Saginaw Valley State University Office of Career Planning and Placement Co-op/Internship Workshop Table of Contents I. Co-op/Internship Program a. Co-op program requirements b. Internship program requirements c. Registration Steps d. Independent Study Application (for-credit internships) II. College Central Network Job-Searching Instructions a. Resume uploading b. Job searching III. Finding the Right Employer a. Finding the employers you want to consider b. Doing more research on the employers IV. Interview Etiquette a. Attire b. Professionalism c. First impressions d. Interview attitude e. STAR technique f. Follow-up V. Career Fair Tips a. Dress b. Game plan c. Script d. Research e. Resume f. Information VI. Networking a. Making the right connection to success b. Informational interviews VII. Co-op/Internship Application 7400 Bay Road, 111 Curtiss Hall, University Center, MI 48710 Web: www.svsu.edu/careers, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 989-964-4954, Fax: 989-964-2602 Experiential Education Program Cooperative Education Program Requirements: 1. Open to all undergraduate students currently enrolled at SVSU. International students are required to provide proper work authorization to work off-campus. 2. Must have completed a minimum of 31 college level credit hours from SVSU or other accredited college or university.* 3. Must have and maintain a minimum of 2.5 Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). 4. Must successfully complete a minimum of 24 credit hours per school year (i.e. Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer semesters). 5. Must have at least one year of coursework remaining until graduation. * Exception: Freshmen whose high school co-op employer has requested the student to continue the co-op employment while enrolled at SVSU are excluded from this requirement. Internship Program Requirements: 1. Open to all students currently enrolled at SVSU, regardless of class standing. 2. Must have and maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). 3. To earn credit, must receive academic departmental approval from the student’s major or minor area of study, based upon department’s criteria. 4. Up to one year assignment (typically one or two semesters). Registration Steps: 1. Establish a College Central Network account through SVSU’s Office of Career Planning and Placement. 2. Complete all sections of your profile in your College Central Network account. 3. Schedule and attend a Co-Op/Internship Workshop sponsored by SVSU’s Office of Career Planning and Placement. 4. Submit a printed copy of your resume to the Career Planning and Placement office to be reviewed/approved by the Co-op/Internship coordinator. A representative from the office will notify you when the review of your resume has been completed and can be picked up. 5. If necessary, make any final changes to your resume. 6. Provide a final copy of your resume to the Career Planning and Placement office to be placed in your active file. 7. Once your resume has been approved, your will need to complete a Co-op/Internship Program Application so that you can be referred for future co-op/internship consideration. 8. Upload your approved resume to your College Central Network account. College Central Network Job-Searching Instructions All Students are eligible to use the Saginaw Valley State University online job board after completing the registration process through Saginaw Valley State University’s Office of Career Planning and Placement. Start by just clicking Student Central and enter Saginaw Valley State University, your unique ID and Password and you’re ready to search for a job! Resume Upload • From your homepage, click Upload a Resume. • You should have a resume completed on disk at this time to upload. • Browse the file, select it, then click Upload your resume. Job Search • From your homepage, click Search for Jobs Posted to My School • Enter criteria specific to the type of job you are looking for on the search form • Click Begin Search for co-op/internship opportunities or jobs posted by our office. • You may also Search for Jobs in CCN’s Jobs Central, our national job database. *Note* When conducting a job search using CCN, be aware that by selecting several search criteria such as Degree, Area of Interest, FT/PT jobs, etc., you are narrowing your search. It is a good idea to conduct a focused search, but you may also want to try searching different criteria. To view all jobs posted leave all the search fields blank. Congratulations! You now know how to navigate through College Central Network. From now on you can visit the Career Planning & Placement page: www.svsu.edu/careers at anytime Our system is available 24/7, 365 days a year. Finding the Right Employer In order for you to have success in finding the right employer, you MUST BE VERY ACTIVE in your search. You will begin your search through College Central Network, our on-line job database, where you can post your resume and search for potential companies to pursue. The following items are things to think about when searching for the right employer. A. Finding Employers You Want to Consider… Don't wait for employers to post jobs or find your resume! You go out and find them! Targeting employers puts you in full control of your search. 1. Choose a specific industry or facet of your field on which to focus. In order to select your industry, you have to know “Who Hires People With Your Skills.” Use career and occupational guides to help you create a list of industries. 2. Choose what kind of employer you want to work for. You can use business rankings from several sources (The Fortune 500, The Inc. 500, and Fortune's Best Companies to Work For) to help you create lists of target employers. You will also find newspapers and magazines to be very helpful with this kind of research. 3. Choose a specific geographic area in which to search. There's no reason why you can not target a specific area for your job search and then find all the potential employers within that area. a. Determine the target area. Choose it based on local offerings, cost of living, industry growth, or even the weather, but choose an area. b. Start compiling lists of local employers. Telephone directories are great places to start, along with local chambers of commerce and even local US job resources. B. Research the Employers You can not just walk into an employer's office and expect them to tell you everything about their company. Employers expect you to know who they are, what they do, what the job entails, and how you fit into the company structure and culture before you come in. In other words: DO YOUR RESEARCH! 1. Facts to Gather Before Interviewing a. Key people in the organization b. Major products or services c. Size in terms of sales and employees d. Locations other than your community e. Organizational structure of the company f. Major competitors g. View of the company by clients, suppliers and competition h. News reports on the local or national news that affects the company i. Company “press” packet 2. Start your employer research at the employers’ website. Consider this to be a book about the employer by the employer! Read it "cover to cover" and print pages which interest you or which have information you want to double-check. a. Look at anything that says News or What’s New. This will give you the latest information on what is happening and possible clues on new areas or projects you might fit into. b. Read any mission statements or description of services to see how this organization describes itself. Use this to customize your cover letter to their interests. c. Look for annual reports or strategic plans and read them carefully. d. Check out the career opportunities, jobs and/or human resource area. Realize that there may be many job openings that are not posted online, but read over the instructions on applying. Use this as a guide to their application procedures, and look for information on their benefits. e. Look over the site. What does the Web design say to you about this organization? Are they conservative or different? Are they well-organized or difficult to follow? f. Don't be afraid to refer to the website when you are in your interview. It will reinforce your knowledge and skills on the Internet. Many employers don't know what their pages say or haven't seen them before. 3. Check business directories and other employer information sources for outside profiles. a. Financial profiles: www.hoovers.com b. Insider profiles: www.vault.com 4. Finally, turn to the Search Engines. Look for more information anywhere you can find it. Why? As one job seeker put it, "The employer's website told me what they wanted me to know, but I found what I wanted to know by searching online." C. Taking Employer Research to the Extreme Another thing that you may want to be aware of is the work atmosphere. There are many instances when things look good until you get inside the employer's offices when you wish you never accepted the job or even the interview. Again, here are some more useful tools to use when digging up information on employers. 1. What's it like to work there? Some websites offer testimonials from actual workers as to what it was like to work there. It has information on the managers and even the other employees. They are very useful. 2. Employees: Examples: AOL Watch and Vault Community. Yes, take a look, but also take them with a grain of salt. Many folks posting may be current or former dissatisfied employees. However, feel free to bring up some of these issues in your interview. Sources: National Association of Colleges and Employers (2002) Career development and job search help for college graduates. Online at: www.jobweb.com. Dikel, Margaret (2002) Using the internet for research to support your job search. The Riley Guide. Online at: www.rileyguide.com. Interviewing Etiquette Before you leave for the interview, go over this checklist from “Emily Post’s Etiquette Advantage in Business, Professional Skills for Professional Success” by Peggy and Peter Post (1999) 1. Display Proper Attire A. Your shoes are clean and polished B. Your clothes are pressed and stain-free C. Your nails are clean D. Your hair is neat E. You have removed all extra jewelry F. You are prepared for rain, sleet, or snow, and your coat is in good condition G. For women, you have lipstick and an extra pair of panty hose 2. Demonstrate Professionalism A. Have plenty of extra copies of your resume B. Have the address and phone number of the meeting place C. Know the names of everyone you are meeting and how to pronounce them D. Have a notebook and pen E. Have plenty of questions written down BEFORE you go into the interview 3. First Impressions A. Arrive a bit early (10 minutes) but not ridiculously early (40 minutes) B. Greet new people when entering a room C. Display a firm handshake D. Body posture and eye contact (nonverbal behavior) E. Poise 4. During the Interview A. Be respectful, personable and enthusiastic B. Strive to build rapport in addition to giving the “right” answer C. Ask questions D. Try to convey three things… 1. I really want this job with this company 2. I have done my research and feel prepared to add value to the organization 3. I will work hard and learn quickly E. End with a firm handshake. 5. Follow up A. Send thank-you notes B. Be careful not to step over the line between persistence and annoyance STAR Interview Answer Format Situation Briefly provide a broad description of the background where your example is taking place, including your role. Task Share more details about the problem, challenge, or task that you needed to address. Demonstrate that you are able to grasp the “big picture” and understand the responsibilities of your role. Action Describe several possible courses of action and explain why the one you chose was best. Give details that illustrate what you were like in action. Result Analyze the outcome of your action and the resolution of the situation. Indicate whether or not you would follow the same course in the future. Sample Behavior Descriptive Questions • Describe a situation where you had to “think on your feet” to handle an unexpected situation. • What specifically have you done to work with at-risk students? • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a student who was disrupting the class. • Give me an example of at time when you set a goal and were unable to achieve it. • Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and had to prioritize your tasks. • What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Give me an example. • Explain a difficult situation, how you handled it, what you learned from it and what you would do differently now. • Describe a time when you were part of a team working on a project and what role you played. Career Fair Tips 1. Dress Professionally. You should purchase professional clothes, because your appearance tells people how you feel about yourself as an applicant. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Professional attire tells people you understand the fine points of professional life and can be trusted to represent your employer to people outside the organization. 2. Have a game plan. Focus on no more than five or six companies you are truly interested in. You have limited time at the career fair so use it wisely. Engage the recruiter in intelligent dialogue; gather all the competitive literature first, then focus on the companies you’ve chosen. 3. Prepare a script. This part is tricky. You should try to impress recruiters within the first few minutes of conversation. The problem is that others will also be trying to talk with those recruiters. If you talk too long, you will create a bottleneck in the flow of traffic. If you see disgruntled fellow students behind you waiting to introduce themselves to the recruiters, move on. This is not the interview. You can impress employers at other times. Maintain good eye contact and offer a firm handshake and a few sentences telling them what they want to know. 4. Research the companies that will be represented at the employment fairs. Find out as much as possible about them. Visit websites, call public relations or human resources for details and check out trade magazines. Most candidates start their conversation with the recruiter with a less-than-impressive, “so, what does your company do?” You will really stand out just by knowing something about their latest merger or newest product. Screening interviews sometimes take place at employment fairs so be prepared to interview! 5. Bring multiple copies of your resume (on resume paper) and have others proofread it for errors. Employers will question your work ethic if you hand in a poorly written resume filled with mistakes. Employers know what characteristics they are looking for. Your job at this point is to get through the first round of screening. 6. Provide Information. Tell the recruiter your name, your class year, and whether you’re interested in a full-time, co-op or internship position. Follow with your career interest, your major(s) and why you came to the company’s table. 7. Do not get discouraged if you do not receive a business card from a recruiter; however, when you hand a recruiter your resume, ask them what the next step in the process is. Most recruiters will be able to tell you what that next step is. Networking as an Employment Search Strategy The U.S. Department of Labor researches the effectiveness of search strategies that are used by job seekers. The following list provides the percentage of successful candidates after one year for each commonly used search strategy. • Answer want ads in trade journals in the seeker’s field................................................. 7% • Mass mailing resume to prospective employers ........................................................... 8% • Utilize the Internet to post resume and apply (depending upon seeker’s field)............. 4 – 15% • Respond to want ads in newspapers (depending upon your level)............................... 5 – 24% • Utilize employment agencies and head hunters (depending upon your level) .............. 5 – 24% • Utilize university placement office ................................................................................. 21% • Apply in person without networking or researching....................................................... 47% • Research employers and approach a decision maker through contacts .............. 86% Networking 101 A. Develop a strategy for staying organized (3X5 card example) B. Begin with people you know because you’ll feel less pressure and they will probably be more interested in seeing you succeed. C. Explore three topics during each conversation 1. What developments are on the horizon for your contact’s organization? 2. Has your contact heard of any opportunities (e.g., new businesses, program expansions, etc.) in the region? 3. Can your contact recommend people who you could talk with to gain further insights (try for 3 referrals per contact)? In the above graphic, “you” meets 48 new people by beginning with 4 acquaintances. If E. When cultivating a new contact… you begin with 25 people, you’ll have 300 new contacts by this point. 1. You may want to send a brief letter to the person a few days before calling as a preliminary introduction; also, mention the name of the person who referred you. 2. When you call, your goal is to set up a face-to-face meeting. 3. You should mention that you are beginning your career (or changing its direction) and that you would value the opportunity to learn how they got started. F. Send a thank-you note to your new contact soon after talking to them. G. Networking is not as concrete as other search strategies. At times you may feel awkward, discouraged, or that your search is unsuccessful. Remember…You never know when you’ll make the connection that leads to employment!!! Co-op / Internship Program Application Cooperative Education Program requirements: 1. Open to all undergraduate students currently enrolled at SVSU. International students are required to provide proper work authorization to work off-campus. 2. Must have completed a minimum 31 college level credit hours from SVSU or other accredited college or university.* 3. Must have and maintain a minimum 2.5 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). 4. Must successfully complete a minimum 24 credit hours per school year (i.e., Combined total of Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer semesters). 5. Must have at least one year of coursework remaining until graduation. * Exception: Freshmen whose high school co-op employer has requested the student to continue the co-op employment while enrolled at SVSU are excluded from this requirement. Internship Program requirements: 1. Open to all students currently enrolled at SVSU, regardless of class standing. 2. Must have and maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). 3. To earn credit, students must receive academic departmental approval from the student’s major or minor area of study, based upon department’s criteria. 4. Up to one year assignment (typically one or two semesters). Your personal information is kept secure by SVSU’s Office of Career Planning and Placement and is not shared with third parties. Participation in the Co-op and Internship program, however, requires that we share some information with potential employers. I hereby authorize the Office of Career Planning and Placement to release my resume, transcripts and class schedule to companies or agencies whom I have selected to receive my materials or that the Office of Career Planning and Placement has identified as interested in hiring SVSU students with my qualifications. I also understand that it is my responsibility to provide an updated copy of my resume to the Office of Career Planning and Placement as changes occur and update my College Central Network profile each semester. Last Name ___________________________First Name ___________________Middle Initial___ (please print) (please print) Student ID # _______________________Social Security # _______________________________ Major______________________________________ Minor ________________________________ Email __________________________________ (most frequently used) Signature_____________________________________ Date__________________________ Office Use Only Co-op HS Co-op Transfer: _________________ College Co-op Transfer: _________________ (High School) (College) Internship Paid Unpaid Credit No-credit Profile completed Resume uploaded Updated in CCN Entered in Access Database Processed by: ________ Date: ____/_____/_____ (Initials) It is the policy of Saginaw Valley State University that no unlawful discrimination will be practiced or tolerated in the provision of employment, education, organizations, athletics, housing, public accommodations and other services to the public. Equal opportunity will be provided regardless of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital or familial status, color, height, weight, handicap or disability.
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