch on December 05, 2008 at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

This Month at The Career Center for Graduate Students

December 2008

Because… graduate school is not your final destination

It’s December and snow flakes are flying, ’tis the season for…job searching? Despite the holiday season, this can be a key time for job searchers. In many academic disciplines conference interviews happen soon, and campus visits may be coming up before too long. Now is also the time to prep for some of our winter career fairs happening soon after classes resume in January. Click on the links on the right to learn more about these and other key resources to support your job search.

Prepping for Academic Interviews — Optimal Interview

* What are your research plans for the next 5-10 years?
* What is your basic teaching philosophy?
* What contributions would you make to our department?

For many job searchers these next few months are an important time in the search process, and your ability to answer these and other common interview questions is critical. Some disciplines feature professional meetings, including first round interviews. Campus visits will be your chance to demonstrate your fit for a particular position.

While you can't control every aspect of the interview process, you can control how confident you are in answering the basic questions. As with any skill, so with interviewing, practice can go a long way toward ensuring success. One way to practice through The Career Center is through Optimal Interview, our on-line interview practice tool. Use Optimal anywhere you have access to a computer with a web cam and microphone.

To access Optimal Interview:
* Visit the Optimal website
* Create your account, and click on the Skills Center tab
* Click on New Interview
* Name your interview, and select Academic/PhD Interview for Type of Interview

The Chronicle of Higher Education often provides interesting perspective on the job search process. View two recent articles on academic interviewing, one from the candidate perspective and one from the perspective of search committees.

Reference Letters and Your Job Search

Reference letters continue to be an important part of the academic job search process. The Career Center can help you manage your letters. Our Reference Letter Service is convenient both to file holders — especially those who wish to maintain the confidentiality of their letters, are applying to multiple institutions, or anticipate needing reference letters after their graduation — and to the letter writers, since they are only required to submit one original letter.

As a University of Michigan degree-seeking student or alumni/a, you may establish a reference file with the RLS as soon as you complete twelve credit hours at the University of Michigan. At your request, copies of your file will be mailed to potential employers.

A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education talked about ways to manage your potential recommenders.

Posted by kkowatch on December 01, 2008 at 12:55 PM | Comments (0)