5 Questions. 5 Minutes. 1 Employer. This week we have Synthia from yours truly, Internships.com.
My business card says Student Marketing & Internship Coordinator which roughly translates to managing our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages, putting up new blog content and making it look pretty, keeping in touch with both students and employers, helping to develop and launch new products on the site, hiring our interns and making sure they have an amazing time with us … you know, a little bit of everything! I get really excited when I hear about people who have successfully used our site – it makes my day! So I guess the main focus of my job is to try to understand and appreciate the people who are coming to our site and figure out how to make it as easy for them to use as possible.
Oh and on Wednesdays I choose where we order delivery from and place the order. The pressure!
2. Did you have internships while in college? Do you feel your internship experience ultimately led you to where you’re at today?
I had 2 internships – one while actually in college and one the summer after graduation. The first one was good, but not life changing. The second one came about when I stayed in touch with a startup company that was on campus during the spring career fair. I graduated a few months later, moved back to LA,and got an internship with them! Interning at a startup gave me the freedom to learn a bunch of different things,and be extremely proactive. It also allowed me to realize that marketing and social media and all this nerdy internet stuff really is what I’m interested in. That second internship is definitely what got me here to Internships.com.
3. What do you look for when you hire an intern?
We have been spoiled with the interns that we’ve gotten so far and they’ve set the bar pretty high!. Because we’re a startup, we look for people who can be flexible with their responsibilities and have a positive attitude while doing it, because things move quickly and change even faster. It also is critical that the interns know our site and audience well enough that they can come to us with projects that they’d like to initiate on their own. We also do lots of brainstorming here and we take the opinions of the interns pretty seriously, so they need to be comfortable and creative enough to express their ideas for what they think we should do.
4. What is one main thing an intern can do to make a favorable impression? To make a negative impression?
If they want to make a negative impression then they should have a bad attitude, say things like “well… that’s not how I usually do it…', and ask daily what they should work on. I try not to give out assignments that I wouldn’t enjoy working on, but sometimes it just has to happen. No complaining please!
Our most favorable interns have all come to us on their own with ideas that we have actually implemented –whether it’s series on our blog, a feature or update on the site, or ways to make our social media and on-campus efforts more effective. Many of these same interns continue working with us on a project basis even after their official internships have ended.
5. What is the future of your industry and what do you think a student can do to position him/herself to start a career in your industry?
Internships are becoming absolutely necessary, and employers look for this type of experience over anything else – your grades and school mean a lot less in comparison to your “real world' experience. For most people, the whole point of even going to college is to prepare for a career, so internships are only going to get more important!
At the end of the day we are a startup internet company trying to help college students prepare for their careers. Keeping up with tech blogs, internet and career trends, and college life is a huge part of what we do. People with an entrepreneurial mindset thrive in this industry. The best way to get started in this (and ANY) industry? An internship!
Internships.com is currently looking for Spring Marketing Interns to work with us here in Los Angeles, as well as a ton of position that students can do on-campus from anywhere in the country. If you have any questions for Synthia, please leave them in the comments below!