Final Portfolio

During my internship this last semester was interesting. I say interesting because I didn’t expect my work environment to be the way that it was. The work environment was fine until my supervisor went on maternity leave. When she was there it seemed that I always had something to get accomplished. Once she left I had to answer to two other professional staff members in the office. These individuals also had their own interns, which made it difficult to do their own work and also keep up with me. The office was very lucky this year to have five student workers as well as two graduate assistants. I think that this is the reason I did not have much to do in the office because we have so many workers.

Along with challenges come advantages of working at Career Services. I learned through this internship as well as other opportunities that I want to work in a college setting with students. During the semester I had the opportunity to help fellow students edit their resumes and cover letters. This was a highlight of my internship simply because it made me feel accomplished and helped my self-confidence immensely.

In my first journal entry I talked about wanting to gain more creativity. I do believe that although it isn’t as much as I had hoped, I did gain some more creativity. I did this when there was not really tasks that needed to be done. I had to be creative and figure out what I could do so that I was not just doing nothing.

I do think that my goals in my performance evaluation were attainable. However, I wish I had payed more attention to those goals and really tried to accomplish them in a bigger capacity. Once our office moved over to Maugans from Lancaster and merged officially with the Alumni Office, is when things sort of went downhill. As they went downhill it just made me not want to come into work at all. Since I didn’t have a direct supervisor at work I was given small tasks that in movies are often just called tasks for the intern. I would do things such as make copies, run errands, and just cleanup work that someone else didn’t have time for. Don’t get me wrong I was grateful for every task I was given no matter how small. Keeping busy is good for me and helps pass the time. But that just made me more excited to apply for jobs that I want to pour my whole heart into.

I think that the professional staff in Alumni and Career Services all have the potential to be great mentors. I was able to be mentored by my direct supervisor and formed a relationship. The other staff are all very friendly and helpful as well. I think that as an intern I learned more than I realize I did. This office helped me become more confident in myself and also how to keep busy.

Overall I enjoyed working with the professional staff as well as the other student workers. I think depending on the person I would suggest this organization for a future internship. To do this internship you have to be interested in managing social media outlets, creating digital content for advertising and completing office hours where sometimes you don’t have anything to do for hours.

The majority of the work I did during this internship was tweeting and creating a career monthly newsletter. The tweets would vary ranging from information about Career Services to upcoming events and motivational quotes.

ex of work 2ex of work

Here are two examples of tweets that get tweeted out daily.

One of the other big projects I did was the Career monthly newsletter. I created and designed this newsletter on a site called Emma. Since it is on a site such as Emma I was unable to download it to a PDF. The monthly newsletter highlights any new information UCS wants to promote as well as reminders for upcoming events. At the end of the newsletter is an alumni spotlight in which the alumni answers career questions. This newsletter is sent out via Emma to the student body. It is an important project for UCS because it gets the word out about different events and even resources that UCS offers.

workin

Another large project I have been helping with in the office is prep work for the Mega Reunion coming up in early June. There is a lot that is going into this reunion to gain alumni attention and get them to attend. One particular event that is taking place is the singing of the “Alma Mater” in the Rotunda. This is a special small ceremony type event that will help alumni reminisce on what they used to do when they attended Longwood.

Below are some pictures of me working the front desk in Maugans Alumni Center. Some tasks I do at the desk include tweeting, answering phones, making appointments, and greeting anyone that may come in to the office. The picture on the left you can see me working on the computer and the other picture I can be seen calling alumni to give them information on the Mega Reunion.workin 2

workin hard

Journal 5

This past year this internship has for sure been a journey. A journey where things are sometimes great, and others are not so great. There is always a lesson to be learned and experience to be obtained from something that throws you out of your comfort zone.

Self disclosure can be defined as voluntary sharing of personal information with another person. This happens to everyone when you start to become comfortable with your surroundings. Self disclosure has played a huge role in the experiences I have had at Career Services. It has helped my everyday work ethic to have people to talk to and share personal interests and values with. It seems to effect everyone in a work office and in my opinion helps the environment to remain a positive space.

When you think about cultivation theory you probably don’t see how this relates to a job and how I have witnessed this theory throughout the internship. First, cultivation theory is when TV users start believing that their everyday lives are similar to that of a TV show. Television makes us believe that it is a mean and intense world we live in. Exaggeration is a term that describes this theory well.

I have witnessed this in my internship by being exactly that, an intern. A lot of the time in TV shows and movies the intern is always the worker who gets all the busy work and sometimes tasks that are not that important. Some of these tasks include being the point person in the office while the professional staff works remote AKA office hours, making copies, and cleaning out storage spaces. This is how I feel when I am at work. It definitely has showed me what I don’t want to do and also what kind of boss or supervisor I want to be when that time comes.

Journal 4

In my opinion the communication studies department all together prepares you for your internship. Each class is unique and prepares you not only from the content of the class but also from the professor. However if I had to choose a few classes I would say that the three classes that have helped me prepare for this internship the most are conflict resolution, intercultural communication, and gender and communication. Conflict resolution was an interesting course. The name describes it the best; conflict. This class was all about c0nflict resolution and different ways to resolve a conflict. Whether it be with roommates, classmates, friends, or family, the class prepares you for different kinds of conflict.

Intercultural communication prepared me for this internship by preparing me for cultural differences on campus. With some of the tasks I have to do such as resume reviews it is important to understand cultural differences. For example I had to help an international student edit her resume. Because of this class it helped me be more patient and understanding if I couldn’t understand something she said.

Gender and communication prepared me in similar ways that intercultural did. Bringing awareness to sex and gender is important in a college setting. Students are learning about themselves from being away from home for the first time. When students, faculty, and staff come into Career Services I have to be aware that not everyone identifies the same way.

Journal 3

In my last blog I talked about gaining the confidence to help student’s revise their cover letters. To my surprise from the time I submitted my last journal to now I have done just that! I have not only completed a cover letter review but also a few resume reviews. This has boosted my confidence while working in the office. One resume review session that I had challenged me a bit more than usual. An international student came in with her resume wanting help on how to correct the changes we previously suggested for her resume. The challenge of this was the language barrier. Luckily the student was fluent in English and I was able to work with her with very few problems. The challenge that I faced was having to be patient and utilize good listening skills. The session ended up being successful and I was able to push through till the end.

Another small challenge I have been dealing with that I have touched on before is my supervisor being on maternity leave. The new challenge that has come from this has to do with routines and tasks that I had done a certain way with Ashley. The supervisors that I work with now are not used to how I am completing the tasks and I forget to tell them when new things arise. This is something I will work on and change.

Everything I do in the office is helping me seek a future career. The work I do is helping me see what I like to do and what I don’t like to do. The work I am doing is also giving me office and job experience that I can take with me when I have a job after graduation. Working with career services and interacting with different types of people, has made me realize I am interested in the field of higher education.

 

 

Journal 2

“Change is inevitable but growth is optional.” That is something big that I have learned during my time at this internship. No matter what happens and what changes you always have to be up for it because, well, sometimes you don’t have any control over the changes. The biggest change that I have to accommodate to is my supervisor going on maternity leave. With this change I have been temporarily assigned a new supervisor. Working with someone new you have to learn how they are and how they want your work ethic to be. Slowly but surely I have also learned more about cover letter revising. My goal before the end of the semester is to be confident enough to help a student revise their cover letter.

Some general challenges I have run into are few and far between. I thoroughly enjoy working for this office because everything is very organized. I know what my tasks are and know when they need to be completed by. In any work place along with challenges come moments of peace per say. When I walk into work the atmosphere is always positive and I don’t feel stressed. I compare this to a job I previously had on campus. I would dread going and I hated the hours that I had. However, I am thankful that the job I had taught me so much that I can take with me to my current job.

All of the experiences I have at my internship now, my last job, and just on campus in general help me seek my future career. The experiences give me light to what I really want to be doing and what I do not want to do. I may be one of the only students, but I am very thankful that Longwood requires us to have an internship. It truly helps you develop skills for when you are looking for jobs post graduation.

 

Journal 1

This internship is a continuation from last semester. My official title is a student marketing intern for the Office of Alumni and Career Services working under Ashley Crute. However, I mostly work for the career services side. My main task this semester is creating a marketing plan for the first destination survey. The first destination survey is a survey that collects information from college seniors ands recent graduates to track their progress in the workplace six months after graduation. It also provides trends and data to show the importance of higher education. Another task I am working on is a student monthly career newsletter. This will have things on it such as an alumni spotlight, as well as events going on for the office.

The one skill I have that I know I will use multiple times during this internship is my ability to be personable in all circumstances. At my internship a lot of the time I am sitting at the front desk greeting faculty, staff, and students who may come into Career Services. Also while sitting at the desk there is a possibility that I will have to answer phones as well as talking to people in person. This is where my people skills come into play. Another skill I possess is my ability to be innovative. When given tasks to complete I am able to take the task and make something new and creative with it. For example, one of my tasks I mentioned above is the monthly newsletter. This is a completely new resource that Career Services is offering for students and alumni. I hope to gain more creativity from this experience. I feel as though I am creative but it just takes me some time and working with others for my creative side to come out. I am excited to see where this internship takes me this next month as January is almost over!

Journal 5

Nonverbal communication is one communication theory that I used a lot during the semester while I was working with Career Services. This is an important theory and concept to be able to pick up on in everyday life. Since my internship experience started off a lot later than all of the other student workers it was very important that I noticed everyone’s nonverbal cues and communication and payed attention to it. As the semester went on I was able to pick up on the nonverbal communication my co workers and supervisors gave because I had spent more time with them. Non verbal communication is just as important if not more important than verbal communication because a lot of the time people will not always say what they are feeling.

I thought about what other theory went well with my internship and thought about polarized thinking. Julia T. Wood states that thinking that someone or something is male or female or that something is right or wrong is polarized thinking. Working in a field and job such as career services it is important to pay attention to this concept. When working with college students it is important to not always assume one thing or the other or one extreme to the other. We shouldn’t assume things and instead educate ourselves and ask questions as much as possible.

 

Portfolio

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Refreshments at a debate watch party

In my opinion the communication studies department all together prepares you for your internship. There isn’t one specific class that necessarily prepares you for it.  Some challenges that I face are finding the time to get my tasks completed in a timely manner. Balancing the internship with classes and my other work I have to do is a big challenge. I think that a lot of the time when I have “free time” I get very easily distracted and don’t pay attention to tasks I need to get completed.

tweet2As any job or internship or even experience your responsibilities grow and you become more confrotable with your position as time progresses. This is the pattern that happened with me. Once I stuck my feet in the door and I got to know my co-workers I felt comfortable enough to be myself and get my work done.

This experience has greatly affected my career search. It has made me realize that I want to work in the higher education setting and that I want to work with college students. It is an exciting and nerve racking time all together. I can say with confidence that I have gained more confidence than I had at the beginning of this semester and I have grown a lot. I am able to stick up for myself more and I now know what I want right away instead of being so unsure.

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During the internship I worked directly under Ashley Crute. Whenever she was out for whatever reason I would pick up tasks and assignments that she had to do. One of these tasks included a meeting with the design lab. At this meeting I sat down with students and talked with them about a logo they are making for an upcoming conference called VACE(Virginia Association of Colleges and Employers). This is a run down of how the meeting went and what I sent to Ashley:

The meeting went well! The first question they wanted me to ask you is if the deadline can be moved from November 1st to November 14th so they can have a little more time to get the logo sketched and completed. They would like you to come up with a general theme of what you want the new logo to look like.
What is the conference and what is the organization?
What is the general atmosphere of the conference?
Is the logo going to just be used on the website or if it is going to be shown anywhere else? If so will it be blown up or shrunk in size?
What do you want them to avoid when making the logo?
What is your goal for this logo? (What do you want to get out of this logo?)
Do you want to keep with the theme of the state of VA?
Who is your target audience?
Are there any specific colors you want? (Darker vs. lighter)
You can either send the answers to me and I can send them to Monica or you can send them directly to her at monica.mcgraw@live.longwood.edu Let me know if you have any questions!
Some other tasks that I did this semester was attend some events put on by the history department. Some of these events included a debate watch party and a panel discussion of lawyers and other professionals working in that field. blog3Included in that panel were even some Longwood alumni. It was a very informational panel that someone such as myself not wanting to go into that field found interesting.
Another piece of work that I was able to work on this semester is a poster advertising to December graduates to take the First Destination Survey. The poster can be seen by clicking on the link join-the-workforce-1-1
A final piece of material I worked on that I would like to share is an email I drafted out for faculty. This email is also geared toward the First Destination Survey. It is for the faculty to encourage them to get their students to participate in the survey.
Faculty,
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) is one of the leading sources of information on the employment of the college educated. This association has a survey that they encourage college graduates to take to show trends in the job market, track starting salaries, recruiting and hiring practices and student attitudes and outcomes. We at Career Services at Longwood University want to highly encourage you as faculty to encourage your students to complete this survey. NACE provides its members with resources, research, networking opportunities; and most important standards, ethics, advocacy, and guidance on key issues. We believe that this survey will be beneficial and want to ask for your assistance. As faculty, professors, and mentors you all help shape these young adults into the professionals they will become after graduation. For more information on NACE and the First Destination Survey you can visit the website at http://www.naceweb.org/job-market/graduate-outcomes/first-destination/
Thank you!

Journal 4

It hasn’t necessarily been a long time since my last journal entry but since then I’ve learned that being positive and STAYING positive are two completely different aspects. There can be an event in your life that changes your perspective on something and you feel so happy after it and then after some time passes you sort of loose that sparkle from that event. I feel as though this happens to me more often than I would like. I want to take what I have realized and try my best to improve. Improve on positive thinking and positive thoughts. I’m still facing the same challenges of having and finding the motivation to complete work that I know needs to be done. This is a particular challenge that I know I will have to keep working on, especially when I start my first full-time job.

I have a lot of strong opinions about the term the “real world.” When people say that to me I understand the context and everything but I know that I’m already in the real world and doing things most college students my age don’t have to do yet. This in itself will help me immensely in my future career path.

I think the most exciting thing about this internship is that it is an all year internship. This means that I can take anything I learn, anything I did wrong, and anything I need to work on and put that effort towards next semester. Some other positive things that have come from this job is the positive work environment. Without a positive environment who would want to ever be there in the office? This is all possible with communication and good people. I can’t wait to see what next semester has in store and see what all I learn.

 

Journal 3

Since my last journal entry I would like to update everyone that things are a lot better than they were. It seems that me and my supervisor are communicating on a much more frequent basis. I have become closer with some co-workers at my internship and they have told me nothing but good things that have been said about my work in Career Services. This has been a good confident booster and it has made me want to come into the office and work more hours. This past weekend I attended Mountain Lake Leadership Conference. This conference was sponsored by the organization I’m in S.E.A.L. This weekend was a great weekend where I extended my knowledge on leadership skills and it really refreshed me. Going into the new school week I feel better about what I’m doing and I feel that I can accomplish my schoolwork no matter how hard it may seem.

Still some challenges that I am facing are finding the time to get my tasks completed that I need to. Balancing the internship with classes and my other work I have to do is a big challenge. I think that a lot of the time when I have “free time” I get very easily distracted and don’t even pay attention to tasks I need to get completed. Instead I catch up on social media or text messages that I may have missed. Sometimes I will just go home and sit on my couch and listen, talk, and hang out with my roommates.

All of these events, I know are helping me form my experiences for when I am seeking a career. This weekend also made me so much more excited for my future career and what I plan on pursuing and doing with my degree and my life. I know that even when things seem tough that eventually this too shall pass.