#CrusaderIntern: Oxfam America

August 9th, 2016 by msweeney

by Emily Peplowski ’17, Hunger Banquet Research and Concert Outreach InternE.Peplowski Oxfam America

This summer, I have been working closely with Oxfam America’s Community Engagement team on two of their biggest advocacy projects, Hunger Banquets and Concerts. My personal responsibility this summer has been to organize Oxfam volunteers from across the country for the U.S. leg of Coldplay’s “A Head Full of Dreams Tour.” By the end of my internship, I will have received over 500 volunteer applications, and coordinated 220 volunteers for 22 different shows, in 19 different cities as part of Oxfam’s global Stand as One Campaign.

The best part of my job is that I get to engage with the grass-roots foundation of a much larger, global effort. The incredible volunteers at these shows are essential in reaching the Stand As One campaign’s goal of 500,000 “signatures of solidarity” to support those globally who have been forced to flee their homes. This list of signatures will be presented to world leaders at the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants in the fall, is led by the international organization Oxfam, is backed by Chris Martin and Coldplay, and represents such a global and current issue. Despite the massiveness of this effort and the high profile people involved, the success of the campaign is largely dependent on the volunteers that I have been coordinating all summer. It goes without saying that getting to work closely with- and see- the Coldplay tour has been a pretty cool part of my internship too!

I think what has surprised me most is how complicated and challenging volunteer coordination really is. There are many moving parts in each city, for each show, on every team, and with every individual volunteer. Sitting at my computer in Boston, it is difficult to keep track of all of these moving parts to ensure that Coldplay will have ten Oxfam volunteers at each of their shows to promote the campaign. With the 22 shows happening all across the United States in only 45 days, it is a fast-paced work environment with daily deadlines and not much room for error. Volunteer coordination is a fun position to have, and I love to work with so many different people for a great organization, but it really keeps me on my toes and tests my ability to adapt and problem solve!

Please and Thank You Notes

August 2nd, 2016 by msweeney

by Megan Chester, Assistant Director, Center for Career DevelopmentMeganChester Nov2012

Summer is not quite over but September is only a few short weeks away. As you prepare to wrap up your internship, keep in mind that leaving on a good note is just as important as the first impression you made back in June. You may want to return to this internship next summer or pursue a job with this employer. I know next summer and graduation are probably not on your mind right now, but a thoughtful thank you note will really pay off in the long run when you are ready to start searching for your next summer internship or full-time job.

Handwritten Thank You Notes
The conclusion of an internship is an instance where a handwritten note to your immediate supervisor and anyone else you worked closely with will really stand out. Be specific and personal in your note. Thank each person for something particular such as providing supervision and advice, helping you with a project, or taking the time to grab lunch together. Mentioning the little things reflects your maturity and sincerity. A thank you note will show your supervisor and co-workers that you took the internship seriously and really got something out of it. An actual handwritten card is also a tangible memory of you; it’s something to tack on a bulletin board and keep you top-of-mind in the months to come.

Thank You Email
Interactions with neighboring departments, clients, and other interns ebb and flow throughout the summer. A personalized thank you email to these peripheral contacts will help you stand out as a professional and create an avenue for future networking. An email is a perfect way to express gratitude for working with them, even if it was distant relationship or a onetime interaction, and reflect your greater understanding of their role and your industry knowledge. A thank you email will also help you build more of your own contacts in the industry and will result in warmer outreach when you are networking for your next internship or full-time role.

#CrusaderIntern: Yale School of Medicine Child Study Center

July 26th, 2016 by msweeney

by Margot Reed ’18, Research InternMargot Reed--Holy Cross Summer Internship 2016

This summer, I feel fortunate to work as a research intern in a child psychiatry lab at the Yale School of Medicine Child Study Center. I am currently researching Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in school children. I am researching how ADHD impacts a child’s behavior in a school setting. With the assistance of Yale Medical Residents, we are also studying possible therapies for school refusal and tracking mindfulness. Along with my mentor Dr. Michael Bloch, Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center, I also meet with children and their families to explore and possibly diagnose Tourette syndrome, Trichotillomania, OCD, ADHD, and other anxiety disorders. I then document these clinic visits summarizing the patient’s history as well as any diagnoses for submission to my mentor and his medical team for review.

I look most forward to case study days when I am able to meet with the patients and their families. During my first case interactions, I merely observed and took copious notes to help with the post interview documentation. However, I now have been asked to fully participate: I have the ability to ask questions of the patient and their family in order to help discover behaviors that might help diagnose a patient’s disorder. Through my participation, I feel that I am helping the patient by making it easier for them to understand their sometimes confusing behavior and the anxiety that it may cause, which will hopefully put them and their loved ones at ease.

I am fortunate enough to be working for a doctor who trusts his lab with responsibility. When I initially started, I did not think that I would be offered so many opportunities for face-to-face patient exposure and the responsibility to complete research on the most intriguing behavioral topics. Dr. Bloch continuously challenges us. He believes that we are capable of tasks that I hadn’t even imagined when I began my internship! I am humbled to be working not only for him, but with him.

#CrusaderIntern: Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA)

July 19th, 2016 by msweeney
Q.Nguyen MIRA

With Senator Ed Markey after a round table discussion on DACA/DAPA immigration policies on June 24, 2016.

by Quynh Nguyen ’17

Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) is a political organization that focuses on helping immigrants obtain legal status in the United States. We host citizenship clinics to help people fill out the naturalization application, host rallies and events to advocate for positive immigration policies, and lobby with local government officials to “pressure” policymakers. I am one of two communications interns this summer. The communications department is composed of the two interns and our director, so as such a small group we take on a lot more work than the other interns here from other departments.

On a day-to-day basis, I assist the Director with organizing and updating our member/volunteer database, researching CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, entering data for donations/registrations/etc, among other things. Before event days, I make E-poster announcements using an online platform and create draft emails to be sent out. Additionally, I make phone calls to our members, volunteers and news stations to invite them to the event. On event days, I am the designated photographer and social media publisher. I snap photos and update our Twitter account on a real-time basis. The days following an event, I call attendees to thank them for their effort and support and I update our social media accounts with photos.

What surprises me the most at MIRA is how hectic things are! I had always seen on TV that a political/governmental office is crazy with people running amuck with a mountainous stack of documents in one hand and a coffee mug in the other, but who knew that it’s really like this in real life! This hustling and bustling atmosphere really motivates me to adapt quickly and be part of the team. This is why I love my job with MIRA and appreciate the exposure I receive. I aspire to work for the United Nations one day to aid and promote minority issues so the experience at MIRA is giving me the opportunity to jumpstart my career. I am able to meet many important politicians while on the job so I am hopeful that I will be able to create an extensive network this way. MIRA is allowing me to become a young professional for a great cause and I can’t imagine a better internship!

#CrusaderIntern: Congratulations! You’re Halfway There

July 13th, 2016 by msweeney

PamAhearn_May2010_5x7Lgby Pam Ahearn, Senior Associate Director, Center for Career Development

Welcome to the halfway point of your internship. You’ve settled into the office, figured out where the bathrooms are, how to access your email, and what some of the office acronyms mean. You’ve also stopped getting lost on your way to fill up your water bottle. Now is a great time to check-in on the progress of your summer so far and assess if you are meeting your goals for the internship.

Take some time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished thus far:

  • Is there still unfinished business to attend to or skills that you want to hone?
  • Are there additional people you want to network with at the organization?
  • Have you identified additional goals for yourself? If so, write them down and try to strategize how you will achieve them.

Don’t forget to complete you Midpoint Evaluation in Crusader Connections!

Hopefully you are enjoying the experience and have just the right amount of work every day. I often hear from intern supervisors that the work they assign to their Holy Cross intern is done so efficiently that they need to find more work for the intern to do. (Well done, HC!)

If you find yourself in this situation and you need more work, think about the following:

  • Have you noticed a particular gap in a process at the organization?
  • Can you think of a project that would ease someone’s work load significantly?
  • Is there a need for organizing files (hard copy or electronic)?
  • Is there any research you could do that would move a project along?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then take the initiative and go about solving these problems. Everyone loves a go-getter! Be sure to ask your boss first before tackling a new project or asking other colleagues if they need help. Once you get the go-ahead, run with it!

Finally, have you discovered through this internship that this just isn’t the right industry or career path for you? Consider yourself lucky to have figured this out during a 10 week commitment versus a month or two into a full time job! Still, continue to do your best work and remain positive. A good attitude goes a long way and you’ll rely on your supervisor to give you a good reference in the future.

If you have some down time, think about how you might apply your talents and skills to a different career. We have a whole host of resources on our website that can assist you. You can also schedule a call with a Career Counselor to help you get started. We’re happy to chat over your lunch break!

Let us know if you are hitting other road blocks this summer. We are here to help you make the most of your summer!!!! We look forward to reading all of those Midpoint Evaluations!

#CrusaderIntern: Environment North Carolina

July 5th, 2016 by msweeney

by Abigail Benjamin ’18

This summer I am interning with Environment North Carolina. I work at their office in Raleigh, a city I was previously unfamiliar with, despite being a North Carolina resident. I work with four other interns, all of whom attend various East Coast colleges and universities. My daily routine is nonexistent; every day holds something different. While my overall week generally looks the same – Mondays spent in the office, Tuesdays spent phonebanking until 7PM, Wednesdays spent petitioning at the farmers’ market, Thursdays spent at the field office, and Fridays spent wrapping up the week’s work and planning for the next week – each day has a different schedule, which could change with a minute’s notice.

A.Benjamin bee_rally

Save the Bees Rally & Press Conference

I have a wide range of duties, but my favorites are the ones that involve the most responsibility. Our first real project was to assist a partner organization, Toxic Free NC, with their Save the Bees Rally and Press Conference. The project involved 500 petition signatures, hours of phonebanking, and a day of poster-making. It wasn’t anything difficult, but the experience prepared us for the rest of the summer. Currently, the other interns and I are planning four campaign events, at least two of which will involve a press conference. Having no previous event planning experience, this has proved challenging but fun. Basically, planning an event for Environment North Carolina involves contacting local governments, farmers, coalition partners, media, and businesses and lots of phonebanking, emails, and confirmation calls.

The other interns and I mostly work in groups while meeting individual goals, but I have been given two personal initiatives so far. The first is to assist with the release of our state report on pollution caused by Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, specifically Smithfield Foods’ hog operations in North Carolina. I am working with our state director and a Sierra Club employee to release this report and hold a Telepresser media brief. My second initiative is to train canvassers on how to write letter-to-the-editors and edit their letters each week.

I write a lot of letter-to-the-editors, usually at least one per week per active campaign. As an intern group, we have published at least one letter a week. My first letter was published in the Charlotte Observer, where they ran the letter alongside my most professional selfie. In hindsight, I should have attended the Career Fair when they were taking pictures for LinkedIn profiles.

The most exciting part of this internship so far has been when we go to the NC General Assembly. The first time, we delivered seismic blasting fact-sheets to legislators and asked them to sign on to a letter drafted by Representative Harrison addressed to Secretary Jewel, urging the Department of the Interior to deny all applications for seismic blasting permits on the Atlantic coast. I was able to speak to a number of legislators, including my own representative, Larry Pittman.

The second time I went to the General Assembly was when we tried to watch a vote on a particularly troubling bill that was disguised as environmentally friendly but would actually delay the cleanup of Duke Energy’s coal ash sites. The bill had already passed the Senate but still had the potential to be stopped by the House. I say we tried to watch the vote because we were not successful – the vote was pushed so far back in the day that we could not stay. Unfortunately, the bill ended up passing 82-32, much to the dismay of the Southern Environmental Law Center, Appalachian Voices, and Environment North Carolina.

Currently, I am looking forward to the Beach Days of Action that two other interns and I are planning. These Days of Action will take place on three different North Carolina beaches and will attempt to educate the public on the dangers of seismic blasting as well as create a platform for local advocates and citizens to voice their concerns about seismic blasting through signing petitions and tweeting photo petitions to President Obama. We will be hosting press conferences at two of the beaches, featuring remarks from coalition partners and – fingers-crossed – a Duke University researcher and the mayor of Kure Beach.

#CrusaderIntern: Networking Tips For Summer Interns

June 29th, 2016 by msweeney

by Julie Draczynski ’99, Associate Director, Center for Career DevelopmentJulie Photo

As you know, networking is a key part of an effective internship search. So, you might be thinking, “I’ve got the internship, now I can relax.” Think again!! What better place to expand your network and build relationships with key contacts than your place of employment for the summer? A summer internship gives you unique access to many professionals in an industry or company that interests you. Here are a few networking tips to make the most of your summer internship:

  1. Be friendly. Smile a lot and ask questions. It’s easy to meet people and build relationships among your team and across the organization if you’re approachable.
  2. Seek out people to network with. Get a copy of the organization chart. Find people that are in a role that you would like to learn more about. Talk to your supervisor about the best way to reach out and meet those people. Usually, it is as simple as sending an email to ask if they would be willing to meet for coffee or lunch.
  3. Go to company sponsored events. Getting yourself out of the office to mingle with co-workers at company sponsored social events can be an effective way to build relationships with people across the organization.
  4. Show interest in other people’s work. Learn more about the work others at the organization are doing and how it impacts your team, division and the company. People love to talk about themselves. Showing genuine interest in the work that they are doing can go a long way.
  5. Once you are settled into your role, talk about your future plans and ask for advice. Seek out people at the organization that are doing the type of work you aspire to do. Ask for an informational interview or to meet for coffee or lunch. Share your interests and ask for advice on how to position yourself as a strong candidate in the future.
  6. Nurture your relationships. Effective networking is an ongoing process that involves building and cultivating relationships. Keep in touch with the contacts you make at the company. Meet for coffee or simply smile and say hello when you’re passing their desk or office. Send a note at the end of the internship to thank them for taking the time to talk with you. Connect with them on LinkedIn and keep in touch throughout the year once you’re back on campus.

Summer internships provide a great opportunity to build your network of key contacts. Don’t let that opportunity pass you by! Get out there, smile and grab a coffee with a co-worker!

Written by Julie Draczynski
Associate Director, Center for Career Development

#CrusaderIntern: The Goldilocks rule of email etiquette

June 21st, 2016 by msweeney

MauraHume2_Aug2011_6x9Lgby Maura Sweeney ’07, Associate Director, Center for Career Development

The way you compose emails says a lot about you. Don’t believe me?

—-

i write email as if im txting a friend… i dont use punctuation correct grammar or spell check… and i look really immature and unprofessional…

—-

Hey Boss,
I use correct punctuaton, but I don’t bother to spell-chick and tend to write in run-on sentenses, which drives everyone I work with crazy but I seem like I’m to busy and important to notice, so I just keep doing it anyway because everyone I work with should already know how grate I am and that the rules dont apply to me.

-I

—-

Hi Boss,

I hope you’re having a great day.   I take the time to compose my email to you using well-thought-out sentences and clear ideas.  I don’t waste your time with either irrelevant or confusing information, but instead I provide just enough context so that you understand why I’m emailing you and can respond easily, if needed.  I come across as a competent professional that everyone wants to work with, even if I have only been on the job for a week or two.

Thank you,
Intern

—-

Are you convinced yet? The way that you compose an email matters.  Just like with Goldilocks, it shouldn’t be too long and it shouldn’t be too short. It should be just right– long enough to get your point across, but short enough that someone who’s busy can read it quickly and give you an answer.  You should use proper grammar, correct punctuation and spell-check.

Don’t fall into the trap of firing off emails without taking an extra second to proof-read and use the spell-check button (You simply click a button!  It doesn’t even take thought… or physical strength!) It’s easy to come off as rude, unknowledgeable and unprofessional over email.  If you’re having a hard time getting your point across in email, then pick up the phone or stop by your colleague’s desk and ask in person.  Do you need to email a client or someone you can’t actually talk to?  Ask a friend in the office to give your email a read.  A fresh set of eyes might be able to nix a sentence that’s irrelevant and derailing your point.

As an intern, you may not have a lot of industry experience yet, but as a Holy Cross student, you do have good writing skills.  Show them off by writing proper emails.  Your coworkers will be appreciative!  And you will be, too, when you leave your internship with positive recommendations (and maybe even a job offer!).

#CrusaderIntern: Starting off on the right foot

June 13th, 2016 by msweeney

Melisa Jaquez 2016by Melisa Jaquez ’06, Assistant Director, Center for Career Development

So you are excited and ready to begin your internship this summer. You have your professional attire ironed and ready to go. You have mapped out your commute to and from your internship site and have made a list of individuals you want to connect with. As you start your internship, below are a few things to keep in mind to help you get started on the right foot:

BE PREPARED:

Many of you researched information about your employer during the interview process. Your research should not stop there. Track your employer for recent news and know the clients as well as employees you’ll be working closely with.

Learn the employer dress code and hours of operation. While many internships require professional attire make sure to find out the dress code before your first day or at the latest during your first week.

Be on time…always. Find out before you start what time you need to arrive on your first day and what your schedule will be for the summer. Remember employers will notice if you are often the first to arrive and the last to leave.

BE OPEN-MINDED:

More often than not internships consist of tasks and experiences you were not expecting. Your responsibilities will not only be limited to those in the job description when you first applied. It will consist of big projects but also small tasks like taking notes or picking up lunch for a company meeting. Be open-minded when new tasks are assigned, especially those that you were not expecting. Employers will respect your flexibility and openness.

GET ORGANIZED:

Keep a notebook strictly for your internship. Fill it with questions you might have before your first day. This notebook will help you stay organized if you consistently use it to take notes and keep a running tasks list. You will want to make sure to write down deadlines, meeting dates and reminders. Internships are busy so it’s possible to forget something if you don’t write it down.

The notebook will also serve as a reminder of everything you did that summer. You might reference it when updating your resume or down the road when you are interviewing for other internships or jobs.

NETWORKING BEGINS BEFORE YOUR FIRST DAY:

Did you know you already started networking at your company? You have already connected with individuals who work there through the interview process. But this is only the beginning. Most internships will allow opportunities for you to connect with employees in other departments or areas. Create a list of individuals you would like to connect with during your time there. Stay tuned for a future blog post on networking that will provide more information on this topic.

DON’T FORGET:

The Center for Career Development is open all summer. If you have any questions before or during your internship do not hesitate to reach us at 508-793-3880 or at careers@holycross.edu.

GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR INTERNSHIP!!

Alumni Job Shadowing: Brittany Scott ‘18

May 10th, 2016 by rimaal17

Name: Brittany ScottBrittany Scott3

Class Year: 2018

Major: Accounting

Shadowing Visit Site: Ernst & Young- New York, New York

Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?

My visit was an incredible experience that I will never forget and an opportunity that I am grateful I had. Patrick Quay, my host, was both accommodating and helpful throughout the entire day. He kept in contact with me in the weeks prior to my visit and created an agenda for the day that would expose me to the culture of EY, including many other friendly employees I had the chance to meet. I listened in on calls, learned the framework of EY’s four main segments of operation, and consulted with employees from the Tax, Advisory Services, and Auditing services. Immersing myself in the office for a full day and attending lunch with a handful of employees made me feel as if I had clicked fast-forward to 2018 and was an employee myself. The office life at EY allowed me to feel so welcomed after just a few short hours. From this experience I gained insight as to what a typical business day looks like for CPAs and other professional individuals; furthermore, I gained confidence in myself and my thoughts as to what I want to do with my career. Lastly, I gained multiple crucial connections whom I can contact if I ever need a reference or opinion in relation to the accounting field.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?

My visit to New York City truly opened my eyes to the world I hope to work in upon graduation from Holy Cross in 2018. My plans to work in the public accounting field were confirmed by my visit. As I was on my way back to Grand Central I wished I could either turn back to the office or at least return the next day. Passing by hundreds upon hundreds of other professional workers sporting long black trench coats instilled such a passion and excitement in me, which I hope to be surrounded by after college and throughout my adult life.

What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?

Advice Patrick Quay shared with me was to not be afraid to ask questions or hold back at all. I must admit that going into my visit I was mildly nervous- I did not know what to expect or how comfortable I would be in this new setting. However, once I realized how comfortable I was in the office, I did not let any nerves hinder my questions for Patrick and other employees I met with. These adults were fountains of information for an aspiring CPA like myself, so it would have been foolish not to take advantage of the opportunity I had. I left my visit with pages of notes that helped me when applying to leadership programs this winter.

Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?

I would recommend this program to other students for multiple reasons. First, it is always beneficial to know a fellow Crusader, especially one who works in a field you hold interest in. Second, it is the perfect chance to switch from college-student to adult employee for a day (or at least pretend) and get a sense of the real world. Lastly, it is a short and sweet commitment offered in many cities that almost everyone has time for. Had I passed on the opportunity, I would not be as confident and eager for my future as I am now.