Job (re)Search Resources: Tips and Tools for PhDs

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elysseBy Elysse Longiotti, M.A., M.S., Assistant Director, Student Career Advising, serving doctoral students in The Graduate School.

It’s never too early for graduate students to start exploring different career pathways. If you’re considering an industry outside of or in addition to the academic job market, NCA grants you access to many online databases and resources to help you explore your options and develop a focused job search when the time comes to apply to positions. Approaching professional life after graduate school can be daunting; having a strategy in place to treat your career exploration as a form of research can help limit that anxiety. You can find links to all of our (free!) databases on the Internship and Job Search menu under Student Resources.

Hoovers, Vault, and WetFeet are three tools in particular that can help you conduct targeted research. These three resources alone grant you access to various industry-specific career guides and thousands of employer profiles to help you answer questions like: Who are the primary employers to be aware of? What are the current industry employment trends? What are the typical roles available to someone with your level of experience?  Hoovers specifically will allow you to make a list of employers according to criteria such as geographic location and industry of interest.

While these are wonderful ways to learn more about organizations and positions within targeted industries, I suggest using resources such as Versatile PhD (also on the NCA website) and LinkedIn alumni pages to learn more about others’ experiences. Not quite ready to contact people for an informational interview? Versatile PhD is an easy way to hear about others’ experiences– providing detailed, first person narratives of PhDs and ABDs who have gone on to successfully pursue careers across more than 20 industries (data science, nonprofits,  policy, and publishing, just to name a few). Accounts are divided according to the writer’s former discipline, and further by the industry ultimately pursued.

If this sounds like a lot of work, think about when you applied to your current PhD program and the amount of research that went into that process. You wanted to be in a department with faculty you would want to work with, resources you would want to have access to, and a community that you would want to be a part of. Fit is just as important for the next step you take, regardless of the position you ultimately choose to accept. Keep in mind that none of these tools in and of themselves are the “end-all, be-all,” but when used together, they can help you create a clear picture of the types of positions and organizations that would be a good fit for you.

Overwhelmed by the prospect of determining which industries align with your skills and interests?  You can always make an appointment with our career counselors. They are here to help graduate students assess their interests, values, strengths, and skills. Through a series of assessments and reflection, our counselors help students discover different career paths and identify potential industries to research further. If you are unsure as to what the next step to meet your career goals should be, make an appointment in CareerCat today!

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#InternsofNU: Tushar (McCormick ’18), Qualtrics

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Tushar Chandra is in the Northwestern class of 2018, studying in the McCormick School of Engineering. He is majoring in computer science and the Integrated Science Program, and he is also completing his MS in computer science.

Describe your summer internship.

This summer, I had the pleasure of working at Qualtrics in Seattle, WA. While Northwestern students might recognize the name from the bottom of the many surveys they take, the survey platform is just one piece of Qualtrics. My role was as a software engineering intern on the employee experience product. I worked specifically on the action planning feature, a service enabling organizations to take action on survey results to create meaningful change.

How did you learn about the opportunity? What resources were especially helpful?

I learned of this opportunity during the winter 2016 career fair, but didn’t end up with them that summer. In the fall, I was contacted by a recruiter about summer 2017 internships; I went through a few rounds of interviews and accepted a position by November. Most helpful to me were resume advice and interview preparation materials.

What did you enjoy most about the experience?

I enjoyed and appreciated the level of ownership I had of my project. Working on an important, customer-facing feature excited me, and I loved being able to dive in and gain a deep understanding of our software and services. In doing so, I gained a lot of confidence in making decisions while working on a real product.

What is the biggest takeaway from your internship?

The amount I learned from the people around me. Working with driven and talented engineers every day meant that I could talk to anyone around me and end up understanding something new from them. One of the core values at Qualtrics is the idea that we’re all one team — even though I had “my team,” I was able to learn about (and once, contribute to!) services and software that others owned. The real-world experience and knowledge from working in this kind of environment was extremely valuable to me.

What advice do you have for students pursuing internships that will help them be most successful?

Be persistent. It took persistence to find this internship (notice that I heard about Qualtrics over a year before I got this job), and it took persistence to succeed in it. There were times when I felt lost, or like I didn’t know what I was doing, and all it took was asking someone around me for help. That’s the reality of working in a fast-moving company, where being ready and excited to learn and ask questions is essential.

NYC Media Trek 2017 Recap

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By Helen Murphy

Helen is a senior majoring in English Literature and Art History in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and participated in the 2017 Media Career Trek in New York City.

In late August, Northwestern Career Advancement took students to job sites across the country to connect with alumni and learn about various industries. I partook in the Media Trek in New York City along with other students from various fields of study, ranging from incoming sophomores to seniors. Overall, we visited nine companies in two and a half days, which made for a busy few days!

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We had a jam-packed first day with visits to four different media companies from all different areas of journalism. We started the day at 30 Rockefeller Place visiting NBC Universal. At NBC, we learned about their extensive internship and post-grad opportunities, as well as their famous page program. The next stop of the day was New York Magazine. We talked to Northwestern alumni from all the different areas of the magazine, from The Cut, their fashion blog, to Vulture, their television and film blog. After New York Magazine, we headed to the Quartz Office. Quartz is a newer digital media company that is on the cusp of the new era of journalism. We discussed how many outlets are pivoting to video rather than editorial content, and how it’s useful for aspiring journalists to diversify their skillset beyond writing. We ended our first, very busy, day at the New York Times, where we engaged in a panel discussion with Northwestern alumni who work at the Times. The topics ranged from general career advice to what the New York Times is doing specifically to cover politics in the age of the Trump administration.

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On our second day, we visited three sites: InDemand, Vox, and TIME Inc. InDemand is a company that supplies movies and sports coverage to cable companies. It was a nice visit because it was an area of the media industry that was different from the editorial journalists we had spent most of our time with. Vox, like Quartz the day before, is a newer digital media site that is focused on ushering in a new era of digital journalism through video and interactive articles. At the TIME offices, we were able to meet with Northwestern alumni from different TIME publications including Sports Illustrated, Real Simple and TIME. The journalists we talked to at TIME, all recent Northwestern graduates, discussed the hiring process and job application process they went through after graduating.

Our final day, we had two site visits, both with business-focused publications. We started the day at the Wall Street Journal, where we talked to a panel of three reporters about reporting on business and economics, and how to earn and keep a source’s trust. We also got a tour of the Journal’s large and hectic newsroom, which was incredibly cool to see. After visiting the Journal, we headed over to our last visit of the trek— Bloomberg Media. At this round-table discussion, we talked a lot about the set-up of the Bloomberg offices that is all designed to encourage transparency between higher-ups and employees.

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Overall, the Media Trek provided us with the unique opportunity to connect with journalists who have careers that many of us aspire to have. We were able to ask questions, get advice, see newsrooms in action, and network with professionals. We came away from the trek more informed about careers in media and journalism, and with connections to help us achieve those careers.

Northwestern Career Advancement leads career treks to organizations in Chicago throughout the year. The application period for summer multi-city treks typically opens in spring.

Alternatives to a career in consulting

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Career counselor Christina SidersBy Christina Siders, NCA senior assistant director, providing career counseling to students in McCormick, Medill, SESP & The Graduate School.

If you happen to be on campus at Northwestern in the late summer and early fall, chances are you’ll hear the word ‘consulting’ more than a few times.  Rest assured, though this might be one of the most ‘visible’ professions on campus right now, it is one of MANY career options our students pursue. In fact, only about 14% of the class of 2016 reported being employed in the consulting industry upon graduation. So, what careers exist that might be like consulting without the 80 hour workweeks, constant travel, and anxiety provoking case interviews?

To answer that question, first think about the essential tasks of a consultant:

  • Pitching and reporting involves helping to prepare and deliver compelling project proposals to a client, a task that is also important in sales, marketing, advertising, or public relations. To learn more, identify these industries as your ‘interests’ in CareerCat to receive tailored messages regarding job postings, recruiting timelines, and employer activity on campus.
  • Research is central to the life of a consultant, whether it involves reviewing financial data, interviewing past employees, or surveying customers. If research is something that excites you, consider a career in, well, research.  Look for positions like ‘Research Analyst,’ ‘Data Scientist’ or roles within governmental agencies who use research to inform legislation and policy reform.
  • Analysis involves using quantitative modeling and/or statistics to organize, make sense of, and summarize large datasets for a client. Analysis is becoming vital in all fields, but especially in market research, engineering, data science, or financial services.  When searching, use keywords like ‘analyst,’ ‘research,’ or ‘data.’

Also, think about what appeals to you about consulting. Is it because you gain exposure to a range of business areas within a company or industry? Many students are attracted to leadership/rotational programs for this reason. These programs rotate associates through various business functions to encourage ongoing mentorship, in-depth training, and loyalty to their organization. There are a myriad of companies offering rotational programs, some of which include Visa, Kraft, L’Oreal, Google, Morningstar, and LinkedIn. When looking for these opportunities, try searching ‘program,’ or exploring the company’s diversity initiatives. Keep in mind that because the company’s motive is to retain great talent, you should have a strong interest in the organization itself, beyond just the rotational structure.

The bottom line:  there are numerous careers and occupations out there to pursue.  If you’re uncertain as to what might fit you, consider making an appointment with a career counselor at NCA, or browsing our industry pages on our website. Most importantly, have fun exploring – the opportunities are infinite!

#InternsofNU: Catherine (Medill ’18), FCBx

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Catherine (Medill '18) spent her summer interning at FCBxCatherine Zhang is a senior in Medill studying journalism, marketing and business institutions.

Describe your summer internship.

As an account management intern for FCBx, the agency’s experiential marketing division, I spent my summer working on big Anheuser-Busch brands like Budweiser, Bud Light and Michelob Golden Light.

My internship has given me the ability to think strategically about how an experiential activation could give people a personal taste of a brand. Whether through Chipotle pop up shops at Lollapalooza or Corona-sponsored Electric Beach concerts at rooftop bars, I now see these events as a way to create relationships and connect with consumers.

In my ten weeks working here, I’ve been able to touch the before, during and after of events that my team plans and executes. I’ve gotten to work on presentations that I know our clients will see, as well as sit in on all of our calls with AB brand managers. That’s not a privilege that every internship allows, but I find that it heightens the stakes and urges me to double check my work and pay more attention to details.

Another thing I’ve appreciated about FCB’s internship program is the learning and development sessions that cover everything from presentation skills to PowerPoint skills. When a company sets aside time in our schedules to have these trainings, it makes me feel as though they are invested in me and my own professional development.

How did you learn about the opportunity? What resources were especially helpful in your internship search?

I never would have known about FCB if it weren’t for Northwestern Career Advancement’s marketing trek last summer, when I visited FCB’s New York office as well as a few other agencies. We heard from alums and other representatives, and I was intrigued by the agency’s roster of impressive clients and work.

Before I even got the internship, I remember hearing about FCB’s flat organization, meaning that you really can meet and interact with anyone there. And it’s true – I set up coffee chats with people in my office, people who were on different teams like Strategic Planning and Analytics, and even the CEO of FCB. Everyone was willing and happy to give me a moment of their time so that I could ask questions and learn more about the agency and their experiences.

What is one of the most impactful learning experiences you’ve had during your internship?

Probably the most stressful part of the internship was our week-long Think Tank, a hackathon of sorts. The interns were divided into teams and tasked with coming up with an innovative marketing strategy for a brand. In a matter of days, after many late nights and extra cups of coffee, we dissected the business problem and brainstormed an overarching concept as well as three activations to execute our ideas. After lots of constructive feedback from both account and creative managers, we presented our ideas to a panel of judges that consisted of the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Talent Officer, the Chief Strategy Officer and more. In the end, I got to know my group very well and better understood the comprehensive process of creating and pitching a marketing strategy.

What did you enjoy most about your internship experience?

Overall, I’ve loved interning at FCB because it feels like working at a small agency but with the resources of a large one. People never really stop brainstorming and there’s no rigid process to follow in the work, and you can actually get to know the wildly smart people who work here. Also, the coffee bar has the strongest cold brew I’ve ever had. Beyond our day-to-day work schedules, I’ve found that my team is truly caring and great to be around.

On the day of our office outing, the last thing I expected to happen as I was walked up the escalator in the John Hancock building was to trip, rip open my toe and have to cut the afternoon short. A few hours later, after getting 6 stitches in my toe, I was completely content with heading back home, but my manager Matt and my colleagues at FCBx convinced me to meet up with them at a tiki bar along the river and even called me an Uber. I loved being part of a team that knows how to both work hard and play hard.

 

What Does Pre Law Really Mean?

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lynn-pageBy Lynn Galowich Page, JD, Assistant Director, Student Career Advising, serving students in the School of Education and Social Policy (SESP); Northwestern’s pre-law adviser

I inevitably have a fair amount of pre law appointments that start with, “I think I want to go to law school and pursue a career in law but I am not sure what I need to major in or do to prepare.”  In fact, many upper class students who have decided to pivot from something else and now explore law think they are too late to pursue law school.  They believe they missed taking some prescribed undergraduate pre law requirements. Great news for all of these students: unlike medicine or some other career paths, there are not any specific requirements or major needed to apply for law school.

According to the American Bar Association (ABA):

Being “pre law” does not denote a student’s major or program of study; instead, being prelaw identifies a student’s educational goal. Students are surprised to find out that there is no particular suggested major, nor are there any specific courses required for entrance to law school. There is no single path that will prepare you for a legal education. Students who are successful in law school, and who become accomplished professionals, come from many occupations and educational backgrounds. Some law students enter law school directly from their undergraduate studies without having had any post-baccalaureate work experience and others go to law school after working for some time. Those who work before going to law school come from many different jobs and industries.

Since there is not a set pre law major, students planning to go to law school should take courses that will provide opportunities to hone the following skills that law schools look for:

  • Critical reading and ability to synthesize complex material
  • Logic and problem solving
  • Research and writing
  • Oral communication skills
  • Relationship building and collaboration
  • Organization and management

For students who do want to delve into a law related studies, Northwestern offers The Legal Studies program. This program has both an undergraduate major and minor and provides an environment where students and scholars study legal issues using the methodology and perspectives of the social sciences and humanities.

The bottom line is that students who are interested in possibly going to law schools should choose a major they like and strive to do well in, since GPA is a major factor in law school admissions.

Outside of the classroom at Northwestern students can explore the field of law in many ways, including:

Experiential Opportunities

The NEXT externship program
Chicago Field Studies/Legal Field Studies track
Various internship & research opportunities

Student Groups

Phi Alpha Delta – Coed Professional Legal Fraternity
Northwestern Mock Trial Team
Northwestern Interdisciplinary Law Review

Informational Interviews with Legal Professionals

Northwestern Network Mentorship Program
Our Northwestern Alumni Directory
LinkedIn – join Northwestern Alumni Group

Finally, as Northwestern’s pre law adviser, I am here to help students explore and prepare for legal careers, including assisting with all aspects of the law school application process. I offer one-on-one advising, workshops and a pre law newsletter. Any interested student can make an appointment with me through CareerCat as well as sign up for the pre law newsletter by indicating law as an industry interest on their CareerCat profile.

#InternsofNU: Jamie (SoC ’18), Daryl Roth Productions & Daryl Roth Advertising

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jamie1Jamie Joeyen-Waldorf (SoC ’18) is a theatre and sociology major, also enrolled in the IMC and leadership certificate programs.

Describe your summer internship. 

I spent my summer interning at Daryl Roth Productions/Daryl Roth Advertising. For the advertising company, my responsibilities ranged anything from group outreach for potential ticket sales to helping prep for an opening night of an Off-Broadway show. For productions, I did a lot of script coverage and assisted in various research and development of new work that is being produced for regional or Broadway theaters.

How did you learn about the opportunity? What resources were especially helpful in your internship search?

One of my Northwestern mentors (who I met through the Network Mentorship Program) told me that Daryl Roth was one of the absolute best to work for in the business. I had heard of her before, knowing she produced Kinky Boots, The Humans, The Normal Heart, War Horse, and a slew of Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning productions. I cold-called her office number and asked if they were taking interns and her assistant told me to forward my resume and cover letter. I landed an interview, and that led to my internship.

What did you enjoy most about the experience?

Because I was the only intern in the office, it allowed me to help out in a lot of different areas and meet almost everyone in the company, and no two days were the same. For productions, I would get to read scripts submitted to our office and write summaries/feedback notes that Daryl herself would read. I also got to be in the room during a new musical reading, scout out an experimental performance, taste donuts from a potential caterer, and attend an Off-Broadway opening night party.

What is the biggest takeaway from your internship?

Try to get to know as many people as possible at all different levels and places in their careers. Treat every task with the same amount of enthusiasm, even ones that are not as intellectually challenging, because your attitude is so important and if people like being around you, it’ll make all the difference.

What advice do you have for students pursuing internships that will help them be most successful?

Take rejection, learn from it, and move on. Honestly, a lot of hiring decisions are based on being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right people. However, you can help yourself by putting in the preparation work with cover letter/resume/interviews and maintaining confidence throughout the process.

 

How to Have a Successful Skype or Virtual Interview

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LauraBy Laura Myers, associate director of student career advising, serving students in the School of Communication and Bienen School of Music.

Congratulations, you landed an interview! You’ve been practicing answering interview questions but you just found out it’s not over the phone, or in person, it’s virtual! Whether it’s a Skype interview or a digital interview using a program such as HireVue, it’s important to plan ahead and present yourself in the best way possible for ultimate success.

Preparation

Practice: Mock virtual interviews with a friend or career adviser can help you gain confidence, improve your interview skills, and get familiar with the technology.

Location

Make your space interview-appropriate. A quiet room free of distractions with a neutral wall to serve as a backdrop is best. Ideally, this is a space that you have to yourself, but if others will be nearby, let them know in advance so that they can give you privacy for the duration of your interview. The last thing you need is a knock on your door in the middle of your interview. (If you’re in need of a quiet space for your virtual interview, interview rooms are available for Northwestern students in NCA’s Interview Center at 630 Lincoln St. Email recruit@northwestern.edu to reserve a room.)

Think about lighting. You want to try to look the same virtually that you would in person. Place a lamp at either side of your desk (at the same height as your webcam or higher) to ensure the room is well lit. At the very least, make sure you don’t have a light shining behind you.

Consider the location of your webcam. I think we all know by now that the selfie shot from above, though annoying, is a really flattering angle. The best position for your webcam is at your eye-level, pointing slightly down.

On-Camera Presence

Present yourself professionally. Dress in business professional attire for a virtual interview, just as you would for an in-person interview. Also, be mindful of your body language. A smile and good posture convey confidence and enthusiasm!

Make eye contact with the camera. Instead of looking directly at your computer screen, focus on the camera to maintain natural eye contact with your interviewer. It may help to place a post-it note with a smiley face above the camera hole.

Technology

Test your connection. Confirm that audio and video are clear prior to your interview for both you and the person with whom you’re connecting. Make sure that you have a strong Wi-Fi connection (or, even better, connect to a router with a network cable to avoid a disconnection).

Update your profile. When doing a Skype interview, your interviewer will see your Skype username and picture, so it’s important that both are professional.

Minimize interruptions. Shut out of other computer programs beforehand so that the video screen is the only window open during the interview. This especially includes applications that make noise, such as social media and Gmail.

Post-Interview

Send a thank you note. Make sure to get your interviewer’s contact information, if you don’t already have it, and send a note within 48 hours. Find tips for writing a thank you note on the NCA website.

Sources and Additional Information on Virtual Interviews

How to Write a Master’s Student Resume with Little or No Experience

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BrettBy Brett Boettcher, NCA associate director of professional program strategy & management, serving students in the School of Professional Studies and master’s students in The Graduate School.

Welcome to Northwestern Career Advancement’s (NCA) international master’s student blog series.  This series is designed to provide international master’s students with career information and strategies.  Find our previous posts here. We will add more posts during Fall Quarter 2017.  This blog series is a collaboration between NCA and The International Office.

As a graduate student at Northwestern, you will be developing a strong skill set that will benefit you as you seek jobs/internships or as you progress to the next steps in your career. An important tool to develop sooner than later is your resume, as it will be needed for the internship or job search process. Your resume will assist you to tell your story to employers highlighting your key skills, experiences, and interests so you can gain an interview for a desired job/internship.

Northwestern master’s students begin programs with varying backgrounds. Some students have previous related work experience that they can easily apply to new job/internship opportunities. It is also the case where master’s students might start a new program with little experience, or in the case of career changers, little related experience. The purpose of this blog is to address the later, assisting students with less experience to develop a resume that will strengthen their argument for interviews.

This blog will focus on key areas of your resume that are intended to draw attention to experiences you already have. For a comprehensive guide to developing all parts of your resume, review the “Resume Building” section on the NCA website to learn how to format your resume, key tips, and see samples.

Using Master’s Program Skills and Experiences

The obvious and strongest starting place, when you have little or no related experience, is to focus on the skills and experiences you are gaining during your master’s program. Key areas to reflect on include class projects, skills learned/developed, and courses.

Course projects offer a way to identify and display key skills and experiences that can resemble practical work samples. When choosing projects for your resume, it is important to be selective and choose only those projects that are applicable to the skills sought by an employer of interest. It is always best practice to customize your resume to the needs of each employer. When selecting projects, limit the number of projects you present to the employer to a select few (1 to 3 projects) because you will want to provide a description of what you accomplished.

As mentioned above, it is important to provide some details, in bullet form, on each project. Give careful thought to both the technical side of your project and how you completed your project. Yes, you want to walk through the steps involved in developing your research project, but if you worked as a part of a team, you will want to discuss your role within that team. If you led the project or you led part of the project, you will want to talk about that. Always make it clear to the reader what skills you used and what your role was on the project.

Crafting a skills section on your resume can provide quick information that can show an employer what you have to offer. It also helps you to include key words from a job/internship description, which can benefit you if the organization you are applying to uses resume scanning software in their recruiting process. Guidelines for developing a skills section include:

  • Focus on those skills that are evidence based. Avoid those skills that could be seen as opinion, such as “fast learner” or “great communicator”;
  • More is not always better. A resume is not a place to tell your complete story, it is the place to present your best, strongest argument to get an interview. Carefully consider your skills developed in each program and customize your skills list to those that are applicable.
  • Place the most relevant skills toward the beginning of your list
  • You might also note your proficiency level with each skill. Proficiency levels range from basic knowledge to expert.

You can also use selected courses to identify knowledge or skills that are applicable to internships and jobs. It is common for students to participate in courses offered by organizations like Coursera or Microsoft outside of their programs. This information can be listed in your “Education” section and separate from your Northwestern degree program. When presenting your course(s), identify the title of the course, who offered the course (Coursera, for example), and the date when you completed it.

Transferable Skills

Transferable skills can be another way to present applicable skills to employers. Transferable skills are relevant skills that were developed/gained in an unrelated experience. These skills tend to include: leadership, team work, research, communication, problem solving, resourcefulness, and others. You can find transferable skills in internships, past work experience, undergraduate experiences with student groups/organizations, and volunteering.

You can represent transferable skills on a resume by mentioning them in your bullet point descriptions of the above examples. For instance, if you were the president of a student organization as an undergrad, and you led your organization to host a student program or festival, you could speak specifically to how you led your team to this achievement, highlighting these skills that align best with the new job/internship.

Resume Assistance

Along with other Northwestern career services offices, including Engineering Career Development and Medill Career Services, NCA offers appointments and Express Advising to have your resume reviewed. Feel free to schedule an appointment with an adviser that fits your school and program.

#InternsofNU: Mikowai (McCormick/Bienen), General Motors

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I’m Mikowai, a rising senior in the five-year McCormick/Bienen Dual Degree program! Yeah it’s definitely an unusual combination. I’m studying Industrial Engineering and Piano Performance, with an Integrated Marketing Communications certificate from the Medill School. When I graduate, I’m hoping to combine the technical aspects of engineering with the creativity and storytelling of marketing.

Describe your summer internship.

This summer I’ve had the incredible opportunity to be an intern at General Motors in Detroit, Michigan. I’m working in the Global Customer Experience team, specifically dealing with social media marketing and analytics.

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Beautiful Downtown Detroit

How did you learn about the opportunity? What resources were especially helpful in your internship search?

Last fall quarter I received my first interview with GM. The Northwestern Career Advancement website had many interview tips and tricks that I read through while preparing for this interview. Anticipating specific questions that I assumed would be asked and planning out detailed and comprehensive answers to each of these questions gave me security and calm during the actual interviews. While planning was an essential piece of the interview process, I believe that it is just as important to make a personal connection with the interviewers so that they can see you as an actual person that they would want to work with. For example, finding something that you can both relate to or have a common interest in can help you achieve this.

What did you enjoy most about the experience?

Being in Detroit was a wonderful experience. The beautiful company-provided apartments with close proximity to the Renaissance Center, GM’s world headquarters, gave me access to the exciting regrowth of Detroit’s downtown. There are many fantastic restaurants and museums that I was able to explore, making my foodie heart happy. A week off over July 4th allowed me to travel to Thailand with another intern. It was an incredible chance to travel for an extended period – an opportunity that I haven’t found at any other company.

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Exploring Bangkok

What is the biggest takeaway from your internship?

Working for a top-notch large company provides learning experiences that cannot be received anywhere else. Seeing how teams interact with each other on projects, understanding how culture shift takes place, and interacting with upper-level management have been invaluable learning opportunities for me. I was thankful to have a fantastic team that I loved working with – coworkers that work hard together, but also enjoy spending time with each other outside of the workplace.

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RenCen Work Location

What advice do you have for students pursuing internships that will help them be most successful?

While there are so many internship opportunities, it is also competitive and difficult to land one. One piece of advice: keep an open mind to opportunities. Apply to as many internships as possible, even if you aren’t necessarily thrilled about a certain company. It’s all about the relationships! Once you’ve interviewed somewhere, email them back and thank them for taking the time to interview you.

Most importantly, the GM internship has been FUN. It’s been a blast going to Tigers games with coworkers and working on projects that I really enjoy.