The day has finally come.  I’m done with my internship, and for some reason, I’m not ready to be done.  I feel like there is so much more I can do, and I wish that I could continue to help Intern Profits become a successful and trusted business.

In these last six months, I have learned more than I ever thought I could.  Through the Intern Profits System™, as well as direct interaction with Dreama and Justin, I have been able to build a portfolio filled with examples of my work.  I now have the experience and confidence that I needed in order to kick-start my career in Public Relations.  Six months ago, I knew this was what I wanted to do, but there was no way I was going to be able to start my career without any experience! This internship was the only way for me to solve the issue of the catch 22 that I was facing (or “double-edged sword,” as Justin calls it).  I wasn’t able to get a job without experience, but I couldn’t get any experience, since I couldn’t get a job! (Trust me, there’s no such thing as “entry level” anymore.)

I now have experience building a Press Kit, writing Press Releases, contacting the press (and bloggers), media monitoring, editing marketing materials, social bookmarking, blogging, managing social media pages (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), and I have a better understanding of SEO! Actually, I’ve learned much more than that, but those are some major examples.  I honestly cannot thank Justin and Dreama enough for all of their support and guidance.  They really helped me a lot, and now I know that I have a bright future ahead of me.  I may not find my dream job tomorrow, but with the experience I’ve built up, I know I will find something incredible soon.  The good news is that I don’t have to say goodbye to Dreama and Justin quite yet – I have started working on an “as-needed” basis with Dreama as a contractor writing press releases for Efficient Enterprises, Inc.  Not only does that mean that I can continue working with them, but I am also able to continue to build my portfolio!

Take it from me – if you are looking to get the experience you need in order to start a career, a degree isn’t enough.  Take the time to find an internship that suits you (even if you’re already out of college, like me), and be sure that the work you’re doing is REAL (not making photocopies and going on Starbucks runs) … and if you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, I hope that you can see what kind of value can be gained from hiring an intern.  If you haven’t taken a look at my portfolio, you should.  You’ll see that the work that I did was important, and I know that it was valuable to the company.  Your intern can do it, too! (And Justin and Dreama’s Intern Profits System™ will help you get them trained properly.)

Good luck!

P.S. – Thank you again, Justin and Dreama.  I really, truly appreciate all that you’ve done for me.  Also – welcome, Harriet!! You are going to learn so much!

30 Jul, 2011  |  Written by  |  under Small Business, Tips

I recently read an article about how internships could be considered “the new college degree.”

Personally, I’d have to agree 100% … and I know I’m not alone.  America is still experiencing a struggling job market, and it doesn’t help that people who are unemployed and looking for work are now being told that they aren’t wanted.  Personally, that sickens me.  To tell people that they are not eligible to apply for a job just because they are currently unemployed is one of the most backwards things I’ve ever heard.  It’s just another “Catch 22” – like not being able to get a job without experience, but unable to get the experience without a job! (Now you’re telling me I can’t get a job without having a job???)

A college degree means nothing without experience.  I almost want to argue that I did myself a disservice by going to college instead of getting a job right out of high school and THEN going to college via night classes and/or online programs.  Why? Because it seems like those who still haven’t finished their degree are doing much better than me.

This isn’t about just me, though.  It’s about all of the young people out there right now who have no chance at getting a job, since “entry level” positions now require 2-3 years of experience… (wait, what?!?!)

Seriously.  It’s a really ridiculous job market, and some major changes need to happen ASAP.  Unfortunately, I doubt that it will get better overnight.  The secret weapon? Internships.  And no, you’re not too old.  I’m not a student anymore (I graduated with a BA in Communication in 2007), and I’ve also been reading more and more about people in their 50’s doing internships right now – either to learn new skills in order to make a career change, improve upon skills that they need, but don’t have, and/or to fill holes in their employment.

The bottom line is that it’s going to take a long time for the economy to get better – so you  have to take control and take action.  Get out there, look for an internship, and get some experience under your belt!! You’ll be supplementing your education with something that is valued even more than that piece of paper you have framed on the wall… AND you will be able to protect yourself from discrimination against the unemployed.

Happy hunting!

P.S. – try internships.com (LOVE it!), superinterns.com, youtern.com, or simply ask around at local/small businesses – if they need help growing their business (I’m sure they do), but don’t know how to run an internship program, they can always utilize Intern Profits’ Easy Intern Assignments in order to get you trained and get you started!  (they have REALLY helped me!) It’s a win-win!!

P.P.S. – If they’re worried about legality, they should check out the latest position paper from NACE – hopefully it will help.

 

As the job market continues to struggle, I feel very lucky to be working at my new job at the hospital.  Unfortunately, the increase in hours (compared to my previous job) has caused me to have to figure out new ways to balance my time so that I can be sure that I am contributing to my internship with Intern Profits.  Thankfully, my trusty Blackberry has played a huge role in keeping me connected.  I have been making sure to check HARO e-mails first thing in the morning before I go to work, as well as again on my lunch break and once I get home from work.  This ensures that I don’t miss any publicity opportunities for the company, and that Justin and Dreama have a chance to respond to a reporter’s query before the deadline.  Using my phone, I’ve also been able to monitor LinkedIn group discussions on my breaks at work.  If I see a discussion thread that is of interest to the company, I will either reply, or recommend that Justin and/or Dreama respond to the thread.  We then use a shared Google Document (created by intern Chris Rinere) to track the discussions.

I also got some really good news from Justin yesterday – Marc Harty, creator of “Online PR Made Easy,” would like to use Intern Profits (and me!) for a testimonial.  I am very excited to hear this, as Marc’s PR system played a huge role in my training as an intern.  More on that soon!

Another project I’ve been working on that has been driving a lot of traffic to the Intern Profits site is a direct result of the blogger outreach that I mentioned recently.  After contacting CollegeRecruiter.com, we were able to work with them by posting articles and videos to their site.  They also allowed us to upload our articles to their partner site, RecruitingBlogswap.com for additional publicity opportunities.

Recently, I’ve also begun working on a list of potential affiliates.  The list was created by one of our former interns; I am simply fleshing it out with additional information.  I am looking at each individual business and locating contact information for them, including links to the company’s social media sites (ie. Facebook fanpages and Twitter accounts).  I am also locating important players (CEO, VP’S, etc.) and getting their contact info, if possible.  At the very least, I’m looking to find their LinkedIn/Twitter/Facebook profiles, and making sure that we are following them on the Intern Profits account.  Hopefully, once I have finished getting the info for all of the businesses on the spreadsheet (including any new businesses that I add as I go), Justin and Dreama can use the info to build strategic partnerships with some of the companies.

As you can see, most of these projects don’t seem extremely difficult, but they can be time consuming.  Most importantly, they are helping Intern Profits to gain massive exposure.  I hope you can see the value of having an intern helping with these tasks.  By having me take over these projects, Justin and Dreama are freed up to work on more important aspects of their business! I am happy to help with this, of course, as it has helped me to gain experience working with PR.  The ultimate win-win.

The blogger outreach project has been going pretty well so far! I am happy to announce that through our efforts to contact bloggers (in addition to our guest blog post on Hearpreneur.com), we have been able to post on the CollegeRecruiter.com employer blog in order to reach a wider audience.  I hope that as I continue to contact more bloggers, we will be able to provide guest posts on more blogs that have a business owner audience.

I have also been able to learn a bit from the research I have been doing in order to locate appropriate bloggers.  As I go through a list of potential affiliates, I read through their blogs to see what they’re all about.  That way, I know how we should approach them, as well as whether or not their blog is targeting the right type of audience.  While doing this, I stumbled upon some interesting posts! Most of these blogs are out there to help business owners improve their business, so they offer some great advice.  One article that I just read actually demonstrated a really good reason for small businesses to hire an intern:

“Statistics: Why Integrate Facebook Into Your Business”

This particular post speaks to why integrating Facebook (and other social media) can truly benefit your business.  However, as a business owner, you’re likely to not have a lot of time to dedicate to something like this.  Simply having a Facebook fanpage or a Twitter account isn’t going to be enough.  You’ll need to either dedicate some serious time to it, or find someone else to manage it.  That’s why interns are great! Although I worked with social media a lot when I started as an intern for Intern Profits, Justin and Dreama recently hired a new intern, Chris Rinere, to help with our social media efforts so that I can now focus more on PR.  Interns like myself and Chris can manage your social media and help with your PR efforts, while you work ON your business, not IN it.

20 May, 2011  |  Written by  |  under Uncategorized

While most interns are dealing with finals and possibly graduation this week, I have been working at my part-time job.  I have also been dealing with a lot of changes and unexpected stress, so perhaps I’ve been just as distracted this week as the other interns.  However, I’m working on reorganizing and getting back on track, because quite honestly, my internship work is what makes me happiest out of any work that I do.

I am actually really excited for my next big project at Intern Profits.  I have recently compiled contact information for bloggers, writers and reporters.  Combined with information acquired from Press King’s database of bloggers and a contact list of bloggers compiled by previous interns, I am going to start researching bloggers and contacting them in order to see if Intern Profits will be able to either provide the blogger with information that they can create a post about, give an informative interview to the blogger so that their readers may benefit from the information, and/or provide a guest blog post.  I really hope that we find some success from this outreach, as this will generate some good publicity for Intern Profits, as well as help us reach out to more people who need the advice/information that Justin and Dreama are able to provide.

I am interested to see how this goes.  It’s a little bit different than contacting reporters, as bloggers have a different style of writing and generally have a very specific following.  I’m sure to get some good experience from this project, and hopefully help Intern Profits reach more small business owners and entrepreneurs!

I have been extremely busy this week! I normally have a lot more time to devote to my internship, but for the last week and a half, my manager at my part-time job went on vacation.  As assistant manager, I found myself working a lot of additional hours (over 40 for the week; I got paid overtime for the first time at this particular job – I normally only work 25-30).  Needless to say, I had a lot of catching up to do this week for my internship.

This week, I attended two different webinars (from two different sources).  The webinars were both informative, but one of them went for THREE HOURS!! They took an hour for introductions,  an hour for the actual content, and finally an hour to pitch some training that they wanted me to sign up for.  Not exactly my favorite webinar, but I still took copious notes (which I still need to transfer from hand-written to my computer).  The other webinar was much better – only an hour long, extremely informative, and also allowed me to download the slides and audio for future reference.  Now THAT’S what I call a good webinar.  Once I get my notes transcribed properly, I hope to help Justin and Dreama implement some of the new information I’ve gathered for them in order to help grow their business.

My favorite task this week was working on press releases.  It was very exciting to me to help out with something so important! It also felt good to get back to writing.  I truly enjoy writing; especially in a journalistic style.  I am also really excited to have something concrete to show to future potential employers.  One of the most important things that I wanted to get out of this internship was a portfolio to show off my skills.  Writing my first Press Release was a bit challenging, but it was definitely a wonderful learning experience, and I am sure it will get easier with time.

This week, we also completed the Press Kit.  I had previously created some new content, re-organized the content in a different way, and made it look a bit more professional than what was being used previously.  However, I am not a graphics designer, so it didn’t look exactly the way I wanted it to.  Justin and Dreama sent it out to our graphics designer, who made it look PERFECT! We recently got it back, and I am extremely pleased with the results.  I have already started to attach it when contacting reporters about Intern Profits.  I am really proud of the press kit, and I am happy that I will be able to show it off in my portfolio, as well.

All in all, it has been a very productive and exciting week.  Next week, my second press release will go public, and hopefully we’ll get a good response – I’ll be sending it out to reporters along with the newly finished press kit.

Wish me luck!

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It’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog with my progress, so I have a lot to share!

In the couple of months that I’ve been interning with Intern Profits, I’ve learned more than I could have ever imagined.  Recently, I re-built the company’s Press Kit.  I am extremely proud of this particular project – I worked very hard to make it as perfect as possible.  I reorganized content, added new sections/content, and changed the overall layout.  I used Press Kits from other companies for inspiration, and I took some great advice from ShoeMoney.  It is now in its final stages; awaiting some new graphics and an updated Board of Directors.  Once it has been completed, I will be able to use it when contacting the press about Intern Profits.  I am also excited to add it to my portfolio, as an example for potential employers to see what I am capable of!

Speaking of press, I have been using Help a Reporter Out (or HARO) as a great way to search for publicity opportunities for the company.  I review the e-mails that I receive during the week for any queries that fall in line with Justin and Dreama Lee’s areas of expertise.  If they deem it appropriate, we work together to contact the reporter, in hopes that we will be featured in an article and get some exposure for Intern Profits.  It definitely works – I was recently featured in a Fortune.com article, but unfortunately was not able to get the company name in print.  Luckily, I have found several more opportunities since then, and we should be seeing some good publicity soon!

Currently, I am working on a draft for a new press release.  This is my first time writing a press release, and I am very excited about it! I absolutely love writing, and I am definitely honored to have this opportunity.  If approved, I think it will probably post sometime next week.  I hope that it will get some good exposure for the company, and I look forward to writing many more.

Speaking of which – time to get back to work!

To learn more about hiring educated, motivated interns like me, please visit www.InternProfits.com

Related Blogs

I’ve been interning for Intern Profits for a few weeks now, and up until recently, I felt like a bit of a minority.  I was shocked (but extremely grateful) that a company would even consider taking on an intern who has already graduated from college.  However, through my work with Intern Profits, I have been exposed to a lot of information about the growing number of interns in the workforce right now.  I’ve come across a couple of articles that prove that interning seems to be the answer for a lot of older, educated people right now.  The economy has made it very difficult for a lot of people, and I am no exception.  As a young professional, I have been struggling to get a career started.  I have a lot of competition, and a good portion of them are considered “more qualified.”  However, by working as an unpaid intern, I am able to get the experience I need in order to get back on track once the job market improves.  Many businesses are taking advantage of this opportunity, and I can’t blame them.  It’s a great way for them to save money on labor, and also an opportunity for people like myself to get experience (and feel relevant), even though jobs aren’t available.

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9 Mar, 2011  |  Written by  |  under internship update

So, it’s been a while, and I cannot believe how much I am learning! I am still a bit overwhelmed with information, but I have done my best to catch myself up today and get back on track.  Basically, I’ve been doing a lot of reading.

My next big project is to edit and recreate the press kit for Intern Profits.  I have read up on what needs to be included in this, and I have also looked over a few examples of press kits from other companies.  Although I don’t think I’ll be getting it done today, I have an idea of what I want it to look like, and I know what type of material I’d like to showcase.  I’ve been trying to learn more about press releases, press kits, and anything that is relevant to internships.  I have been working on updating the Intern Profits fanpage on facebook with some videos and articles that our potential clients might find interesting and helpful.  I also have been working on getting contact information for reporters that may be helpful in getting the word out to small businesses about Intern Profits and their new book, Mentoring Your Way to Millions.  Unfortunately, this task was not as easy as I thought it would be, even though I did read up on how to “stalk” reporters.  Justin and Dreama have been extremely supportive, and I plan on picking their brains for some other clever ways to put together my media list.

That’s all for now! Don’t forget to check out www.internprofits.com to learn how you can hire educated, motivated interns like myself to increase your workforce while saving money!

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23 Feb, 2011  |  Written by  |  under Uncategorized

This is my first week as an intern for Efficient Enterprises, Inc.  I am extremely excited to get started and learn more about the PR world.  So far, I have been given a lot of information to look over and learn.  It seems a bit daunting at times, but I know how valuable and important this information is, so I have been doing my best to prioritize it and get through it as soon as possible.  This internship means a lot to me because I was not able to complete an internship while I was in college.  In the three years since graduation, I have worked a few desk jobs, lost a job, and been on unemployment.  I have not yet begun to build my career, and I am concerned that I need to get started sooner rather than later.  Without the coveted “experience,” I am worth nothing to employers.  However, it seems that no employer is willing to take on an entry-level employee and train them, so getting that “experience” has been next to impossible, and I am stuck in a vicious circle.  Completing an internship has been the only solution I see to this problem.  I have been looking for an internship for a little over a year now, but did not have much luck, since I am not currently enrolled in school.  I am extremely grateful that I was able to get the opportunity to intern with this company.  I am already learning so much; I am just trying to process all of it!

My goals for this internship are to help Efficient Enterprises, Inc. make Intern Profits more successful.  I hope to assist them in building a larger clientele by driving traffic to their website as well as interacting with potential clients and promoting  Intern Profits to them.  I am also hoping to learn the ins and outs of the public relations field, so that I am better prepared for my job search.  I hope to create a lot of content (press releases, blog posts, articles, etc.) that will be able to be used not only to benefit Intern Profits, but also to show future employers what I am capable of.

I know this is not going to be easy, but I am ready.  I will be posting updates throughout my internship, so stay tuned!

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