The Small Office of Big Importance

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Tucked away in the far corner past Roongo’s in the student services center is a small office of big importance. The newly named Office of Academic Internships and Community Outreach is the gateway for any student in need of internship help.

Director of this office, Alison Stone-Briggs, explains how the newly renovated office helps students with their search for internships. In the past, each of the four colleges were in charge of their student’s internships, each with their own policies. It was not until last year that the university created a separate office to cover all areas.

The department of Science and Technology had formed a website for students, and it has been the job of director, Stone-Briggs, to make the website for the entire school. “It has been developed to further reflect concerns of students,” she says. “The homepage was redesigned to be user friendly.”

The website, www.internships.bloomu.edu, was split into three main target areas for students, faculty, and organizations. It has developed easy to follow steps for students on the process of choosing their internship. First and foremost, seeing their advisor is recommended before consulting the website or the office for help. Not all students are required to do an internship, and others have certain procedures that are worth knowing.

Latest news is another feature of the homepage, as well as success stories and must reads for the inquirer. Links to other websites and a searchable database make the site user friendly, and simple to find the information that is needed. The “latest news” section is regularly updated and will post the dates for job fairs and internship expos.

At the bottom of the page is a section dedicated to instructional videos for students. Not to be overlooked, these videos help with everything from dilemmas like what to wear to an interview, how to have a good interview, how to answer the infamous “salary” question, and advice from recent graduates.

The office often supports company recruit meetings, like the one held for business majors on Monday, Feb. 16. About 30 students met with six representatives for many companies around the area.

These companies came in search of summer interns, as well as to give advice on how to get an internship.

These companies were in search interns in areas from marketing and public relations, to human resources, management positions, finance, and accounting. Along with looking for summer interns, they offered their opinions on what looks good to an employer.

Maria Zangardi, employment manager for Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, said, “Skills are important, but I’m looking for someone who is willing to work hard and help out. Also a personality counts, always show personality in your interviews.”

Agreeing with Zangardi, Matthew Vincent, accounting executive for Paper Mart Inc., said, “A lot of people have the exact same GPA, it’s personality and enthusiasm that stands out.

Others are looking for someone to keep after the internship is over. Jason Kyle, CED (Consolidated Electrical Distributors) PC manager, commented that he was looking for an intern to be turned into an employee. “Someone I can trust,” Kyle stated, “Someone to do sales and run the business.”

Trust is a big issue to employers, it is important to keep their trust that the job will be done correctly and on time. “Being competent and confident is important,” Dan Moon of Vintage Tub and Bath said. “Express that you want the job by thinking outside the box.”

Knowing the job and being prepared are important in interviews. Dana Gorby, a marketing specialist from Geisinger, said to “learn the standards (of Geisinger), and have an interest in what you interview for.” Chris Connelly, director of sales from Pinpoint Strategies, said, “Having good questions prepared sets yourself apart.”

Internships are an important part of the college learning experience. Information is everywhere, and the Office of Academic Internships and Community Outreach is there to help answer questions and find the right internship.

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