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My Final Career Fair

Last Wednesday, I attended my last career fair as an undergraduate student on Ball State’s campus.

If you would have even mouthed the words “career fair” too close to me about two years ago, I would’ve probably run very fast in the opposite direction. This time around I took a different approach – I took advantage.

I stood in line for some free, much-needed professional headshots. After that I explored the fair. I initially came to scope out Indiana INTERNnet’s table and show some love, but it took me a while to find. After walking past too many swag bags to count I decided it was time to act.

I gravitated to a table for a company called Impact, an IT company mainly looking for entry-level sales representatives (if I remember correctly). The table was covered in a deep red tablecloth and their display was interesting, so I stopped. The …

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Work Event Dos and Don’ts

At some point in your career, you’re going to attend a work event that’s outside of normal business hours. They actually happen more often than you think! This week, I had both a luncheon and a cocktail hour/dinner on the same day. I never thought I would have a job where I have to attend these events, let alone two in one day! Even if you don’t think you’ll be encountering work events in your career, you need to be prepared anyway. Here are some do’s and don’ts of attending a work event.

Do: Be Polite to Waitstaff

I worked in retail and the service industry for years. Waitstaff have to put up with a lot. Their job is stressful, fast-paced, and exhausting. Keep this in mind the next time your food isn’t the greatest, or you don’t get your drink as fast as you want. In the dating world, …

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I Didn’t Want to Go to Career Fairs – But Here’s Why You Should

As students, plenty of you don’t want to go to your college career fair. I certainly didn’t. It takes away from valuable free time, you have to change into something other than sweatpants, and spend time awkwardly interacting with people. But it wasn’t until I started representing my organization at career fairs that I gained a new perspective. Career fairs are actually incredibly important.

My Career Fair Experience

I attended career fairs maybe two or three times during college, all during my freshman or sophomore year. The only times I ever went was when my professors made me go. They made us do assignments based on the career fair (writing about our interactions, collecting a certain number of business cards, etc.). I thought going was a massive waste of time when I had such a busy schedule.

I was wrong.

Now that I occupy a position where I represent my …

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Career Fair Tips: tales from the other side of the table

It’s the end of September and career fair season is going strong. While I was in college, I unfortunately never attended a single fair, and I missed out on so many wonderful opportunities! Unlike applying online or through email, career fairs give you the opportunity to meet face-to-face with a wide variety of employers. You’re able to ask them plenty of questions about their company and internship/job openings while sharing information about yourself.

But now at Indiana INTERNnet, I get to go to so many career fairs throughout the state to let students know how we can help them find their next internship. Being on the other side of the table, I’ve learned a lot about what can help you stand out with recruiters. Here’s some tips:

Dress to impress…

If you’re going to a career fair, you should preferably dress in business professional attire, or business casual at the …

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Preparing for the End of Your Internship: Takeaways from the Indiana State Fair Event

Last Friday, the Indiana INTERNnet team joined over 50 interns at the Indiana State Fairgrounds for another summer intern engagement event.

Attendees played a round of trivia for a chance to win donated prizes – it was the perfect way to make sure everyone was wide awake and engaged. After buzzing in for questions about Indianapolis, Indiana and the State Fair, the interns were fired up and ready for the morning’s career development session.

Samantha Martin, assistant director of the Ball State University Career Center, was eager to take the floor and keep up the energy in the room. To start, she had participants split into groups for a unique networking game where everyone was asked to make a chain of facts that each of their internships had in common. The winning team took home “Fair Bucks” and Crew Car Wash coupons for connecting 66 facts into a story about …

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Should I have a Mentor?

Although the idea of having a career mentor is not new, the notion has grown in popularity in recent years. I had heard the word thrown around before, but I wasn’t quite aware of the popularity of this tactic until I read Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, last year. Successful professionals from a variety of backgrounds have endorsed mentorship and credited these types of relationships for a portion of their achievements.

So, what purpose does a mentor serve?

The Balance defines a mentor as someone who “becomes a source of wisdom, teaching, and support” for young professionals seeking guidance. Ideally, this would be a person that you could go to and ask for advice when facing work-related dilemmas and they could guide you based on their own experiences. While not completely necessary, it helps if this person works or has worked in the …

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Keep in Touch: A Guide to Following Up

You faced your fears and attended a networking event – perhaps it was one of Indiana INTERNnet’s summer engagement events – and made a great connection. You feel as though you navigated the conversation successfully, kept your stories relevant, and bonded with the person. You even went so far as to remember to ask for their card, so you have all the information necessary to follow up with them. How do you go about doing it?

Following up with someone, whether it is a stranger you met at a conference or a past supervisor you had for an internship, does not have to feel awkward. It can seem daunting to put yourself out on a limb and reach out to someone that you don’t know well or that you haven’t spoken to lately. The main thing that will help in either of those situations is to be confident in what …

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Connecting Interns to Indy

More than 75 interns from companies in the Indianapolis area gathered at the historic Fountain Square Theatre building on June 1 to take advantage of Indy Intern Connect. Our second intern engagement event of the summer was a casual evening event, hosted by the Indy Chamber. Attendees had an opportunity to network with Indianapolis business leaders and fellow interns while enjoying free drinks, duckpin bowling and a view of the city skyline from the Rooftop Garden.

A welcoming host, longtime Fountain Square Theatre owner Linton Calvert, shared the story of the building with the crowd. Originally constructed in 1928, it has hosted many types of businesses and witnessed the surrounding neighborhood continuously change. It stands tall today after being restored by Calvert and is an Indianapolis landmark.

It was a truly fitting venue for the night, which was all about encouraging interns who are not native to Indianapolis to see …

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Takeaways From Intern Day at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Interns and supervisors from around Indianapolis came together on May 31 for Intern Day at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. This event was the first of five summer intern engagement events hosted by Indiana INTERNnet in partnership with local organizations.

The event kicked off with a networking game, designed to get interns mingling. The objective? Get to know two new people from outside of each one’s organization and be entered to win tickets to the museum’s exclusive collections tour. Afterwards, the attendees filed into the Lilly Theater for the event’s career development program, presented by Samantha Martin, assistant director of the Career Services Center at Ball State University.

Martin emphasized the power of storytelling, an uncommon notion in most professional development talks. She understands that networking is not easy, and often young professionals are not sure how to approach situations where they’re asked the dreaded, “Tell me about yourself.” That …

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How Important is Networking, Really?

College students hear it again and again – network, network, network! However, building and maintaining professional relationships is often not high on a student’s list of priorities. The thought of initiating a conversation can be intimidating. Even once introductions and connections have been made, it is difficult for individuals to keep in touch. Schedules are typically overflowing with academic, financial, and personal responsibilities, which does not leave a lot of room for attending networking events. It can be easy to put off networking and ignore event opportunities, with the hopes your schedule will be less full later. That is not the case. Forty-nine percent of today’s professionals say that it is difficult to maintain relationships with their network due to a lack of free time, according to a 2017 LinkedIn survey.

Ignoring networking events and failing to create connections is a much easier route, but the truth is that taking …

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Four Email Examples That Will Keep Your Network Strong

As spring internships begin to wrap up, one of the most important things  you can do before departing is to record your supervisor’s, mentor’s, fellow co-workers’, etc. contact information. The connections  you make during your internship can become extremely valuable down the line.

But collecting contacts isn’t enough. You have to actually stay in touch with them! The Intern Queen recommends reaching out to your professional contacts at least three times per year. This will help ensure that your connections remain strong.

Use these email examples if you’re struggling to figure out what to say:

____________________________________________

“A good network is like a garden – if you want it to thrive, you have to put in a little effort.”

____________________________________________

You notice your connection accomplished something

Hi XXXX,

I happened to  see on LinkedIn that you received a promotion! Congratulations! What does …

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Networking at Night

Most networking events are held during typical working hours (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). However, there are the occasional evening events. While some events may be more casual than others, it’s important to maintain a professional demeanor at all times. Check out these helpful tips for how to rock the room and make connections.

 

Cards for Contacts

Make sure you bring plenty of business cards, and can easily grab it out of your pocket or purse. You don’t want to be fumbling around in your jacket, or throwing things out of your purse to find a card. The business cards that you collect should also be put in an appropriate place.

Pro tip: Bring a pen to write notes about the conversations you had with people. If you don’t have a small notepad, you can write on the back of their business cards. Your phone is also a great …

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Networking Nightmares

In celebration of Halloween, let’s discuss a few scary things that can happen while networking. These horrors can occur in person, phone, email or social media. It’s always best to double check any communication you’re sending and be prepared for conversation.

 

Social Media Scares

Social media can be a great way to network with professionals in your industry. However, you should be cautious with what you post, share and like. If you are posting negatively about a certain organization and then try to network with its employees, they could potentially read your rants. Also, not everyone has the same sense of humor, so be careful posts including jokes. Check your posts using the mom or supervisor test. If they might find it offensive or inappropriate, do not post it.

 

Freddy vs. Jason

Incorrectly addressing someone in a message can cause a gut-wrenching affect. It could happen accidently; maybe …

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Interns Connect for Indy’s Future

Last Friday, the Indy Chamber hosted Indy Intern Connection in partnership with Indiana INTERNnet at the Fountain Square Theatre Building. Employers and interns from all over the city were invited to hang out on the rooftop garden, play duckpin bowling, and network.

The Director of Policy & Civic Engagement at the Indy Chamber and Indiana INTERNnet Board of Directors Member, Matt Impink, played a big part in organizing the event. He said that one of the main goals of the event was to encourage connections between interns, who will ideally be the future professionals of Indiana. He, and many other groups in Indiana, hope to encourage young Hoosiers to continue to live and work here. This combats the “brain drain” issue—that many of Indiana’s best and brightest leave Indiana to work elsewhere.

Many interns were from Indiana, but there was a decent handful who weren’t. In addition to encouraging current Indiana …

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Networking at Night

Most networking events are held during typical working hours (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). However, there are the occasional evening events. While some events may be more casual than others, it’s important to maintain a professional demeanor at all times. Check out these helpful tips for how to rock the room and make connections.

 

Cards for Contacts

Make sure you bring plenty of business cards, and can easily grab it out of your pocket or purse. You don’t want to be fumbling around in your jacket, or throwing things out of your purse to find a card. The business cards that you collect should also be put in an appropriate place.

Pro tip: Bring a pen to write notes about the conversations you had with people. If you don’t have a small notepad, you can write on the back of their business cards. Your phone is also a great …

Read More

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