Tag: internships

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.

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.

More than 24 Olin alumni and current students interning in the Bay Area enjoyed lively conversation and dinner at Schroeder’s in San Francisco hosted by Mark Brostoff, associate dean and director Weston Career Center and Emily Mahon, Olin alumni and development office.

For students of the Olin Business School, a summer internship has always been an important part of the career planning and search strategy. In a recent survey of HR professionals, managers and executives commissioned by the Chronicles of Higher Education, it was no surprise that internships still outweigh other factors when employers evaluate candidates for hire.

Internships were ranked as the most important factor in deciding whether to hire a recent college graduate or not, even ahead of employment during college, academic major, volunteer experience and GPA.

Image: Flickr creative commons, Flazingo Photos, Scrabble resume

Studying at Singapore Management University thanks to the dual-degree Global Master of Finance program offered me the great opportunity to gain exposure to the Asian lifestyle and education system. Not only is this program fostering my business acumen but it’s helping me build a stronger understanding of business trends within this part of the world; hence I decided to engage myself beyond the classroom and pursue a part-time internship.

Guest Blogger: Marco Iachini, Global Master of Finance, Class of 2015

Marco 1After a few weeks of networking, online research, and emails, I was able to secure a position with a local start-up at the end of the fall semester. The Singaporean government strongly supports entrepreneurship—thus it’s very common to find local start-ups, especially in the financial technology sector.

The company I interned for created a finance-related phone app which was still in the pre-revenue phase, so I found myself wearing different hats on a daily basis. I wrote daily and weekly market summaries, helped with the marketing and social media strategy, and lastly, I learned how to use Cran-R to gather and analyze data in order to formulate new trading strategies.

Marco 2Despite my availability being fairly limited, this opportunity gave me a chance to understand how to build a company from the ground up, and gave me insight into the startup world. Moreover, I had the chance of working alongside local successful finance professionals from which I learned many valuable lessons.

As my time in Singapore is coming to an end and I find myself preparing for my return to Olin, I think of how much I’ve learned from this internship and how useful it was for me inside the classroom and during job interviews. It gave me a chance to learn new skills, improve my business acumen, and most importantly, made me a more valuable professional. For these reasons, I strongly recommend to future GMF candidates: try finding an internship, as it will likely be an enriching experience especially here in Singapore!

The importance of summer internships for MBA students is the focus of a U.S. News article, “Develop Skills in Classes, Clubs for an MBA Internship,” that taps Olin’s Mark Brostoff for some his expertise on how to prepare for an internship. Brostoff is the director of the Weston Career Center that works with all Olin students on career planning and preparedness.