Meghan’s Summer Internship Post #5

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Reflect on the skills you have gained and an important lesson you learned:

I’ve learned a lot in terms of retail management, but I think the most important thing I gained was self-confidence.  I can be pretty hard on myself sometimes, especially when I don’t understand something that is new to me right away.  It took me a few weeks, but now it feels like I’ve been working at Busch for a year or two.

 How has the internship impacted your career path?

 I could definitely see myself having a career in this industry.  One of my favorite things is that no day is ever the same!  There are so many things you can do within a theme park, which is something I don’t think people realize.  The environment at Busch Gardens is so positive and it makes going to work each day not feel like work!

 What advice would you give?

 Don’t be afraid to complete an internship that’s not directly related to your major!  Any internship is a learning experience and a good way to get your foot in the door.

My picture collage includes a selfie with Busch Gardens Williamsburg park president David Cromwell and a picture with the cast of Celtic Fyre!

Madison’s Summer Internship Post #5

Post 5 picWhat skills have you gained? Any important lessons you’ve learned?
Through my time with Canon I developed as a person and a professional. I spent the summer in a foreign city only knowing a handful of people ahead of time and left with contacts, lifelong friends, and new found favorite brunch spots.
Through my program I was able to gain real life exposure to social media planning, campaign creation, corporate application, and ground up project planning to completion. I found that I really enjoy working in an office and like structured work. I feel much more comfortable graduating now with a major in Political Science and Communication, because these are two things that I feel very passionate about and am excited to see where I end up after graduation, especially now that I’ve completed an internship in both areas of interest.
How has the internship impacted your career path?
The biggest lesson I learned over my internship was don’t be afraid to speak up about your ideas and boast about yourself (when warranted). From day one I was included in on meetings and asked my opinion. As a millennial my opinion is valued, companies are taping in to us and creating business moves to satisfy us as a marketable consumer and prospective employee. When they ask what you think, it’s ok to say your true feelings, just be sure to convey them professionally! As I was preparing for my final presentations I was encouraged by my co-workers to boast the accomplishments I had achieved this summer. It takes a lot of time and work to start a twitter campaign from the ground up, creating all the images and setting up copy. When given the opportunity it’s alright to show exactly what you’ve done. Be proud of your work!
What advice would you give to other students?
For my fellow students, don’t be afraid to try something new.  It’s okay to step out of your comfort zone and do things that aren’t your norm. Moving to New York was scary (and dirty). But as I’m packing up my things and cleaning out my desk I realize I found much more of myself in this city. I’m much more open minded, there is so much culture in the city and so many experiences to broaden and enrich your life.  Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith. Now is the time we can be bounce back. It’s ok to take risks and see what you like. Go. Stop making excuses. Do. Pack your bags and do what you love. The only person stopping you is yourself, you are capable of anything you put your mind to.

Kacie’s Summer Internship Post #5

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What skills have you gained? Any important lessons you’ve learned?/ How has the internship impacted your career path?

My internship with T&C greatly impacted my career path because I now realize I do want to work for a magazine upon graduation (hopefully in NYC!). I definitely learned a lot about writing and researching this summer; one important lesson I learned is to always try your best on assignments. As cliche as it sounds, perfecting even making copies or sending emails goes a long way with editors (people who could potentially hire you back!)

What advice would you give to other students?

My biggest advice to other students would be to apply, apply, apply to any internship that seems interesting to you and once you’re there, talk to everyone. You will make friends and also connections! Having such amazing mentors and friends in the office truly made my summer at Town and Country an unforgettable experience.

The Last Hurrah: Summer Intern Jack

When I initially applied for a survey internship with the Center for Career Planning, I expected to spend most of my work day on the phone and entering in data. However, as the summer is wrapping up I can now say that it has greatly surpassed my expectations. While John and I did spend time researching accounting companies, conducting phone surveys and entering data, the CCP staff made a great effort to ensure that we made strides in developing our respective careers.

I would highly recommend that students take the Strong Interest Inventory with a counselor here at the Center for Career Planning. I took the SII knowing that I had an interest in both Finance and Investing. The results not only helped confirm that but also gave insight on what kind of working environment I would be most successful in and what positions I might pursue.

Reading and discussing the book The 2-Hour Job Search by Steve Dalton was also a very significant part of this internship for me. Finding the right job can seem daunting, but this book explains how to use technology and your time in an efficient way to find employment. Steve Dalton is coming to campus this coming fall semester, and I urge students to read his book and hear Dalton speak when he comes to CNU.

I can’t thank the CNU Center for Career Planning enough for everything they’ve done to make this internship a rewarding experience. Before this summer, I took for granted all the hard work the CCP staff does to help CNU students start and continue their careers. Having seen all the effort it takes to put together career events and connect with employers to find job openings, it is now clear that our university is incredibly fortunate to have such a remarkable staff. Thank you CCP for a great summer!


The Last Hurrah: Summer Intern John

My time here at the CNU Center for Career Planning has been rewarding and to be honest, life-changing. Before I became an intern I had no idea what I wanted to do. My future ideas have changed so much that I don’t think I could fit a list of them all on a sheet of paper. I had become a history major with only the enjoyment of the subject, not with the intention to use it in my career field.

My focus coming into this internship wasn’t just to help the Center for Career Planning during the summer season, but to also find my way. First I took the Strong Interest Inventory with the Libby Westley (Director) and gained a better understanding on what career areas relate to me most. I found out that I mostly associated with the Realistic theme; meaning I prefer to take an active hands-on approach involving construction, mechanical, or outdoor activities. I also discovered that I marked high in the management, sales, and culinary arts sector.

Libby and I then discussed my interests. I have always had a large amount of interest in Beer and Brewing Operations. From the large amount of home brewers I know to the brewery tours I have always found so fascinating, I have been influenced by the industry before but never thought of it as a career outlet. Libby pushed me to pursue this interest of mine to possibly become my line of work.

All of the career counselors helped me in one way or another. Discussions over the book The 2-Hour Job Search (which is an awesome book I’d like to add) with Andy Park and fellow intern Jack Slack helped me get my foot in the door by learning how to reach contacts and schedule informational interviews. Kelly Gooch provided me with contacts to reach out to and became an outlet for discussion for a topic we mutually find interesting. Finally, Sarah Hobgood and Polly Bradie were always interested to hear about my career development and provided support throughout the summer. Every one of the career counselors and employees of the CNU Center for Career Planning are great people and I can not thank them enough.

As a result I was able to schedule a multitude of informational interviews with breweries from Richmond to Norfolk. Also without their help I wouldn’t have received and accepted an offer to be a Brand Ambassador for Alewerks Brewing Company in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Overall my time here has been nothing but joyful and beneficial. I recommend everyone take a visit to Christopher Newport Hall Suite 305.



Laurent’s Summer Internship Post #5

Post 5 pic 1What skills have you gained? Any important lessons you’ve learned?

I learned about new software and technologies being used at airports all around the country. An important lesson I learned was to document EVERYTHING for record. It will save confusion and lead to a better workflow.

How has the internship impacted your career path?

This internship has made me think about working at an airport at some capacity even if not in IT. There is an airport in every major city in the US!

What advice would you give to other students?

Hard work pays off and people will sometimes ask you to do things to test your character. The first week of my internship, I was clearing dust and wiping machines off at the kiosk stations around the airport thinking that if I was doing this all summer it was not going to be fun, nor challenging. But I did it with a great attitude and a smile on my face, thankful for the opportunity to even have employment and I made sure those kiosks were spotless. Later in the summer my hard work was noticed by my manager and he said he just wanted to see how I would react.

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Emily’s Summer Internship Post #5

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What skills have you gained? Any important lessons you’ve learned?

Skills I have gained from my time interning with FEMA are:

  • Collecting and compiling data for routine reports,

  • Assisting with examining, verifying, and maintaining financial records,

  • Researching regulations, directives, and other data,

  • Performing pre-audit testing and documentation collection

FEMA has shown me how to maintain a professional work ethic and appearance while in a casual work place environment. The work place environment at FEMA was not what I was expecting and I learned to be flexible with the environment around me so that I was able to blend in with the rest of the employees.

How has the internship impacted your career path?

This internship has given me a brief preview of one of the many types of government accounting jobs. It was not at all what I was expecting, however, I am very grateful for this experience. It has solidified my desire to want to work for a government agency as an accountant and it has acted as a stepping stone for my future career.

What advice would you give to other students?

Advice I would give to other students is be open to the unexpected. An internship with FEMA was not my top choice when I was applying for summer internships, as I wanted an internship with the FBI or on Capitol Hill. When I didn’t get any of my top choices I questioned if I would get any internship, and then I got a call from FEMA. I am so thankful for the opportunity to intern with FEMA and I have learned and gained so many new skills because of my time here. This internship has been so incredible and I couldn’t be happier about how things turned out. Don’t be afraid to ask questions because your supervisors are there to help you learn and make sure to show that you are committed to helping the organization. But most of all, enjoy yourself while interning.

How to get a Positive Job Reference


Summer is winding down and classes are only a couple weeks away, which means many students are leaving their summer jobs and internships to go back to school. Before the summer is over, however, students should consider requesting a reference from their employer.

For most employers, hiring an entry-level employee is a leap of faith. Without much of a workplace track record to judge by, employers are forced to depend on what fits on a piece of paper (a resume) and whatever can be gleaned from brief first impressions (interviews).

Is it any wonder that many entry-level job applicants from comparable schools and backgrounds are indistinguishable?

A few glowing job references can set a candidate apart from the crowd. Knowing that, how should a job seeker build out a killer roster of references? Here are seven key tips for putting together a top-notch reference list. These apply to first-time job seekers, but also to anyone who’s getting ready for the next move in their career.

1. Look for ways to cultivate your references. Check in regularly. Keep them up-to-date on your career successes. Talk to them about where you want to take your career. Not only will you build a base of supporters you can rely on for guidance, you will also have a group of people to turn to with confidence when you’re gunning for the job you want.


2. Get a sense of what your references are likely to say about you, especially your areas for improvement. This can be slightly tricky, but it’s doable. Ideally, your references are people you’ve gotten feedback from in the past, so you should have a feel for what they’ll say. To get clarity, it’s important to test your assumptions. It comes down to having a candid conversation with the people you’re planning to use as job references. Try to talk in a more casual, informal setting – at lunch or over a cup of coffee. Explain to them why you’d appreciate their help, and ask them to share their honest perspective on how they would talk about you during a reference check. Most times, references will be flattered by your request.

3. Don’t be afraid to serve as your own strongest advocate. It’s important to make sure that your professors, managers and other potential references know about your capabilities so that they can speak clearly with potential employers about you and your work. While this step is important, don’t be too aggressive when doing it.


4. Don’t hesitate to show off your strengths in the classroom and the workplace. Job references need to see what you can do, so they can tell prospective employers about it. Look for opportunities to demonstrate progress and smart work, so others can observe it. This doesn’t mean you should be a shameless self-promoter. It’s important to share how confident you are, but do so while acting with a sense of humility. Still, if no one knows what you can accomplish, no one can tell your future managers why they should hire you.


5. Let your references know that they might be called upon and have their current contact information. If your references are readily available when an employer asks for them, it indicates that you’ve informed and prepared them to take a call or an online request – all good signs that you’re someone who is focused, thorough and motivated.

6. In addition to professors, try to have some former managers as references, even if they’re from internships. Input from people who have seen you perform in the workplace counts for a lot. Professors are great – and you should use them – but employers are thinking about how you’re going to perform once you’re walking through their doors. Feedback from managers at internships, summer jobs, work study or any other kind of employment is key.


7. Be grateful – and show it. Your references are doing you a favor. They’re going out of their way to help you build your future. And they’re putting their own reputation and credibility on the line when they vouch for you. Be sure to thank them. A hand-written note or a warmly worded email can mean a lot. At the same time, these are folks whom you may want to ask for help again. Use the opportunity of thanking them to keep cultivating the relationship and to ask what you can do to help them in the future.

So, whether you’re a college senior or someone getting ready to look for that next job, don’t lose track of your references. Good references don’t just happen. Your reference roster has to be cared for, nurtured and maintained. High-quality job references can make the difference between getting that job or wondering why your phone isn’t ringing.


Article by Ray Bixler on March 11, 2016, 9:03 AM ET

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Christopher Newport University and the CNU Center for Career Planning hold no rights on this article.