Our past intern, Burlingtina Vines, has been hard at work getting her own freelancing gigs over the past few months using some online outsourcing sites.

She’s doing very well and applying much of the knowledge she gained from her internship with Intern Profits to help her grow her freelancing business.

She was kind enough to share with us an article on how other interns, recently graduated college students or anyone looking to make money as a freelancer can go about getting set-up with online freelancing bidding sites.

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Three Steps To Get Started Freelancing on Bidding Sites
By Burlingtina Vines, past intern with Intern Profits and Freelancer on oDesk.

Congratulations! You want to make a name for yourself with more experience. You may have successfully completed an internship or you’re moving into a new field. A great way to do this is to work on bidding sites such as oDesk and vWorker. The following are three steps that you need to take to begin your freelance experience there.

First, you need to get your legal house in order. Wherever you live, check with your local government to see if you need a business license. Some cities require you to have a business license to earn any income from home. Furthermore, if you do not have a business license and earn a profit, you could face some stiff penalties. To illustrate, if you work from home without a license in my city you face fines and six months in jail for each paycheck you earned. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Second, when you first join whatever site hide your profile until you are ready to show it. It’s great that these websites want you to start working as soon as you fill out the form, but trust me, you are not ready. Go through the options and hide your profile. Then, complete all of those extra sections. If you do not have any samples to show, go make some!

Third and lastly, take any relevant skill test you can. Some jobs require you to take some skill tests to apply for them. If you do not pass the test the first time, hide your score until you do. These skills also show your ability. Some website charge you these tests, while others do not.

So, start on small projects at online bidding sites. Help small business and make a little money on the side! Remember, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to working from home as a freelancer. You can only go up from here!

 

13 Jun, 2012  |  Written by  |  under Tips, Where are they Now

Just chatting with one of our past interns Burlingtina Vines, she’s just made Dean’s List this year and is making some good money while still in school as a freelancer on ODesk – if you need some help writing articles, etc. check her out: https://www.odesk.com/users/~~daf1d23623b49cc7. Great to reconnect with our past interns and hear their success stories!

We’ve told past interns that working as a freelancer on ODesk, etc. is a great way to make additional money while still in school and help build your resume.  Great to know that Tina has been so successful!

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.

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!

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 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.

1 Jun, 2011  |  Written by  |  under internship update, Small Business, Tips

Unemployed and Seeking A Way Out? Internships are the new Rage!

Attention recently graduated college students and business owners, for the past 4 years college professors have been telling students the world is their oyster and the jobs are plentiful. Similarly, unemployed folk around the country are fighting tooth and neck for a new job. For every 1 position there are 5-7 applicants in most medium-sized metropolitan markets. And if you are like any business, finding the top talent in addition to an internship program can be quite challenging without proper action.

Internships can get you somewhere.

What Can Be Done?
Businesses and students everywhere are recognizing this opportunity, so we should too. The open job opportunities are slim-pickings even for the most experienced networkers. Instead of waiting for the next opportunity, just get out there and grab out. Internships help accomplish this step. But do not worry; there are TONS of internship opportunities out there. Yes, internships.

Why internships?
As an experienced Job Recruiter and Social Media Marketer, I think that Job experience is more important than no experience at all and will actually be beneficial in leading to a new position. Paid and unpaid internships are the new rage!

Internships open many doors into a new company or a new career. The interns within the internships also come in many different backgrounds. Say so long to the days of reserving internships for college students only. Adult internships have become hot, hot, hot! Especially to those who are seeking to start a new career.

Unpaid, paid, partially paid?
More and more internships are becoming unpaid or partially paid because of financial hardships. But, there is a strong reasoning here. With more modern approaches being applied to internship programs, companies have found a new place to save money and work with the best talent available!

A Virtual Internship, for example, is a very attractive and strategical business plan for both interns and the business itself. Companies will manage interns remotely and assign tasks, PR/Social Media responsibilities to these individuals.

While unpaid internships often receive a hard rap for overworking employees, in actuality, the mere job experience itself trumps the lack of pay. Unpaid internships are just like other internships. Regardless of the situation by staying dedicated and putting forth hard work, interns fulfill their own destiny.

Whether or not an internship program will support you financially should not matter to college students. It is possible to commit at least 20 hours a week to an unpaid, internship program and maintain steady paid, employment on the side. Keep in mind that again, experience is more important than the money.

A lot of companies out there right now hire interns. In fact, more and more are becoming hired each day.

What is There to Lose?
Businesses, there are tons of employees whose responsibilities are often that of three individuals. A great solution would be to create a system to keep a steady influx of interns ready and available to go. And on an even brighter note, these individuals are excellent candidates to become full-time employees.

Graduates, just because you have a Bachelors Degree or a Graduate Degree you still have to work your way up the corporate ladder. Without job experience, the likelihood of landing a position right now especially in a highly competitive business arena is tiny. But it is not impossible.

Speaking from experience, the collegiate degree will provide you academic credibility but it is up to you to create the corporate credibility. Internships help provide the necessary transition from the classroom to the office.