Tag: internship

Employers are increasingly emphasizing experiential learning when searching for new job candidates.

An internship is a great way to strengthen your résumé, gain more insight into potential career paths, and develop your skill set. Employers also use internships to evaluate and identify excellent full-time candidates. But where to start? The Weston Career Center provides this 10-step process from the latest Career Guide:

1. Research industries, companies, or organizations of interest

Devoting time to career exploration will help you make an informed decision about your career path and will help you launch an effective internship search. Start by learning as much as you can about different functions, industries, companies, and geographic areas. Do your research to clearly define your internship objectives. Learn more about different companies and opportunities, and build relationships early, so when recruiters are ready to hire interns, you will be top of mind.

Consider alternatives to traditional corporate internships:


Search www.makingthedifference.org for internships with federal and state agencies. Start with a general search to learn about the wide variety of opportunities.

The Partnership for Public Service’s Internship Directory includes information on more than 200 federal internship programs and is searchable by agency, eligibility, location, etc. You may also want to check out the student section of www.usajobs.gov for a complete list of federal internship programs.

Federal agencies are not required to advertise internships, so some are publicized only on the agency’s website. Even if no internships are posted, offer to meet for an informational interview at a local agency office.


Entrepreneurial ventures and startups offer hands-on experience and the chance to use your business knowledge across a wide spectrum of industries and functions. Seek opportunities in areas such as marketing, technology, finance, accounting, and business strategy.

Nonprofit organizations

Gain experience and exposure to business concepts by interning or volunteering with campus or community organizations. Many organizations, especially nonprofits, seek interns and volunteers. Explore the online resource www.volunteermatch.org, or check out nonprofit organizations by geographic location through the Book of Lists, available in the WCC.

Washington University

Consider working on campus. Visit the Office of Student Financial Services, or ask faculty and department offices whether they need any assistance with research or other projects. Search CAREERlink, MBAFocus, and the University’s Human Resources website for part-time and summer jobs.

Getting an internship when studying abroad

Students and employers alike value the skills and experiences gained through time spent in a different country and getting to know a different culture. Many students study abroad during fall or spring of their junior year, then return to complete an internship in the United States. You will want to maximize your efforts to secure an internship before you leave.

  • Make career advising appointments with the WCC to discuss your strategy and conduct mock interviews.
  • Research industries and companies to pursue and create a target list.
  • Network! Connect with alumni and recruiters and conduct informational interviews.
  • Know your internship opportunities—especially with companies that interview early for study abroad students.
  • Include a paragraph in your cover letter that states you will be or are abroad and include your availability. Offer to communicate by phone or Skype while you are away.

Working overseas

Spending time abroad is an exciting and rewarding experience. Finding an internship in a foreign country, however, can be a challenging and time-consuming process. Networking with alumni in your target location is particularly important. Identify alumni, and reach out for advice on internship search strategies in the host country.

If you are seeking an internship while abroad, set aside regular time to continue your search. If you are seeking an opportunity after your return, continue to utilize your network connections, further expand your network, and make use of WCC services.

2. Explore career tracks, and start building your network

Explore your options, and dig deeper in your research and exploration to identify the best match to meet your career goals. Begin networking with everyone you know—family, friends, professors, career advisor, and neighbors, to identify potential “informational interviews.” Once you have identified an individual, do your homework—research the contact and company and develop a list of questions. Be professional—identify yourself and be transparent about your intentions. Informational interviews serve two important purposes: research and networking. They also allow you to start building relationships with “insiders” who can provide valuable advice and insight to help you evaluate your internship opportunities.

3. Develop a target list of internship opportunities

From your research, create a target list of companies you wish to pursue, and develop an action plan to drive your internship search. A target list includes companies/opportunities you’d like to pursue, with clear and attainable goals, objectives, and timelines. This list will allow you to effectively manage communication and application records.

4. Prepare a market-ready résumé

A polished résumé is your marketing message and should clearly articulate your skills and experiences. Remember: A résumé must be relevant to the internship, concise with good use of action verbs, and error-free. Use Optimal Résumé as a template to easily develop your résumé in the Olin format. Seek feedback on your résumé from a WCC or MCC advisor.

5. Write engaging cover letters.

A well-written cover letter tells your story and invites the reader to learn more about your interests, qualifications, and fit for an internship. Develop a personalized cover letter for each internship application. Just like a résumé, a cover letter must be tailored and relevant to a specific position. Use Olin’s Management Communication Center to fine-tune your written communication skills.

6. Apply for internships

The most successful search strategy combines Olin online job posting sites, networking, and time. Check job postings often for new entries and deadlines. Use the individual research and networking relationships you are developing to connect with target companies and identify internship opportunities.

7. Schedule practice interviews

Practice interviews allow you to hone your interviewing technique and receive feedback to develop and refine your interviewing skills. You will gain confidence through preparation and practice. Conduct a practice interview with a WCC career advisor, alum, or mentor for feedback on your interviewing technique.

8. Interview and follow up

Most interviews include behavioral-based questions, such as “Tell me about a time you showed leadership,” or “Give me an example of when you were a strong contributor to a team.” Employers expect you to be familiar with details about the company and the position.

Case interviews are growing in popularity. For example, “Is it a good idea for your client to consider opening a high-speed train service between St. Louis and Kansas City?” Case interviews focus on your ability to solve a business problem and are usually a standard part of consulting interviews, although other fields, such as finance and marketing, also use them.

You should have well-prepared, well-informed, inquisitive, and articulate questions prepared in writing to ask during and at the end of the interview. After the interview, be sure to send a thank-you note.

9. Evaluate offers

Evaluate offers, and respond in an appropriate and timely fashion. Determine how well the position matches your experience expectations and career goals. Talk through your internship offers with a WCC career advisor.

10. Accept an offer, and make the most of the experience

Congratulations! You’ve accepted an internship. Employers use internships as extended evaluation periods for full-time job offers. Be prepared to make a good first impression while maximizing your learning experience.

Could you use the support of the Weston Career Center or Management Communication Center? Schedule an appointment today. 

When we asked Olin entrepreneurs to help us out with last minute holiday shopping, they responded with discounts and freebies like this one from Fresh Prints – the t-shirt company that got its start right here at WashU. Fresh Prints Co-President Jacob Goodman, BSBA’15, is generously offering free t-shirts and wants to hear from students interested in summer internships!

Fresh Prints Promotion: The first 15 WashU students that email jeremy@freshprints.com saying “gimme free stuff” with their size and shipping address get a free Bella + Canvas t-shirt sent to them.



More good news from Fresh Prints’ Goodman, he says, “Fresh Prints had it’s largest year-over-year growth in company history in 2016. We’re now at over 100 Campus Managers nationwide, and we’re working towards being at all 2,500 four year universities around the country.

We’re hiring quickly, and so shoot me an email (jacob@freshprints.com) if you’re graduating and think you’re a good fit, or you want a summer internship!!”


Congratulations to the whole team at Fresh Prints and thank you for being part of the Olin Holiday Shop-a-thon!

Read more about Fresh Prints on WashU Fuse.

Recent Fresh Prints T-shirt creations:

Photos courtesy of Fresh Prints.

This past summer, I became an intern at an amazing nonprofit called Variety the Children’s Charity of New York, whose mission is to transform the lives of children through the arts. The office was just me and three other co-workers, so I had the opportunity to jump into whatever area I felt could best benefit from my skill set. From that, I chose social media, and took on the title of social media manager.

That being said, before this internship, I had never managed a company’s social media nor had I even thought much about doing so.  I saw an opportunity to step in and help grow this company’s online presence, so I took a shot at it and learned a ton. Through my experience and hours of research, I’m here to pass on everything I’ve learned during my summer in social media marketing.

Give the company a voice on social media

I quickly realized the importance of using social media as a tool to give your company a personalized voice. I was at a children’s charity, so it was easy to find a bubbly and friendly persona to match the charity’s mission. Giving the company a voice also allowed us to keep up with all of our grantees and sponsors on a day-to-day basis, which created a closer, more personal relationship with each of them. I was able to respond to every small event that each grantee had and support them all daily. It was also a great way to show our following the great work that we do and the amazing grantees that we fund.

Creating content that both reaffirms your company’s mission statement and includes the company name, strengthens the brand’s image.

Creating content that both reaffirms your company’s mission statement and includes the company name, strengthens the brand’s image.

Content is key!

When I told my friends that I was managing the social media for a small company, they were confused how this would be a nearly full-time job. However, what they didn’t know was how important it was to find the perfect content. From my research, I learned of the “5-3-2 Ratio” of social media posting; that is, sharing five posts of content from others, three posts of relevant content from us, and two “personal” status updates to humanize the company.  This last step is important because it creates more personal relationships with the company’s following which adds a level of loyalty that is extremely important. Although the 5-3-2 ratio is more of a guideline than a hard-and-fast rule for all social media, it was helpful in reminding me of the importance of balancing self-promotion with supporting the non-profit community.

Leave your mark (and brand) on social media

For all companies, especially smaller ones, it is important to brand all your original content. Anything that you can put your brand on, you should. I saw this to be really helpful in getting our name out there and growing the company’s following. It increases legitimacy for the company and also just strengthens the overall visibility.

Don’t overdo hashtags on Twitter or Facebook

It’s important to remember hashtags are only so helpful. They are amazing tools for growing your followership, especially when you’re tweeting about specific subjects that relate to your company—but you don’t want to overdo it.  Using one or even two hashtags per tweet is more than sufficient. If you add too many, your message becomes less clear and it looks less professional. Another great hashtag tip is to create your own hashtags for upcoming events. This will help brand the event or campaign and encourage followers to engage more!

Stay consistent in your social media voice and posting frequency

As you grow your followership, you have to think of each follower as an individual relationship. So remaining consistent on content and timing is extremely important for nurturing these relationships. You don’t want to change your topic from the arts one day to car racing the next. It’s also good to remember to tweet or post a consistent amount each day (this means weekends too!). To do this, you can plan ahead using HootSuite, which organizes your Twitter and Facebook content into categories and lets you schedule posts ahead of time.

Intel literally puts the silicon in “Silicon Valley” and is the world’s largest and highest valued semiconductor chip maker based on revenue. In 1978, Intel engineers invented the x86 architecture, which has been adopted as the industry standard for manufacturing microprocessors. Intel architecture provides stability for hardware and software solutions throughout the value chain. Intel sells processors to computer system manufacturers like Dell, HP, Lenova, Apple, and Samsung. As a result, Intel processors are found in most personal computers and other computing form factors. The engineers at Intel are the premier experts in their field and often have as many as 20 patents to their names.

Innovation is not a buzz word at Intel to be thrown around lightly.

Intel business leaders and engineer architectures developed processors for the Saturn V rocket that put man on the moon, and they continue to develop solutions that will eventually power smart cities and machine learning in the near future. If you stream Netflix, you are witnessing the power of an Intel Xeon processor in an Amazon server farm.

For my internship, I was assigned to the Client Computing Group (CCG). CCG is Intel’s largest group by revenue and sells Pentium, Celeron, and Core processors to large enterprises and consumers. My project was to find specific new use cases or markets for a technology called Intel Active Management Technology (Intel AMT). Intel AMT provides out-of-band manageability, or manageability even when the system is turned off or when the Operating System is failing, for enterprises to manage their IT systems more effectively. Intel AMT has been around for 10 years, and commands the highest product margin in the enterprise desktop and notebook space.  For business clients, Intel’s strategy has always been to drive sell-up to AMT Core i5/i7. This sell-up provides millions in incremental revenue each year for Intel’s Client Computing Group.

To discover new use cases, I first developed a business framework to filter and test new ideas. The first part of the framework addresses if there is a need for remote out-of-band manageability. Often times, most problems can be resolved in-band, or when the power is turned on. AMT is only value-added if the customer needs manageability out-of-band or when the system is in an off-state. Then I looked at the specific capabilities of Intel AMT (power control, remediation, virtual boot) and decided which use cases would require these specific capabilities. The most important criteria in this part of the framework was the probability of system failure. If a system has a very low probability of failure, there is not really a compelling reason to have out-of-band manageability because in the very rare event of failure, there is no financially compelling reason to invest in Intel AMT. Finally, I conducted market sizing to determine the total addressable markets and market segment shares for use cases that were selected from the framework. After I developed a market model, I was able to provide net present value ranges for my project recommendations by analyzing the amount of upsell and market segment share gain my recommendation would receive.

The finance intern coordinators in Oregon did a great job of planning and executing extracurricular activities for the interns. In addition to a host of happy hours and social events, the coordinators took the interns zip lining, hiking, and white water rafting. There were plenty of opportunities provided to interact and network with operations partners and finance leaders from each of the business units, including iCap, Intel’s venture capital firm.

Intel finance roles require developing business acumen and becoming a strategic thinker.

Finance supports the various business units in a way that is similar to how combat arms branches support maneuver units in the Army. As a field artillery officer I was always supporting an infantry commander two or three levels above my own grade. It was my job to understand their intent and provide recommendations based on my indirect fires capabilities.

This relationship and organization is nearly identical to how Intel finance supports their business partners. A finance manager or controller often supports a general manager or vice president that is much senior. The operations partners depend on finance leaders to provide unbiased financial analysis that represents the shareholder’s best interests.

Guest blogger: Army veteran and 2nd year Olin MBA student Joe Langella

Photo courtesy of Flickr/summerfairy

There is often more emphasis placed on getting the internship of your dreams than is placed on actually doing the internship. You know what I mean? People always get worked up in the actual application process.

Applicants like to talk about their past without having to talk about what they will do in the future–it’s easier. And even then, talk is just talk . Results are what really matters. Don’t get me wrong; getting an internship is hard. But it is what you do after you get an internship that counts.

So when I entered my internship this summer, I came in with really clear goals and an actionable plan for achieving those goals. I did not want to be a forgettable intern; I want to be the intern that the company cannot afford to lose after the summer.

In the very beginning of my internship this summer, I sat with the person “overseeing” my work and we went over goals (OKRs: Objective and Key Results). Every week I review those goals and make sure that every single thing I am doing is, in one way or another, helping me work toward those goals. These OKRs are not just for professional development, but also for personal development — things that will help me grow on all scales. Here are some of the general themes that you can take from my objectives. These are overarching ideas that best describe my goals.

Add as much value to the company as is possible for an intern

What that means to me is to do literally whatever it takes to help the company–even if that means learning new things that I am not exactly comfortable with or doing things that seem stupid .  If it will help the company, I am there for them. I wake up earlier. I get to the office early. I stay late. I skip lunches. Whatever it takes to do my job and more is what I will do.

Why would I do such a thing? It may seem a bit irrational to do all of this extra work. After all, I am just an intern. Here is the key insight you need to have as an intern:

This is the one opportunity you may have in your life to gain allies while only spending 2 or 3 months, with little risk involved. You may never again have a supportive environment in which to ‘mess up’; you may never again be rewarded for trying.

The truth is that hard work does not go unnoticed. And as an intern, you want to be noticed. You want to be remembered (hopefully for something good). You literally want to do anything and everything you can to stick in someone’s mind.

Which brings me to my second point…

Go out of your way to meet people during your internship

I want to meet as many people as I can. And hopefully, with enough hard work, meet people that will vouch for me in the future.

So I made it one of my objectives to get lunch with at least one new person a week from within the company. This will be a great way to engage in conversation and learn more about people’s pasts and what they are looking for in the future. Also, it will help me work better and improve my team communication skills!

Be a curious and enthusiastic intern

I do not want to leave the summer only having completed my work — AKA the barebones.

I want to learn so, so much. And to do that I have to be methodical. To do that I have to be extremely straightforward with upper management and extremely transparent with my goals.

Because other employees are not sitting around brainstorming ways for me to learn. They are busy running a company! So it is on me and my personal initiative to set up extra meetings, talk to people in other departments, and work at the skills I need to grow.

That is how you optimize for learning — pushing your number of “asks” to the limit and always looking to challenge yourself.

I really hope people take these ideas seriously and apply them to your work in an internship or whatever capacity. Go out and do something big and people will not forget! (And, forward this to someone with an internship).

This post was originally featured on Medium and was republished with permission from the author.

You thought once you had the internship you would stop worrying. The truth is, you are now more worried than before.  You have a ton of questions: “What will I be doing? How do I get the most out of the summer?  What should I do to differentiate myself? Will they like me?” Okay, maybe that last question isn’t going through your mind. It should though, and I will tell you why a little later.

Let’s take the other questions first.

“What will I be doing?”

Well, hopefully, from a functional role and responsibilities standpoint you were able to get a sense of this during the interview process. If not, you do need to get those basic questions answered. There is still time to ask the recruiter or someone you have connected with at the company to get a better idea. You should ask for specifics if possible. Try to understand if you will be responsible for a defined set of tasks or outcomes. Will you be working in a team or fairly independently?  Will you be able to have exposure to numerous business areas? Be prepared with questions that will help you gain the understanding you need to be as effective and successful as possible during your internship.

“How do I differentiate myself from other interns?”

A goal for most from their internship is to receive a full time offer at the end of the summer. To do this you not only have to do a stellar job but you also need to differentiate yourself from the others. To help understand what this takes: ask.

Ask the recruiter; ask a mentor (which you should seek out immediately!); ask your supervisor. By asking multiple people you will get different perspectives which will all be helpful. Once you have their guidance you can go into action making sure you deliver against it.

During the course of your internship you need to ask how you are performing. You need to assess your progress and your contributions several times over the course of the internship. Don’t wait to the end to potentially find out you missed something. There is no chance to course correct then. If you ask throughout the summer you can work to improve or strengthen certain areas. And ask at the end. Know where you stand before you pack up and head back to school.

“How do I get the most out of my experience over the summer?”

This is not only up to your employer but also you. You need to have a sense for what you need to learn, be exposed to, and walk away knowing more about. You need to think about how you will define success. Helping to define that can steer you to the actions you should take to make sure you can check on your “must haves”. Sure, your employer has expectations you need to meet. That is a given and you should never lose sight of that. However, you should have expectations too.

To get the most out of your experience, first and foremost, you need to be in the thick of things. You need to SHOW UP. And I don’t mean just physically come in on time and be in the right place. There is more to this than the status quo.

Are you trying to understand the company culture and how they treat their employees, their customers, their vendors? Then SHOW UP to every outing you can physically (and appropriately) attend. Go out for the company after hours get-togethers. ASK for an invitation to a customer event or a vendor event. Treat it like you are “auditing the course”. If you are hoping to see how corporate decisions are made at a C level, talk to your supervisor or mentor and ASK if you might be able to attend a C level meeting. Granted this may be a little tricky, but asking with a clear description of why might just do the trick. Are you hoping to develop strong analytical skills then STEP FORWARD and ASK to take on a part of a project or shadow another project team member that has those responsibilities. Look for opportunities to do more and separate yourself from the pack.

You may be seeing a theme here. To really get the most out of your summer you need to show up, step forward, and ask.

And now the last question – “Will they like me?”

We don’t want to necessarily admit it, but that is in our heads. Always. It is like the first day of school. You want to be liked. For your internship this is part of it as well. Companies will make offers to people they see themselves working with, that they like. There, I said it – don’t send the hate mail. In internships and in real life the secret here is the same. Building a broad network over the summer will help you be known by people at all levels and in many areas of the company. The more people that can speak to who you are (and not just your supervisor) and how you “fit” with the company will be helpful. Seek out people to connect with over lunches, coffee, or whatever works with your job. Be professional, do your job at the highest level, be helpful, be a team player, be respectful. It is the basics. Be someone you would want to hire and work with. It really is that simple.

Fast forward, you made it to the end of the summer and everything feels great. You think it was a successful foray into the business world and your supervisor and the company echo that with a full time offer.  Congratulations!

You have the job (if you want it). Now what?  More on that later.

Guest Blogger: Lisa M. Herbert, LMH Advisors and WCC advisor