Written By: Morgan Cappetta
Photos Taken By: Kaitlyn Locke
Last Tuesday, October 21st, herNetwork hosted an amazing Internship Panel. Seven talented BU ladies sat on the panel and discussed their journeys through their academic careers and internships. The breadth and diversity of these women’s cumulative knowledge was immensely educational, informative and inspiring.
Key takeaways from the panelists’ advice regarding academics include:
- Choose a concentration, specialization or major based on what you are most excited about, not what employers are most excited about. Don’t talk yourself into something.
- Personal branding is essential for networking and success in all facets of life. Social Media is one of the best avenues through which you can establish your brand. Be careful what you post. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and personal Blogs are all amazing ways to get your name, face, and personality out there for peers, recruiters, and everyone else to appreciate.
- Trust yourself and your gut. Sampling different classes or fields, switching majors three different times, or knowing what you wanted from the start are all perfectly okay! As long as you place yourself as your number one priority.
The panelists also had great advice and lessons to tell us about their internship experiences:
- Take advantage of any and all possible avenues through which to network and establish connections with others. One of our panelists, Melissa, put it perfectly: “Find someone who will fight for you. They need to be your friend.” Networking can seem scary and awkward, especially if you aren’t really sure what to ask or how to start. Never fear! Recruiters and professionals are people too – you can ask them anything! Asking questions is a great way to be remembered, and it will help you figure out what you want to be when you grown up.
- Smaller businesses and firms are an awesome way to get experience in a number of different areas. This diverse exposure helps you figure out what you love and what you hate. Never get discouraged that you didn’t land the biggest company on the block – smaller ones can prove to be invaluable resources and teaching tools.
- Don’t stress about your resume! One panelist, Felicia, gave the example that when she went for her first internship, she still had babysitting on her resume. She spun it into a key strength of hers – citing her persuasive abilities and patience when convincing stubborn children to go to bed. No matter what jobs you have done, you have learned amazing lessons and skills – you just have to say them (and preferably write them on your resume too)!
- Under no circumstance should the behavior or career path of another person impact how you see your own. Dwelling on other people will not help you improve. Just do you! You’ll thank yourself in the long run.
- Rock the internship! To keep things in perspective, in some internships, you may have to do stereotypical intern things, like getting coffee or making a million copies. These tasks, even if they seem demeaning or purposeless, are paramount to the success of whatever company you are working for. Perform at your highest level of ability at all times, no matter the task, because employees are always watching your level of enthusiasm and involvement.
- Do not be afraid to brag about yourself – tastefully of course. You should be proud of your accomplishments and skills, and stand behind them triumphantly. Never undermine yourself – you’re awesome!
A special thank you to all of the wonderful BU ladies who participated on our herNetwork Internship Panel: Tia Gallinaro, An Nguyen, Lisa Passanisi, Jade Paul, Melissa Aydogan, Arabi Moorthy and Felicia Gans. Your insights were thoughtful and inspiring.