By Rachel Schor, JWI
Deborah Rosenbloom, Vice President of Programs & New Initiatives at JWI, and Kimberly Osborne, Manager at Golin in the Digital Connector community, spoke to a room of 50 young professional women on June 24, discussing their suggestions on how to make the most of an internship. The event was the first of JWI’s 10th annual three- part Summer Series workshops for female interns in Washington, D.C. Each woman spoke about her unique experience; Deborah from the perspective of a 15-year experienced intern supervisor and Kimberly from the perspective of a master intern.
Deborah spoke first, encouraging the interns to share why they are in D.C. and why they wanted to be interns. What did Deborah recommend interns do to make their experience the best it can be? To take a moment and think about why organizations choose to hire interns in the first place. To always (truly, always) bring a pen and paper everywhere. To make sure to always be up front and direct with the intern supervisor. To come in with expectations and to make sure they are heard by the people who have the power to change the trajectory of the internship. She additionally emphasized the importance of making sure that an intern always asks her supervisor for a reference before leaving the position. She even said that an intern could go so far as to writing the recommendation herself and leaving it with her supervisor, ready to have it pulled at a later date.
Kimberly spoke after Deborah, coming with 10 different internships under her belt. She was not much older than many of the women in the room which made her very relatable. She started by saying that the best way to prepare for an internship is to set S.M.A.R.T. goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Beyond that, Kimberly suggested to invite a supervisor or executive out for coffee to “pick their brain.” Having business cards and a LinkedIn account was universally agreed upon as being important.
Kimberly said that she had the best interning experiences when she came into the organization with a list of at least three goals that she expected to have done by the time her internship had concluded. She then put these new skills/projects into her “Master Resume,” which she would edit to make the perfect resume whenever she would go to a job interview. She suggested to contact old supervisors three times a year and to never burn the bridges forged, even if the internship is dissolved before initially intended end date.
After both women had spoken, the floor opened for questions. The young professionals had a number of good questions regarding their personal situations at their workplaces and how Deborah and Kimberly would have dealt with the situations if they were in the position.
Over all, the first workshop in the Summer Series was a huge success! JWI staff and interns are incredibly excited for the next two events and hope to see new and returning faces.
Are you interested in attending one or both of our upcoming events? Please register at www.jwi.org/summer.
We hope to see you there!
Rachel Schor is a summer 2015 intern at JWI.