31 Jan, 2012  |  Written by  |  under internship update

Last week my university said goodbye to its legendary football coach who lost his battle with lung cancer.  Coach Joseph Vincent Paterno was a mentor and leader to many of the students at Penn State not just the football players. It was a time of great sadness here at Penn State. We cried, mourned and grieved together.  My fellow classmates and I shared our memories with each other.  We spoke with pride about Coach Paterno’s influence on each of our lives. We at Penn State are very much aware that Mr. Paterno was more than a football coach. He gave monetary donations that allowed us to have a first rate library, student health center and various scholarships for students unable to afford college tuition.  I was thankful to be able to surround myself with friends during this difficult time. I was able to participate in the memorial events and vigils that honored Coach Paterno. My virtual internship allowed me to share my grief with friends, professors and others within the Penn State community.  I can’t imagine being away from the Penn State campus during this difficult time. As a former professor told me I was living history.  I will cherish and always remember the week that allowed me to honor Coach Paterno’s memory.

9 Jan, 2012  |  Written by  |  under internship update

Hello,
This is my first week of my internship! I want to thank Justin and Dreama Lee for giving me the opportunity at Intern Profits.  My role as an intern will be focusing on Search Engine Optimization.  I am very excited to broaden my knowledge and  to learn about the different methods and techniques used in the area of search engine optimization. I hope to keep you up to date as I move forward with this experience.

Today is my final day here. As I look back on my time here at Intern Profits, I reflect on how much I learned and how much I grew as a professional.

This was the first time I have ever held a job working for a company. Just the thought of that, for business student like me was exciting. The best part about working with a small business is that you get to see the mechanisms behind the storefront. Here, I learned more about what makes small businesses tick.

I remember during my interview, when Justin and Dreama asked me why I wanted to work for a small business. I answered, because “I want to observe a business where everyone works for one goal free from other agendas. In a small business, everyone is dedicated to the success of the business.” The solidarity in the staff at small businesses always amazed me; therefore, I decided the best way to learn about it, is to experience it firsthand.

I was, and still am, amazed by the dedication not only Justin and Dreama show, but all the way down to the other interns and employees. There is that one goal in mind, success.

Through this experience, I have learned to be even more professional. My writing skills have increased here, and so have my video skills. Most of all, my business communication skills improved.

One of the best things about this internship was that, even though I was many miles away from the physical location during this virtual internship, I still felt like part of a team.

Thank you Justin, Dreama, and everyone else who I encountered on this journey.

Thank you to all who read my blog posts too.

Have a nice day and happy new year! In addition, good luck to the new interns!

20 Nov, 2011  |  Written by  |  under internship update, Tips

What is an excellent way for interns to keep track of every project they work on? The answer is a work record. A work record is a powerful tool that enhances resumes and gets better recommendations. How is this tool so powerful? Read on to find out.

A work record is a document that lists every single action and/or project that a worker does. This is especially helpful for interns, because they need to document their in-depth work experience to show to future employers. I learned how to do this first at Intern Profits.

Work records can help interns with their careers. At the end of the internship, interns can present the work record to the employer to help them write a polished reference. When filling out a resume, interns can pick the highlight of their work records and add it to their resume.

For more information about work records, feel free to watch this short video.

As the popularity of internships shifts into a happening trend of the twenty-first century, it is easy to ask:  What exactly is the role of an internship in today’s society?

In the past, some have held intern positions as a trial before entering a company in order to train in a particular profession and to gain invaluable experience.  With the increase of degree programs requiring internship experience for graduation, it is natural to assume this movement serves a greater purpose.  In fact, internships are growing because of the benefits which extend not only to the intern but the business and overall labor force, as well.

Interning for InternProfits has allowed me to research the predominant issues caused by a dwindling labor force and how unemployment has remained at a critical level throughout America in recent days.  The source of jobs for entry level positions is lacking, and it is becoming difficult for graduates to secure a position fresh out of college.  The experience required cannot be found without an opportunity for practical and professional learning.  Yet, businesses are suffering from economic crisis just the same.

It seems the only solution for both issues is to create a system that solves the pitfalls of unemployment and economic strife by training interns in how to complete real work that is valued by both the intern and the business.  With this mutually beneficial system through InternProfits, I have gained confidence in my own professional skills and have provided my own ideas to help new projects along the way.  Therefore, the role of internships in the professional sphere is a valuable asset to unlocking the windows of opportunity for both interns and businesses alike.

One of the important things I learned in this internship is the value of professionalism. I always keep in mind that my actions can influence how others see the company. Their first impression of me can be their introduction to Intern Profits.

When I speak to business people, I often explain how rewarding my internship is for me. I tell people the Intern Profits system is helping to boost the economy in two ways. First, businesses gain an eager workforce. Second, the interns are gaining valuable experience to help them get the career they want. I enjoy being involved in something so powerful.

Without professionalism in my words, people will not take what I am saying seriously. This can be a detriment to not only me, but also the company. Therefore, it is important to convey professionalism at all times.

The short video below explains the value of professionalism.

 

During my internship here at Intern Profits, I have been able to combine my classroom experience with real-world work experience.

The best example of this is the information I learned in my writing classes. In class, I learned the importance of adapting your message to its audience. For example, if you are writing for real estate investors, you would use all the technical terms that accompany that field. On the other hand, if you write that same information for the public, you would use as little technical terms as possible.

This directly applies to my tasks here at Intern Profits.  I help write articles and adapt them for different audiences. The techniques I learned in class for adapting writing truly help me here. These techniques prepared me to write about the same topic in a way that everyone can appreciate.

Equally important, I have used my experience here in the classroom. My teachers often ask for examples from student’s jobs. As I had never worked before this internship, I found myself without a topic to talk about. Now that I intern here, I have many great examples to use in the classroom. A case in point, my class reviewed the effect of video on a business’ marketing strategy. I could connect the videos from Intern Profits that showed the value of people excited about their product.

Before this internship, I did not know how many aspects of business management applied in real life. I only had textbook knowledge. Now that I have had the chance to observe the management style here, I have learned new strategies for managing employees and for getting assignments done.

My experience here at Intern Profits gives me a foundation in real-world business while I learn in the classroom. I can apply the knowledge I have gained here to my classroom assignments and the reverse is also true. I apply my classroom knowledge here. This is why I feel that internships are the best learning you can get outside of the classroom.

Only two weeks have past since I started interning at InternProfits, and I couldn’t be happier with the type of projects I’m helping to create! I get the pleasure of listening to past intern stories and writing them into case studies. Some of these case studies are the true experiences in the words of former interns from various places who have been nice enough to take an interview.

When I heard a past intern reflecting on the unpaid internship that eventually became the “turning point” in his track to successful entrepreneur, it helped me to realize how important professional experience can be to your future success. It’s not just about having the experience to be hired after finishing college. It’s about expanding your own professional horizons and understanding what type of job or career suits you best. First, an internship can expand your professional horizons by teaching the non-written aspects of your chosen career. Let’s face it, there are many processes in real work that cannot be taught with books. Learning these relative skills before others in your field gives you an edge. No matter if you are being paid or not. Interning also provides a better understanding of which career type suits you best, and choosing your own path is the key to happiness. The skills gained by a internship will translate into practical experience in your chosen career field. It is a long term investment that will lead to professional success. Then, when you are confident you have gained enough experience to get that perfect job, you can love what you do, and get paid, too.

The ‘dream scenario’ may not be in everyone’s mind, but for those that hope to reach a professional goal and lack the experience, an internship is the perfect answer. Getting started is all about gaining respect and credibility through simply being good at what you do, and the opportunities for success can reach you in many forms. Whether you chose to acknowledge an opportunity could be the key to your own career. If you are already talented in a field, then expanding this talent through an internship can only help.

The stories of past interns I’ve been reading and writing for InternProfits have already helped make my own internship an enriching experience.

Check out some of the case studies I’ve helped create by clicking here.

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!

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 debate continues.

The unpaid versus paid internship perspective will continue to become the topic of employment conversation in both the US and in the UK.

Many individuals and Human Resources folk see it through the negative perspective instead of thinking of it from the perspective of the intern and the business itself. As Mike Boyle puts it via blog posting on Reuters.com “I don’t consider the experience risky whatsoever” (http://blogs.reuters.com/reuters-wealth/2011/06/28/perma-interns-is-working-for-free-a-good-career-bet/). He is absolutely right.

Where is the risk in taking an internship that will not only bolster his skills but give him hands-on experience that one cannot attain through the classroom?

While hiring interns allows companies to save millions of dollars annually, it gives individuals such as myself and Mike Boyle, the ability to propel beyond the typical job seeker and gain valuable real experience. It is a win-win for both sides.

In addition, Mike can gain a resume builder through his internship that will allow him to network with folks out there and utilize that industry specific knowledge he is learning on the job.

As a job seeker and a job recruiter, I can attest to the fact that it is much easier to attend a job fair or a networking event with the industry lingo under your belt. It’s much harder to do as an outsider. With internships (paid or unpaid) an individual can advance their career instead of letting it pass him or her by.

http://blogs.reuters.com/reuters-wealth/2011/06/28/perma-interns-is-working-for-free-a-good-career-bet/

Receiving pay during Internships is in heated debate these days. There is proof all over the worldwide web but after reviewing a current discussion on Linkedin.com’s ‘Intern and Internships’ group, I will no longer sit idly.

Regardless of the monetary value that internships offer, the experience needs to be the concern. As an intern with InternProfits, I can say that as an unpaid intern, I am treating this as an opportunity to further myself and my career.  Our current economy does not have the breadth of jobs that it used to so how else would one positively augment their current skills? An internship of course!

As an unpaid internship with Internprofits.com, I am very happy with my current situation. I have a collegiate education in teaching and less than 5 years of professional work experience. I knew that if I wanted to transition into a social media and marketing career field, I would have to really strengthen my overall marketing, design and communication skills. This current internship has allowed me to do that and more.

I keep the same amount of commitment that I would provide if it was a paid internship. I am not working a full-time schedule, but I am also doing more than 15 hours of work a week. I think this is situational though because in social media a person needs to stay active in the community more often than someone in a non-marketing field.

I say, if a person cannot find a job they take an internship and if it is an unpaid internship then find a part-time job in the meantime to supplement the income you won’t be making. It’s a win-win situation!

Hiring interns is hotter than ever before. Besides promoting economic development for businesses of all sizes, internship programs provide guidance and support for potential new employees. Finding loyalty is hard to come by these days while unemployment continues to rise. The best way to build loyalty is to set up ways to hire interns and develop a solid internship program!

According to InternNation, besides the United States, both Canada and the UK, have had an increase in the number of available internships and companies looking to hire interns and make them “a part of their business model“.

Interns are able to provide assistance, especially with blogging, Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin updates as well as discussions that will help augment the business environment for your company. As positions in Social Media and Web Management become hotter and more popular, companies can take advantage of this through an internship program dedicated to Social Media.

Great companies have great interns. But there are measures you can take to get to your internship program to that point of hiring excellent interns. Check out some of these steps on how to find and how to hire interns.

Hear more from, Mike O’Donnell at InternProfits, who describes why Interns are so important in the small business realm these days. Mike O\’Donnell, Internprofits

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.

Have you ever considered an internship program for your small business and you are unsure on how to get an intern? Well, it is summer time and it is perfect weather for some interns!

As you know, each day businesses are growing and expanding at exponential rates thanks to the help of their employees and interns. Studies have shown that student and adult internships are on the rise. You can reach these goals as well with a few steps along the way.

Foundation of the Internship Program
As a small business owner, you have found an economic niche and you have defined a company focal point for achieving business goals. This same research goes into the internship process. If you are new to the internship world, then I would suggest reviewing how to get interns and how to hire interns. These articles discuss proven steps on how to develop, structure a legally sound internship program.

Purpose of the Internship Program
After reviewing the articles, ask yourself, why am I looking for interns? What will these interns assist with? What is the long term goal of the internship program?

It is important to think about these questions and to define the purpose of your program. This structure will help maintain consistency and time management for the interns. With a clearly defined plan and starting point, it also makes the process easier each time a new intern is hired.

The purpose will also help whilst you are seeking interns for the program. It makes the program attractive. With social networks and marketing programs such as Facebook fan pages and Linkedin Groups, a company’s attractive page and commentary will go a long way in finding the top talent.

As a small business owner, marketing your business should be second nature and the internship program needs to be treated very similarly.  A sound and strong business plan will give more credibility to the internship program. Without much focus on this business plan or overall idea, it is much harder to pull others on board.

Set a Social Marketing Plan
Before reaching out to develop your virtual internship program, review this internship article.

As you know, we live in the fast lane these days with status updates and e-mail exchanges. It is very fast-paced but it also can be quite detrimental.

With the vast and free social media tools at your fingertips, it is very important to remember that a first impression goes a long way.  Before contacting potential interns, make sure the online brand that you have created is clear, concise and available. If you have a Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter pages, make sure that these accounts are up-to-date, spellchecked, and filled with links and groups.

Remember it is all about credibility and availability.

Define Audiences
Once you have your social media plan in place. Then you would need to define the audiences. Interns have many shapes and sizes. Long gone are the days where interns are collegiate students seeking a summer position. Adult internships are on the rise and have been hotter than ever especially given the recession!

Virtual internships are also on the rise, these are perfect for students who cannot find opportunities in their local area; individuals who are looking to switch careers and more importantly, excellent chances for small-businesses to interact with individuals from all over the world. Now, talk about that for expanding your horizons!

Hiring Structure
With an internship program comes a hiring structure for that program. This should be very simple. Like an e-mail.

As an experienced recruiter, the interview process begins with the initial contact with a potential intern. Keep this in mind as you are finding interns for your opportunity.

Define the personality traits and qualities you want in a fellow employee. Things like attitude, communication, and enthusiasm will go a long way for a small-business.

Reach out
Communicate utilizing current social media tools. Whether it is through Linkedin Discussions, Facebook status updates, or e-mail exchanges, finding your next intern will occur through a social network. The more available you are on these networks, the more likely you will find the top quality talent.

Once you have your viable candidates, reach out to them for a simple phone conversation and get them on-board!

Follow-Through
Even if your new intern is virtual there are effective ways to manage them. We go into depth to discuss some solid online management tips here.