The month of August has arrived, and my marketing internship is coming to a close. I cannot believe how quickly this summer has gone by. I have worked on several projects this summer for South Dakota’s Bureau of Human Resources.
Here are the projects I worked on this summer:
1. I created a wheelie brochure for South Dakota Careers which includes career fields and positions as well as the benefits of working for the state of South Dakota.
2. I started this SD Careers blog to give internships career advice as well as to share my experiences of being an intern.
3. I assisted with writing statuses and tweets for the social media pages.
4. I created infographics for South Dakota Careers social media pages and this blog.
5. I helped copyedit a poster and other materials.
6. I interviewed South Dakota State employees in Custer, Sioux Falls and Yankton.
7. I learned how to edit and create video interviews for the SD Careers social media pages.
All of these projects have helped me gain experience in the field of communications, and I definitely recommend any college student to work for South Dakota to gain experience for his or her career field. I’m thankful I was hired for this internship, and I have gained a lot of professional experience that I never could have learned in a college class.
I went to Sioux Falls and Yankton earlier last week to interview employees and to take pictures. My first stop was the State Penitentiary where I took pictures of two of the officers working in the control room. The fun part was walking through a narrow passageway in the basement and climbing up a spiral staircase to reach the control room. After taking pictures of the officers, I took some pictures of other employees and of the State Penitentiary. The best part was seeing some of the inmates working with puppies. I then interviewed a chemical dependency counselor and a mental health professional.
My next stop was going to the Department of Transportation to interview engineers, a project technician, and a maintenance supervisor. All of them were knowledgeable and experienced in their fields. I had the opportunity to see the laboratory where they use different equipment to analyze soil.
Next, I went to the driver exam station to interview one of the employees there. The driver exam station was quite busy, and I’m glad one of the employees took time out of his day to talk to us about what it’s like assisting different people that come into the exam station.
My last stop of the day was back at the Department of Public Safety to interview a police officer and her police dog. What was really cool was that she said commands to the dog in German. I also gained some insight about what it’s like to be a highway patrol officer.
The next day I traveled to Yankton to interview nurses, social workers, and mental health professionals at the Human Services Center. I never realized how large the center is and variety of services it offers. I’m not a fan of hospitals, but the center had inspiring quotes and photographs on its walls, and I felt at ease. The center had everything from recreation rooms to laboratories. I definitely gained a lot of insight about the complexities of mental illness. All of the employees I interviewed were knowledgeable and passionate about their positions.
Thank you for reading!
The Custer area of South Dakota always amazes me. I traveled out to Custer on Monday morning to interview employees at the State Treatment and Rehabilitation (S.T.A.R.) Academy to create some video testimonials for the South Dakota Careers’ Youtube channel (www.youtube.com/user/sdcareers). S.T.A.R. Academy is a treatment facility for adolescents in need of supervision and therapy.
As I was driving out to Custer, I saw thousands of emerald green pine trees and sparkling blue lakes. I was afraid I was going to get lost because I was distracted by the beauty of the area. I was hoping that I would see some bison, but I think they were under the trees for shade.
After I had lunch at Sage Creek Grille, I drove out to the boys’ campus at S.T.A.R. Academy. I met up with Scott Marsich, and he showed me around the Academy. He showed me all of the recreational activities available for the adolescents: a ropes course, Frisbee golf, gymnasium, recreation room, and a rock climbing wall. I asked him about some of the fences, and he said it was to keep the bison and other animals away from the area and to ensure the safety and security of the youth. He showed me the girls’ campus on Tuesday morning, and they had a softball field and a lovely gazebo area and church. The inside of both of the campuses had inspirational quotes, artwork, dorm rooms, and recreation rooms. The campuses reminded me of my summer camp days in Girl Scouts.
I interviewed youth counselors, teachers, and mental health professionals, and all of them were friendly and personable. One of the activities they were proud to show me was a sand box with toy figurines, and it’s a form of therapy where the adolescents talk about their past experiences. After interviewing everybody, I could tell that all of the employees deeply care about the adolescents and were almost like a family.
I definitely learned a few things about video interviewing:
1) Always carry extra memory cards
2) Ensure that the batteries are charged
3) Try to limit the shakiness of the camera and background noise
4) Carry extra pens for writing down information
5) The tripod needs to be light and portable and easy to use
I’m really glad that I had the opportunity to visit S.T.A.R Academy and interview all of the employees. The Custer area is such a beautiful area, and I highly recommend visiting the area. Thank you for reading!
Hello SD interns,
Throughout the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be interviewing various professionals in the career fields of Criminal Justice, Nursing, and Social Services in Sioux Falls, Custer, Redfield, and Yankton. I will ask them questions about their day-to-day tasks and how they got to be where they are today.
Informational interviews are a great way to gain information about a business in a comfortable atmosphere as well as meeting people that could lead to future employment. I thought I would share a few tips with you about conducting an informational interview just in case you are interested in a full-time career with the State of South Dakota. 😉
The following tips come from my own experiences working as a peer career advisor at St. Cloud State University Career Services and prdaily.com.
1. Know yourself: What is it about you that make you different from other candidates? What are your skills and interests? What are your career goals?
2. Research, research, research: Look at the business’s web site, brochures, and annual reports. If you want to learn more about working for us visit http://bhr.sd.gov/workforus.aspx.
3. Contact a career professional: Talk to your friends, family, and professors if they know anybody in your field that would be willing to do an informational interview. The next thing to do would be to call or write to them expressing your interest to meet with them in person to discuss opportunities in this field (remind them that you’re not asking for a job interview). Explain that the interview would only be a half hour at the most and if they say no, ask if they know someone else that you can contact to do an interview.
4. Prepare for the interview: Make sure you do your research, you are properly dressed, you have a resume, and you have questions to ask the person.
Some sample questions you could ask:
• What do you do during a typical work day/week?
• What kind of training or experience is required for entry into this career field?
• What are the most rewarding aspects of this job?
• Which firms do you feel are your biggest competitors?
• What skills are most essential for effectiveness in this job?
• How does one advance in this field?
• How much flexibility do you have in terms of dress, work hours, and vacation?
• What advice do you have for me?
5. During the interview: Remember that you are there to acquire information, ask questions, and meet other professionals.
6. Follow-up with a thank-you letter and add your contacts onto your LinkedIn profile.
Thank you for reading!
For most, it is a great opportunity to find out what interests you (or does not interest you) about the public relations industry, get a network of contacts, gain experience to bulk up that resume, and possibly earn a little cash in the process. Before you step foot into the office, here’s a list of seven tips to help you get the most out of your internship.
1. Have a good attitude.
The first and arguably most important thing is to have a good attitude. Your day-to-day tasks will probably be varied. One day you might be fetching coffee and archiving files, and the next day you could be at a photo shoot with a client. The key is to always be prepared, flexible, and enthusiastic about each task. As a manager, I am always excited to give more responsibility to interns who show eagerness, enthusiasm, and a can-do spirit.
2. Go above and beyond.
This should go without saying, but in order to succeed at any job, you need to exceed expectations. If you’re assigned to track media clippings or develop a media list, make sure that what you are putting together is thorough and organized, but why not send it over with a few ideas, too? Maybe you thought of a way to streamline the report or you have a great idea to improve the campaign. Share your ideas and let your co-workers know you’re constantly thinking about how this project (no matter how menial it may seem) fits into the bigger picture.
Make sure you are giving your complete attention to work tasks when you’re at work. You would be surprised at how many interns over the years I have seen hanging out on social media or texting with friends instead of completing assignments. It is OK to let that text message about tonight’s party sit unanswered for a few hours. Facebook and Twitter can wait.
4. Be a self-starter.
Finished that assignment already? Let your boss and co-workers know that you are ready for more projects. Can’t find them? Take it upon yourself to work on something that you think would be beneficial for the company—research competitors or brainstorm ideas for that new client.
5. Ask for feedback.
Don’t be afraid to ask your boss how you are doing. Practice makes perfect, but not without improvement. Take the opportunity to get feedback that will help you grow as a professional.
When possible, learn from your co-workers. How did they land their current job? What do they like most about what they do? What advice would they give someone—like you—just starting out in PR? I can promise that you will learn a lot from their answers, and taking an interest in their careers makes it more likely that they will take an interest in yours.
7. Say thank you, and keep in touch.
We all hear the phrase that it’s “all about who you know.” Well, now you know several people who work in the career you want. Send thank-you notes at the end of the internship expressing your gratitude for the opportunity. Ask to connect on LinkedIn. Grab coffee over winter break. Follow up with a note when you graduate. Don’t fall off the face of the Earth. Even if there isn’t a position at that company for you come graduation, one of them might know of the perfect position for you somewhere else.
I hope you find this list helpful and make the most out of your internship. Good luck!
Hello South Dakota interns,
One of the best summer holidays is tomorrow…Independence Day! Most of us know the history of how the United States gained its independence, but do you as a South Dakotan know how our state gained independence?
Dakota Territory was established in 1861, and settlement grew rapidly with people from eastern United States as well as people from western and northern Europeans.Gold was found in the black hills area during a military expedition led by George A. Custer in 1874, and miners and explorers began illegally entering the western half of South Dakota.
With the growing population in the Dakota Territory, President Benjamin Harrison signed the paperwork to formally admit both South Dakota and North Dakota into the union on Nov. 2, 1889 (he shuffled the papers, so no one knows which state is 39th and which state is 40th) with Arthur C. Mellette being the last governor of the Dakota Territory and the first governor of South Dakota.
Next year (2014) on Nov. 2 will be South Dakota’s 125th anniversary of its state independence. The governor will pick the 125th Birthday logo, and he will create a 125th Birthday Commission to create ideas and suggestions to promote the history of South Dakota and celebrate its independence.
So, South Dakota interns, wherever you may travel in the world, if people ask you about South Dakota’s government, you can share some history about how South Dakota gained its independence, and you can share how you’re proud to serve the people of South Dakota.
Thank you for reading and Happy 4th of July!
Hello South Dakota interns,
When I worked at the career services during college, I assisted more than 100 students with their résumés. The majority of the students made similar mistakes. I created this résumé infographic which includes the most important tips and guidelines for a good résumé (please always stick to a one page résumé). When you’re looking to move to a full-time position, you can now improve your résumé for job interviews.
Note: All of these tips are based on my experiences with working with students at the Career Services Center at St. Cloud State University. Every job area looks for different skills, experiences and education background on a résumé, and you should consider consulting with a professional in your career field for how to best format your résumé. You should also consider having a couple people in your college career services look over your résumé as well.
Thank you for reading!
Click here for a bigger view: ResumeInfographic