The Good Intern
New Year, New Goals
The First Day
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Being stressed to the max can be one of the unfortunate side effects of balancing an internship with school and all of the other responsibilities college kids tend to rack up.  With a full plate, sometimes the stress can feel unbearable.  Believe me, I've been there!  Feeling anxious all of the time, getting sick often, suffering from constant headaches, and unusual weight loss can all be signs that you are experiencing too much stress.  If you experience any of those symptoms your body is trying to tell you that you're taking on too much!

Believe it or not, there are some more effective ways for managing your stress than pulling out your hair or banging your head on the wall.  The main idea is to stay calm and not let your responsibilities consume you.  YOU control your life and have the ability to enjoy it as long as you manage the stress effectively.

Here are some tips for handling stress in college:

Learn to say "no"

Although it pains me to admit it, one person is not capable of doing it all.  As much as we sometimes like to try, there are things you simply  have to say no to for the sake of your own sanity.  Whether it's an unachievable deadline or a favor for one of your student organizations, add the word "NO" to your vocabulary and stat.  As long as you are polite about turning something down, you shouldn't add to your stress by worrying about hurting people's feelings.  Hopefully, the people you are dealing with are mature adults and will understand your time constraints.  If they don't, reconsider your commitment to them in the first place.

Make your to-do list your best friend

Not only should you keep an ongoing list of everything that you need to accomplish, but you should prioritize that list.  Put important tasks that need to be done sooner at the top and tasks that aren't quite as pressing towards the bottom.  This should prevent that overwhelming feeling of looking at your to-do list and not quite knowing where to start because there is so much.  It will also keep you from jumping up in the middle of the night because you remembered one more thing that you have to get done.  I manage my to-do list on a free program called Evernote, which hosts all of my lists online and lets me access and edit them from my phone, computer, or anywhere that has Internet. A service like this is great because it prevents any confusion that could come from not having your list on hand.

Eat and sleep (seriously)

If you need a reminder to eat and sleep you have more serious problems than I can help you with; yet so many busy college kids don't get the amount of sleep they need each night or the right nutrition from their meals.  Although I am a Ramen connoisseur and have a penchant for certain junk foods, I always make sure I'm getting some protein and greens each day as well.  You don't have to be a health nut, but realize that what you eat is what fuels you for the day and all of your activities.   Always eat a good breakfast, whether you have time for a bowl of Cap'n Crunch or eggs and toast, you have to eat something.  Also, go to bed!  You are going to be exhausted and even more stressed if you aren't getting close to 8 hours of sleep each night.  If you're a night owl do your best to avoid early morning classes and vice versa.  Sleeping is not optional although sometimes it can feel like it.  Whether you need to find time for a power nap during the day or set yourself a bedtime, do what it takes to find time for this necessity.

Go outside

It sounds trivial, but getting some quality time in the sun can really help reduce stress levels.  Being outside boosts Vitamin D levels which is vital to good health and causes the release of endorphins, which are the body's natural anti-depressants; just make sure you wear sunscreen (Associated Content).  All throughout college I have opted to walk to class instead of drive, at least part of the way.  If you are a commuter don't waste your time fighting for the closest parking spot on campus in the morning.  Instead, opt for the spot that is a bit farther and walk the rest of the way to class.  Not only will you get some extra rays and a little exercise that will help wake you up and prepare you for the day, but walking can help clear your mind and give you a chance to plug into your iPod if that's what helps you relax.

Schedule some "me" time

No matter how much you have going on you absolutely must schedule time for yourself, even if this means actually blocking out a period of time in your planner (I literally have Glee and Law and Order: SVU marked on my calendar every week).  For some people, closing the door and watching a movie or an hour of TV in peace and quiet is what helps recharge their batteries, while for others going out and socializing or playing sports is what keeps them refreshed.  A brain that is always working is eventually going to get exhausted and will start being unproductive, so give it a rest every once in a while.

If all else fails make some cuts

If you get to the point where there is nothing else you can do to alleviate some of the stress, it's time to reevaluate your commitments.  Are there student organizations that you aren't really dedicated to?  Do you have to be on three different intramural sports teams?  Make a list of everything that takes up your time and take a good hard look at it to separate the important things from the other stuff that might be draining your time and energy.

Here are some helpful quizzes from that can help you determine how stressed you are.

The Stress Reliever Personality Test

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The Do's and Don'ts of LinkedIn Etiquette

Friday, September 24, 2010
For any career-minded college student or recent grad, having a profile on LinkedIn is basically expected in order to stay ahead of the game and network with peers, companies, and other professionals. As a member of this 65 million person network, not only do you get to shamelessly market yourself for the entire world to see, but you are able to stay on the radar of recruiters for potential job opportunities, something no unemployed recent grad can afford to pass up.
There is no question that LinkedIn is a great tool for promoting yourself and garnering invaluable professional contacts, but the same reason LinkedIn is so great is what makes it so scary to use. Unlike Facebook, with its more carefree and social atmosphere, on LinkedIn you are potentially connecting with your employer, your professors, and other contacts you typically would not want perusing your Facebook profile and having access to your personal information.
While it is pretty easy to figure out the basics of LinkedIn, the specifics of how exactly you should utilize LinkedIn’s functions and figuring out what is appropriate and what is not can be tricky.
Neal Schaffer, author of Windmill Networking: Understanding, Leveraging & Maximizing LinkedInis pretty much Her Campus’s go-to guy when it comes to learning about LinkedIn, having sat down with Her Campus contributing writer Betty Jin earlier this year to discuss almost everything there is to know about the site. In this article, Neal shares what exactly is acceptable on LinkedIn when inviting people to connect, asking for recommendations, and posting status updates. With his advice, next time you get that queasy feeling in your stomach when you go to connect with your boss on LinkedIn, you can breathe a little easier knowing that you are acting just as any professional should.
Inviting people to connect
Inviting people to join your network is one of the most basic functions of LinkedIn and embodies the whole purpose of the site. This simple task of reaching out to people may seem harmless enough, but becomes complicated when you come across someone such as one of your professors or the editor-in-chief of the magazine you interned for, and you are not quite sure whether or not to take the plunge and actually hit “connect”.
LinkedIn was designed to encourage people to connect with others they have actually met and know somewhat well. Friends, classmates, professors, and contacts from jobs and internships are all great people to use to expand your network. It becomes tricky when you want to connect with someone you may have met a job fair who told you to keep in touch or the head honcho of the company you interned for who you only met a couple times and doubt remembers you. Luckily, LinkedIn is evolving and it has become acceptable to connect with these types of people as well as people you might not know at all under some conditions; it just takes a little more work on your part.
Deciding how to go about connecting with a person on LinkedIn can be one of the most challenging parts of using the site. If you know the person well, the options that LinkedIn gives you when you go to add them to your network such as “Friend”, “Colleague”, “Classmate”, etc. should be easy enough to figure out. On the other hand, if you are trying to reach out to someone you do not know quite as well and who does not necessarily fit into those categories, you need to go the extra mile and pull a few tricks.
  • Look at the person’s profile and see what groups they are members of on LinkedIn
  • Become a member of one of their groups ONLY if it is relevant to you
  • When you go to connect with the person again, an option will come up that you can select to explain that you are members of the same group
  • OR you can use the group to send a message to the person explaining why you would like to connect
When inviting a person to join your network, you are always given the option to add a personal note to the request. Not including a personal message is a pet peeve of many LinkedIn users and could hurt your chance of gaining the connection; it also helps the person to remember you and gives you a chance to explain why you want to connect with them.
“Regardless as to how well you know the person that you invite, they may not remember you as well,” advises Neal. “Therefore, as a rule of thumb, you should always customize your invitations so that you indicate how you know the person and why you want to connect with them.”
Your note can be something short such as, “My name is Michelle and I interned for your company last summer. I really enjoyed working for the marketing department and would love to use LinkedIn to stay in touch with some of the people I met while interning there and build up my network on LinkedIn.” The most important thing to remember is to use common sense when reaching out to different people on LinkedIn, and to plan out your actions before you have the chance to make any mistakes.
Asking for recommendations

Recommendations on LinkedIn are virtual versions of letters of recommendation you would normally ask for from someone on paper, although these types are much shorter. If you are a serious user of LinkedIn, meaning you do not just have a profile because everyone else does, but because you honestly want to network and create a professional image for yourself, then recommendations are a necessary part of being a member of LinkedIn. Recommendations are also a must if you want to use LinkedIn to find future jobs and internships. They give you more credibility and add a sense of completeness to your profile which is appealing to those looking at your profile.
You only want to ask for recommendations from people who know you well and can vouch for your skills and abilities, not someone you hardly know. Internship or work supervisors are great people to ask for recommendations, as well as professors whose classes you did exceedingly well in. The best time to ask for a recommendation is shortly after you worked with the person or took their class, although asking for recommendations later is also fine as long as you provide a refresher on who you are and why they would want to recommend you.
Be sure to provide a thorough explanation for why you are seeking a recommendation, whether you are looking for a job or internship, trying to improve your profile, or whatever your reasons may be. Just as you would do when asking for a typical letter of recommendation, you should remind the person what you accomplished while working for them or what skills you displayed that were noteworthy.
“You're not writing your recommendation for them, but merely serving to remind them about what you did for them so that they can paint a complete picture of you from memory,” said Neal.
If you ask someone for an actual letter of recommendation, discreetly ask if they might be willing to use an excerpt of it to recommend you on LinkedIn as well. The worst they can do is say no. Since we are talking about etiquette, one of the most important parts of asking for a recommendation on LinkedIn is to thank the person for taking the time to write one for you. Taking the time to do so will leave the door open for future opportunities, which can never hurt.
Posting updates
While tweeting what you are doing every five minutes is the new trend, I hate to break it to you, but your professional contacts probably do not care. Just like Facebook and Twitter, on LinkedIn you have the opportunity to post updates through the “Status Update” box on your profile, but beware, updates on LinkedIn should be treated significantly different than posting on other networking sites.
“The LinkedIn Status Update, while seemingly innocent, will post your update to your network in the News Feed on their Home Page,” warned Neal. “Since the majority of LinkedIn users used it before Facebook or Twitter, the current environment is one in which status updates no more than once a day are tolerated.”
Whatever you do, DO NOT link your Twitter account with your LinkedIn profile in a way that automatically posts every tweet to LinkedIn, especially if you tweet often. Status updates on LinkedIn should consist of positive information about your life that helps promote you professionally, such as updates about professional events you attended or projects you are working on for school, while blurbs about your tailgating plans for the weekend and how you loved the new episode of “ The Jersey Shore” are not.
With these clarifications, you are now ready to fearlessly brave the seas of LinkedIn and use it to your utmost benefit!
Neal Schaffer, author of Windmill Networking: Understanding, Leveraging & Maximizing LinkedIn

To read the full post on Her Campus with comments click here!
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Recently, on The Good Intern there was a poll on the homepage where students voted on whether or not they would be participating in a fall internship.  The poll asked "Are you participating in a fall internship this year?" and the options were A) "Yes, definitely.  I'll intern during any season", B) "No, fall is time to focus on school", or C) "I want to, but I haven't found one yet."  When the poll first launched, option A and B were both extremely close to being the winner, but by the time the poll closed option B won with 42% of the votes.  The majority of the people who voted would not be participating in a fall internship because they want to focus on school.

The results of the poll left me thinking about what exactly is involved in a fall internship.  It's true that an internship in the fall can be more difficult than summer opportunities because of the need to balance the responsibilities of being an intern with classes, extracurricular activities, homework, and maybe even a job, but fall internships also present an entirely different set of benefits than summer internships.  To list some of the perks, for upperclassmen it may be one of the last opportunities to intern for someone who might be a potential employer, you are able to network and gain experience in a different community than maybe you would at home during the summer, plus as a fall intern you might be asked to intern for the entire school year.

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Since I am obviously a major advocate for fall internships, here are some tips to help fall interns succeed during the fall semester which might even persuade those on the fence to reconsider whether or not to seek out a fall internship.

Be clear about your schedule

Many supervisors will be flexible with your schedule as long as you are upfront about your time commitments.  The time involved in a fall internship is something that should be established during the interview so you have a realistic idea of if you will be able to do the internship without your other obligations suffering.  Before you start your internship, sit down with your supervisor and work out a schedule that works for both of you.  Draw out an estimated weekly schedule beforehand that accounts for work, classes, time for homework, meetings, and any other commitments, so you have a clear idea of when you are available.  Also, offer to do some work remotely at home or on evenings/weekends if the company will allow it.  E-mail makes it extremely easy to stay in touch with your supervisor if you are working from another location.

Run a tight ship

In order to succeed as a fall intern your need to be extremely organized.  I recommend keeping two separate planners; one strictly for school assignments, and one for your internship and other time commitments.  When your schedule is packed, things have a tendency to fall through the cracks and can lead to major dilemmas, so keep your life organized to avoid any slip-ups.  If you aren't used to using a planner it can be hard to remember to pencil things in at first, but after a while it will become automatic and make your life much easier.

Learn to multi-task

As a fall intern you will have to wear many hats such as student, intern, sorority/fraternity member, employee, etc. and need to be prepared to play numerous roles in one day.  For this reason, I recommend keeping lists of tasks you need to accomplish for each different category, listed by importance, that you can easily access at any time.  I like to keep multiple lists on my Blackberry since it's pretty much with me at all times.  That way, no matter where I'm at I can recall what I need to do without having to rely on memory alone.

Take time to breathe

It's so easy to get caught up in the stress that interning and going to school at the same time can bring.  To avoid losing your mind schedule time for yourself, whether it's spending time with friends or settling down to watch a movie alone, make sure you are still doing the things you enjoy and that allow you to lighten up a little.  College is supposed to be fun, remember?

Here's what some of The Good Intern's Twitter followers had to say:

(Visit her blog here)
@ Yes, internships are important, but make sure you still have time for school work. Be honest with yourself. 

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Little ways to make money on campus. - Her Campus

Check out some of these wacky scholarships and see if you are eligible.  If not, it'll still give you a good laugh. - The Huffington Post

Jones New York has a great digital "Little Black Book" on their website full of career advice from 100+ influential women. - Jones New York

Can you guess the perfect salary for happiness? - The Wall Street Journal

What some businesses claim recent college grads lack. - The Wall Street Journal
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apesoli @TheGoodIntern Any suggestions for resume layouts?

Of course!  Having a resume that's up-to-date and ready to go is so important for young professionals, because you never know when an opportunity might arise where you need to give someone a copy of your resume pronto.  Not only is the information included on your resume important, but the look and feel of it can say a lot about you as well.  As you've probably heard, potential employers only spent a few seconds looking over a resume, so make sure the design of your resume is great in order to capture their attention for a bit longer.


When working on my own personal resume, I like to look for a template that I like and then change the order of things around and mess with the formatting to make it more suitable for my needs.  If you're going to use Microsoft Office, this website is a good place to start.  Just a warning that it might take a few tries to find something that you really like or are able to easily change (some templates make it hard to re-format).  Look for a layout that is well-organized and easy to read instead of too cluttered or distractingly colorful.


One sure-fire way to NOT get your resume read is to use all 12-point Times New Roman font with no special formatting to break up the text... boring!  Instead, stick to one font, but use bullet points under each job or internship to list what you accomplished.  I also sometimes use bullet points under my student organizations to explain how I was involved or under community service to detail what I did.  Just make sure to keep each bullet to one line of text, and use semi-colons to include two topics on one bullet point to avoid lines that are too short and taking up space.  This keeps things stream-lined, but adds a little extra to keep it visually appealing.


Mix in bold and italic font to draw the readers eye where you want it to go.  For example, on my resume I have in bold my major and minor, my GPA, my job titles, and the headings of each section.  I also have the name of my school and the businesses that I worked at in all caps.  The result is that my resume looks clean and professional, but still has different elements that keep it interesting.


One of the things I have the most trouble with is keeping my resume to a manageable length.  The general rule is to keep your resume to two pages at most, and preferably one, the reason being that recruiters want to be able to scan the resume quickly, get what they need, and move on.  Remember that your resume is not supposed to be a comprehensive history of your professional and academic experiences, just a highlight of what parts of your background make you a good fit for the job.  Sometimes it helps me to have one resume saved that includes every job, internship, community service project, etc. that I've worked on, and then pick and choose information from that resume to paste into a new one specific to whatever opportunity I'm needing a resume for.

Keep reading for advice on the content of your resume coming soon!

If you would like to ask The Good Intern a question regarding anything dealing with internships, either send a tweet to @TheGoodIntern or fill out the form on the Contact page of this site, and you will receive a response either on the blog or by email.

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Just to give you a quick life update, in my spare time (spare time, what's that?) I've teamed up with Her Campus, an online student magazine for college women, as a contributing writer for their career articles.  Her Campus is written entirely by student journalists from all over the U.S. and focuses on giving college girls all of the info they need to know about, well... life in general.

Below is my first article for the site which is currently #1 on Her Campus' "What's Hot Right Now" list.  I hope you like it!

Friday, September 10, 2010
You know those girls who come back to school in the fall raving about their amazing summer experiences? The ones who spent their summers traveling the world or doing internships you never actually thought were achievable, while you spent the entire break sprawled out by the pool, working on your tan with cocktail in hand?
Three of these girls whom you should be totally jealous of are Michelle, Ashli, and Amelia. They spent their summers helping children in third-world countries, surrounded by the glitz and glamour of NYC, and mingling with major politicians in Washington, D.C.
While you may have a great tan, these girls truly had the best summer ever, and with just a little advice, you can too! 
The Humanitarian- Michelle Corkrum
Michelle Corkrum, a 19-year-old neuroscience major at Wellesley College, realized her passion for helping young children in war-torn countries when she was only a junior in high school. With accomplishments under her belt such as founding her own non-profit organization, For the Children, which aids women and children in Liberia, and facilitating projects such as donation drives for clothes and books to send to children in a medical center near Baghdad, Iraq, it was no wonder that when summer rolled around, Michelle was ready to participate in a humanitarian trip overseas.
With the help of For the Children and her mom, Michelle found an opportunity with the Caring for Tomorrow’s Generation orphanage in Buchanan, Liberia. While there, she worked with children ranging from infants to 15-year-olds, all of whom had either become orphaned, abandoned or destitute because of the consequences of the Liberian civil war.
“I love working with children and providing them with a sense of hope and comfort,” said Michelle. “All the children I worked with were strong and beautiful individuals that had gone through so much, and despite everything they came out survivors.”
During her stay, Michelle facilitated the 6th grade math and science classes, leading the lectures and helping plan the academic review sessions each week.
“Overall, the best reward I received was walking away each day knowing that each child looked forward to seeing me the next day, just as much as I desired to see them the next day,” said Michelle. “Because of the constant love the children receive everyday they believe that their future will be better than their past.”
Tips for finding humanitarian work overseas:
Team up with an organization: 
There are a wide variety of non-profit organizations that coordinate philanthropic efforts and will be able to take care of a lot of the specific details for you. Search for ones by utilizing your school resources and local community or search the web for organizations that share your interests. Check out websites such as, or for starters.
Gather support: 
Let your family and friends know what type of volunteer work you’re interested in and why. Often times, you will be responsible for paying the travel costs to get to wherever the opportunity is, which can be oceans away. Having both the financial and emotional support of loved ones will be highly beneficial.
Be prepared: 
You must be willing to be open-minded and accept certain challenges, especially in third-world countries. You might witness certain things that are hard to swallow, such as children suffering and a general lack of resources, so be sure you understand the history and the culture of the country beforehand. Also, be mentally ready to potentially rough it without internet access or a straightening iron, as many places who need volunteers the most might not be able to sustain these luxuries.
The Fashionista- Ashli Pollard
For anyone with a penchant for designer fashion and a closet full of ridiculously stylish clothes like Ashli Pollard, a 22-year-old Fashion Merchandising major at Missouri State University, a summer internship in New York City is the epitome of a dream internship.
After working on photo shoots for numerous magazines and serving as designer coordinator for several fashion shows around her hometown, Ashli was ready to take the plunge and start searching for a summer internship in NYC.
Her big break came from an ad posted on Craigslist, of all places. “Gotta love the new age!” joked Ashli. As soon as she sealed the deal for an internship with Ideal Fastener, the second largest zipper manufacturer in the world which provides zippers to virtually every major apparel brand in the USA and Europe (including all of the major designers in NYC), Ashli packed her things and headed to the Big Apple.
Once there, Ashli quickly learned she wouldn’t just be making copies and running errands. She spent her time working with global account managers and creating presentations for sales meetings with well-known companies such as Betsey Johnson, DKNY, Gap, and Tommy Hilfiger, all the while networking with top executives.
“I got to put in my opinion and sometimes they took my advice, which was exciting,” said Ashli.
The highlight of her summer internship in NYC was meeting the VP of Merchandising for Oscar de la Renta, who opened the door for Ashli to possibly work with the company’s PR department on this year’s Spring Fashion Week.
“Your attitude is just as important as the work you do,” said Ashli about interning. “I made a million mistakes, I messed up every day. But I smiled, I was gracious and thankful, I apologized and now look! They offered me a full-time job upon graduating!”
Tips for landing a fashion internship:
Use your connections:
If you’re involved with the fashion department at your school or have had other jobs or experience in fashion, ask some of the people you’ve met if they know of available positions or have contacts that you can utilize.
Network! Network! Network!:
Tell as many people you can about your fashion ambitions and doors you never knew existed may open. Don’t be afraid to casually tell people you meet about your goals for the future and what you specifically love about fashion.
Aim high, shoot low:
It’s okay to be ambitious and apply for internships with distinguished companies such as Vogue or Chanel, but also apply for internships at smaller companies which, in the end, are less competitive and might end up giving you more hands-on experience.
The Aspiring Politico- Amelia McDermott
Internships in Washington, D.C. are competitive, educational, and essentially a “must” for anyone seeking to get a firsthand look at our country’s political system like Amelia McDermott, a 20-year-old International Relations major at Wellesley College.
Having heard about the summer internships on the Hill from other students at her school, Amelia applied for internships with all of the U.S. Senators and Congressmen from her area, and was lucky enough to have been accepted to all of them.
She ended up choosing to spend the summer interning for Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine, answering the phones and giving tours of the Capitol to visitors from her home state.
“I loved connecting constituents to the Senator and helping make their voices known,” said Amelia. “It really gave me insight into our political system and the legislative branch in particular.”
While most people are limited to seeing political superstars such as Hillary Clinton and John McCain on the Internet or news channels, Amelia had face-time with both during her internship, along with other staples in the political world.
“I personally worship the ground that Hillary Clinton walks on, so when she was on Capitol Hill for a hearing, a few other girls from school and I held up a "Wellesley" sign and she came over and gave us a hug,” said Amelia (Wellesley is Clinton’s alma mater).
“I was at a reception for the Pat Tillman Foundation where John McCain was the guest speaker, and later on I saw him by himself looking at a painting on the wall,” said Amelia. “I jokingly told him that I liked Sarah Palin’s shoes. He laughed so hard and whenever I saw him in the hallway in the office building after that, he would chuckle and wave at me.”
Tips for landing a legislative internship:
Sell yourself:
Make sure you have an impressive resume and cover letter. You definitely want to stand out from the crowd of mostly impressive applications legislative offices receive. Be sure to stress your awesome communication skills, time management skills, and ability to learn quickly and be flexible, as these are qualities that will definitely come in handy.
Due to the large amount of applications most legislative offices receive, follow-up a week after you submit your materials, just to make sure they actually received them.
Don’t be afraid to do grunt-work:
In the beginning, expect to do mostly menial tasks such as filing, but if you show the staff how capable you are, they might give you more responsibility like sending you to take notes at hearings.
Michelle Corkrum
Ashli Pollard
Amelia McDermott

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