Top 10 Skills Employers Want in an Intern

FIND YOUR NEXT INTERNSHIP ON WAYUP. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR FREE.

Internships provide invaluable professional experience and allow you to test the theories and concepts you’ve been introduced to throughout your college career — not to mention they increase your chances of being offered a full-time job later on.

No matter what your major or preferred industry, employers look for a core set of skills and traits when considering applicants for both internships and entry-level jobs. Your prospective supervisor is interested in more than just your GPA, so whether you’re hoping to be a summer intern, planning on honing your time-management skills as an intern during the academic year, or applying for your first job out of college, it’s worth your while to draw attention to the transferable skills you’ve picked up during your courses, community service and extracurricular activities.

Below are the top 10 skills employers want in an intern:

1. Communication

Communication occurs in a variety of ways, but future employers are primarily interested in your ability to write and speak professionally. You have the opportunity to demonstrate your written skills in your resume and cover letter, and your verbal skills as you supply thoughtful answers to the common interview questions you’ll likely be asked. During your interview, you might mention your experience giving oral presentations (which perhaps was required in some of your classes). The ability to communicate effectively — to translate ideas and convey information — is key in any field, whether it’s with your supervisor, coworkers, or clients, and employers are well aware that it is a valuable skill.

2. Interpersonal

The ability to communicate effectively is often related to one’s ability to relate well to others, or “people skills.” Depending on the industry, you may be interacting with clients and vendors as well as your co-workers and managers. It’s important to be able to build and maintain relationships and be the kind of person team members want in the office with them every day. Interpersonal skills are also important because employers seek individuals who can identify the wants and needs of others and who can recognize and acknowledge the value of differing perspectives.

3. Collaboration

As an intern, you’ll likely collaborate with other interns and company employees. Your ability to communicate and relate well to others is certainly important for collaboration, as is the capacity to work with others toward a common goal. As part of a team, you have to understand your own strengths and weaknesses so you know how you can best contribute, as well as be aware of how you can bring out the best in others.

4. Time Management

If you’ve managed to successfully take a full course load every semester and meet assignment deadlines, to some extent, you’ve already demonstrated time management skills. But as an intern, you’re not going to have a syllabus to tell you when your deadlines are. It’s up to you to organize your time and produce results. Employers want to know that you can prioritize responsibilities and recognize when it’s appropriate to multitask or focus on one particular project at a time.

5. Adaptability

Today’s work culture — whether you’re hoping to intern for a startup or well-established organization — often requires even the most senior level executives to wear multiple hats. As an intern, one day you might find yourself supporting the sales team and the next day performing customer service. While you may have an interest in a particular aspect of an industry, a willingness to become familiar with the different parts of an organization is definitely viewed as an asset (and also increases your exposure within the company).

6. Critical Thinking

Critical thinking refers to your ability to analyze and evaluate a situation or issue and form a judgment. The tendency to think critically can be demonstrated by a willingness to ask questions in order to understand an issue from all possible angles, and to pose creative solutions to challenges. It’s something many of your professors have likely emphasized and is highly valued by employers.

7. Research and Analysis

If you’ve completed any research papers or projects for your coursework (and you likely have), you already have experience with research and analysis. Don’t be shy during your interview for an internship; make it a point to bring up the empirical research you performed for your psychology class and the conclusions you came to about how your fellow students make purchasing decisions in the campus bookstore. As a new member of the organization, you’ll be hit with a lot of new information, and your ability to process that information is a testament to your ability to fulfill whatever role you’re assigned.

8. Initiative

You’ve applied for an internship to gain knowledge of an industry and professional experience, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to offer. During your interview, highlight instances where you’ve taken it upon yourself to contribute or positively affect change. Your potential employer will appreciate the chance to bring someone on board who doesn’t have to wait to receive direction for every task, and who’s willing to assist others with their work.

9. Receptiveness

While taking initiative is important, so is the ability to receive feedback. For example, if you’re asked about a time you made a mistake, you can mention the feedback you received regarding the error and how you responded to it. Your interviewer will want to know that you’re willing and able to address any weaknesses.

10. Technical Proficiency

You certainly won’t be expected to be an expert in whatever platform the company you’re applying to uses, particularly if you’re hoping to intern for a company within a highly specialized industry. But you should know your way around a computer, and your ability to navigate basic productivity software will likely be presumed.

The above are commonly identified skills that employers seek in interns, as well as applicants for entry-level jobs. Be sure to research your particular industry and familiarize yourself with other skills or character traits that may be desirable in your field.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as Tips to Make Your Resume Stand Out and find answers to common interview questions such as How Do I Get an Internship?

FIND YOUR NEXT INTERNSHIP ON WAYUP. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR FREE.

How to Set Great Internship or Job Goals

Goals are critical to succeeding at your internship or entry-level job for several reasons.

  1. They help you focus on what matters and avoid spending time on fruitless endeavors.
  2. They enable you to track your progress and ensure you’re having the impact you want to have.
  3. They help you align expectations with your manager and stay on the same page.
  4. They allow you to document and demonstrate your effort and impact at the company, which can help you get a raise, promotion, or recommendation.

What Makes a Good Internship or Entry-Level Goal?

First, all goals should be several things:

  1. In your direct control.
    There’s no point in holding yourself accountable for things you can’t control. For example, if you’re in a social media marketing role, you should create a goal around growing the number of engaged followers by 50% instead of a goal to increase the revenue you get from each social media follower.
  2. Measurable.
    Avoid vague goals like “Grow our brand awareness.”. You’ll never know when you achieve vague goals. The easiest way to make goals measurable is to ensure there are numbers attached to them.
  3. Ambitious.
    Your goals should push you. They shouldn’t be easily accomplished. Goals don’t exist to make you feel accomplished. They exist to help you accomplish great things.

In addition, internship goals should have a specific focus on learning. That learning focus can be on you learning whether you want to pursue a career similar to the internship, learning a specific skill, or learning to succeed in a particular professional environment.

Good entry-level job goals aren’t so different in that there should be an emphasis on learning. However, learning cannot be the only goal as your impact is critical to your ability to maintain your career.

How to Choose Your Goals

Setting the best, achievable goals for your internship or entry-level job largely depends on knowing what you want, what you’re capable of, what your role will enable you to reasonably do, and what the company is trying to do. When setting your goals, it’s important to ask yourself a few key questions.

First, ask yourself why you accepted this internship or job. This should help you figure out what you should try and learn from it. Understanding your own personal motivation for taking the job should help you set a good personal learning goal.

Second, consider what the company is trying to do. Your goals should benefit you and the company. If your goals don’t align with the company’s goals, then your efforts likely won’t have any impact on the company’s success and you won’t be able to demonstrate your value to the company.

Third, ask yourself what type of impact you’d like to have on the company. What would you be most proud of achieving?

Fourth, examine the responsibilities of the role you have at the company and determine what your role will enable you to achieve. If you’re a sales intern, you probably won’t be super successful at helping the company achieve their engineering-related goals.

Setting the Scope of Your Goals

If you’re a summer intern, you probably shouldn’t have a yearly goal. Instead, you should set a goal for your summer internship.

Entry-level employees should start by trying to set 5 year goals. If you have absolutely no idea where you’d like to be in 5 years and what you’d like to be doing, that’s totally fine; start with 1 year goals instead. From those 1 year goals work backwards into quarterly and monthly goals. Some companies set quarterly goals and some set monthly goals. The scope of your goals should match with your company’s scope.

Internship Goal Examples

  1. Grow Twitter followers by 25% by the end of summer.

    Social Media Marketing Intern

  2. Demo 5 new accounts each week.

    Sales Intern

  3. Write 10 new articles each month.

    Content Marketing Intern

  4. Learn Ruby on Rails and deploy 1 new feature by the end of summer.

    Software Engineering Intern

  5. Have coffee with 1 full-time employee each week.

    Anyone

Entry-Level Job Goal Examples

  1. Create 2 new icons and add them to the icon font each month.

    Visual Designer

  2. Reduce expenses each quarter by 5%.

    Financial Analyst

  3. Retain 80% of part-time volunteers each quarter.

    Non-Profit Volunteer Coordinator

  4. Shadow a different person in their role at the company each month.

    Anyone

Tracking Your Progress

Once you have your goals set, you’ll need to be diligent about tracking your progress. A good rule of thumb is to check in on your status one time dimension below the scope of your goals. For example, you should check on your progress towards any yearly goals every quarter. You should check on any quarterly goals every month. You should check on any monthly goals every week.

Keep track of your progress somewhere digital (a spreadsheet or Google doc are good options). It’s not only important to know whether or not you’re making good progress, but at what rate you’re making progress. This can help you tie the progress to specific actions you took.

Assessing Your Impact

The final, and perhaps the most critical part, of effectively using goals in your internship or entry-level job is to ensure that you take time to reflect on the goals you set. You may have achieved them, or you may not have. Regardless, you should take time to think about:

  1. Did this goal actually measure the impact that you had? Was it a good goal?
  2. Why did you or did you not meet your goal?
  3. Was this goal effective in motivating you?
  4. Should you use this goal again?

Now that you know why goals are a critical part of any internship or entry-level job and how to set good ones, go use your new knowledge! Your manager will be impressed. We promise.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Internship? and find answers to common interview questions such as What’s Your Dream Job?

How to Apply to Internships Online and Not Get Lost in The Black Hole

“A black hole is a region of space-time from which it is impossible to escape.”
Stephen Hawkins

One of the biggest questions we hear from students is what happens to my application after I hit submit?  Does it ever reach a college recruiter’s desk, does it ever get read or is it simply launched out into space?  In the HR world this is referred to as the applicant black hole, because once you send an application online into it’s very easy for it to disappear into space.

This problem exists for a number of reasons but the fact is that fewer than 5% of employers follow-up with every applicant they receive and even fewer communicate the real reasons about why they made the choice they did.

While it might seem easy to blame companies for not doing a better job of responding, the reality is that most HR managers receive hundreds of applications every week and are over worked reviewing them — so it’s up to you to stand out. By understanding a bit more about how the online application process works, you can figure out how to navigate this abyss and make sure you emerge on the other side with your ideal internship.
Where do all the resumes go?

As you can probably guess, applications for internships rarely follow the same path. Some employers ask you to apply directly to their email inbox. Others ask for you to apply using a job website like Taleo or WayUp so that they can save the applications in a database online and share them with other employees in the office.

Depending on the size of the employer and how they are accepting applications you need to think up the best strategy to make sure you don’t get overlooked when it comes to decision time. For example, if you’re given a contact name or email address, do some research on the individual and customize your application materials to them personally.

Building a better rocket ship!

The other important skill to develop when applying for internships online is to learn how to make your application stand out among the competition.

Here are 5 tips to help:

1.) Follow-Up!

The biggest piece of advice we can recommend to avoid getting ignored is to follow-up consistently with an employer after you submit an application. This is an art not a science, but most students are way too hesitant to follow-up with employers even if just to ask what the time frame is on responding or to remind them that you have applied. For best practices see our guide on how to follow-up with employers.

2.) Remove all typos from your resume.

Another reason you may not hear back from employers is because they tossed out your resume at first sight. Even if you have one typo on your resume, it shows an employer a lack of professionalism and attention to detail. In fact almost 50% of employers stop reading a resume if they see just one typo! So double check your resume and check out our resume guide for extra help.

3.) Be unique.

As an employer who has hired many students I can safely say, my job is a lot easier when a particular student breaks the mold by standing out. Don’t just spam employers with a standard cover letter, take the extra hour to write something and make a unique cover letter. If the employer has a twitter account tweet at them about how excited you are. If they are coming to your school for a career fair, go and introduce yourself to the recruiting staff and start building a relationship. Your hard work will pay off when it comes to decision time.

4.) Don’t use scammy websites to apply for positions!

Top job boards like your Career Center website or WayUp work hard to make sure every position that is online is up to date and is a high quality position. If you are finding positions by doing a Google search or on Craigslist, you may find some great opportunities but as a rule of thumb the further you go from trusted sites the more likely you are to be applying to a position that has either already closed or doesn’t exist altogether.

5.) Don’t get discouraged.

Last but not least don’t get discouraged. A lot of employers are getting overwhelmed with applications in the current down economy, so even if you are over qualified for a position you simply might not hear back. If you keep at it and keep improving your application skills such as following-up, being unique, and using top job boards, you are going to start getting interviews and eventually find a position you’re excited about.

If you have any questions about the black hole or how to avoid it, feel free to comment or send us emails to support@wayup.com and we are happy to help.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Internship? and find answers to common interview questions such as What’s Your Dream Job?

How To Become A Confident Public Speaker

Confidence is a key part of being successful in almost any situation, and it’s especially important when it comes to your professional life. One of the areas where confidence really matters is public speaking. Unfortunately, a lot of people are afraid of public speaking (including seasoned professionals). If you’re among them, don’t worry. With a little bit of practice and preparation, you can conquer your fears and learn how to deliver a powerful and engaging speech.

Here are five tips for becoming a confident public speaker.

1. Have a positive attitude.

Being able to get your message across effectively starts with having a positive attitude. Although this may seem difficult if you’re feeling nervous, it’s actually not as hard as it sounds. The key is to know your goal and to tell yourself that you can do it. For example, if your goal is to present a new strategy to the entire company, reminding yourself that you have the knowledge and the skills to deliver a great speech is crucial to your success. This will help boost your confidence and ensure that you stay positive as you get closer to giving your presentation.

2. Picture a successful outcome.

If you’ve ever heard of athletes who prepare for big games by visualizing success, there’s a good reason for that: it works! The best way to apply this tactic to public speaking is by picturing yourself giving a speech. Picture yourself feeling confident and delivering a speech that you feel good about. Then focus on what part of your visualization makes you feel the most successful. Is it being prepared and knowledgeable about the material? Or maybe it’s the way the audience engages with your speech, smiling and nodding in all the right places. Whatever it is, focus on this feeling of success and keep repeating the visualization until you’re able to convince yourself that the real speech will go just as well.

Pro Tip: Although this exercise should be a positive one, don’t be afraid to do a similar visualization where you picture the worst case scenario. Why? Because this will help prepare you for any curve balls. Although you’re unlikely to encounter any real embarrassment or problems during the speech, seeing it play out in your imagination (and knowing that you can get past it) is a great way to remind yourself that you can handle whatever comes your way.

3. Know what you want to communicate.

Along with building confidence, knowing what you want to communicate is a key component of successful public speaking. The best way to do this is by coming up with a list of 2-3 bullet points that you consider to be the key takeaways of your speech. Then craft your speech with these in mind and practice it several times to ensure that you’re emphasizing these points as effectively as possible.

4. Clear your mind

Once you have you have your speech prepared and you’ve visualized a successful outcome, the next step is being able to clear your mind right before your speech. There are several ways to do this but the most effective is to practice some deep breathing. This works best if done right before the speech. Spend a few minutes breathing in and out slowly and focusing on your breath. This will help clear your mind of any remaining anxiety and will ensure that your mind and body are relaxed as you prepare to start your speech.

5. Connect with the audience.

Along with being calm and prepared, one of the keys to giving a successful speech is being able to connect with your audience. The best way to do this is by making regular eye contact during your speech and by asking questions designed to engage your listeners.

Pro Tip: A great way to practice connecting with your audience is by rehearsing your speech in front of friends. This will ensure that you’re comfortable with the delivery and able to focus on engaging with your audience.

Public speaking is a great skill to have in any professional context and it’s especially impressive for recent grads who are just establishing themselves in their careers. By following these tips and growing your self-confidence, you’ll be able to become a confident public speaker and to impress current and future employers along the way.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Write a Thank You Note After An Interview and find answers to common interview questions such as What Gets You Up in the Morning?

How to Combine an MBA Program With a Rotational Internship Program

If you’re thinking about getting your MBA, you might be wondering about the best way to set yourself up for success during the program. Is there something you can do to maximize your experience and ensure that you’re learning as much as possible while in business school? The answer is yes. In addition to traditional internships and externships, a great way to get some hands-on experience in a variety of different roles is through a rotational program. A type of internship designed to give you a feel for several areas of a business, including marketing, finance and sales, rotational programs can last anywhere from six months to two years, with rotations typically lasting between three to six months.

Interested in adding a rotational internship program to your MBA degree? Here’s how to combine an MBA program with a rotational one.

Research rotational programs related to your MBA program

With many large companies recruiting MBA candidates directly from business schools, the best way to find a rotational program is by researching the programs that are affiliated with your school. Set up some time to speak to a program adviser and ask them about the various aspects of each program including the duration, management structure and the exact roles to which you’ll be exposed. With this knowledge under your belt, you’ll be able to narrow down your options to the ones that are most relevant to you.

Select a program that matches your desired industry and position

Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to create a shortlist of the programs that closely match your career goals. This means selecting programs that are within your chosen industry — for example, technology or finance — and also programs that fit your desired duration. The best way to do this is by making a list of eight to 10 programs that interest you and ranking them in order of preference. While we recommend applying to as many of these as possible, you should aim to apply to at least five in order to give yourself the best chance of success.

Work with program administrators to create an optimal schedule

The final step in seamlessly combining your MBA program with a rotational program is to discuss your course load and responsibilities with program administrators on both sides of the equation. This is a great way to ensure that everyone is aware of your full workload and that they can accommodate any issues that may come up.

Combining an MBA program with a rotational program is a wonderful way to gain hands-on experience in a number of different roles. By following these tips, you’ll be able to expand your skill set and maximize your time in business school.

Next, learn more about grad school such as What Are the Different Types of Graduate Degrees? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as 3 Common Internship Mistakes and How to Avoid Them.

Types of Internships for Journalism Majors

For those majoring in journalism, there is no better way to explore potential career options than by taking on an internship. Internships for journalism majors are wide-ranging, giving you the hands-on experience you need and an in-depth look at the industry of your choice. Best of all, internships are a great way of getting one step closer to your dream job.

Here are some of the most common internships for journalism majors:

Journalism intern

As a journalism intern for a newspaper, magazine or a digital media property, you’ll learn how to produce engaging content that fits the style and tone of your publication. During your internship, you’ll take on projects such as conducting interviews, uploading website content and managing the company’s social media accounts. You may also be offered the opportunity to write articles which you can add to your portfolio. If you’re considering a career in journalism, this is the internship for you.

Editorial intern

An editorial internship is similar to a journalistic one except that it’s not always affiliated with a traditional publication. As an editorial intern, you might be hired by a PR company, a startup or a nonprofit to develop content for their website. During your internship, you’ll be responsible for writing content, sourcing photos and crafting posts that can be used across the company’s social channels. You’ll contribute to strategy designed to increase the organization’s internet presence. In addition to researching, writing, editing and creating outlines for new articles, you’ll also monitor feedback and statistics for blog posts and assist with SEO strategy. This is a great internship for anyone who wants to learn as much as possible about digital media and to develop solid editorial skills along the way.

Content marketing intern

A content marketing internship is perfect for journalism majors who are looking to work closely with marketing, advertising and PR teams. From writing content for the company’s website to organizing and researching information for the organization’s newsletter, you’ll be participating in most aspects of content marketing and sharpening your copywriting skills along the way. During your internship, you’ll also get a chance to research, outline and write blog posts relevant to your company’s target audience as well as writing press releases for new campaigns. This is a wonderful internship for anyone interesting in going into marketing after graduation.

Social media intern

As a social media intern, you’ll assist in crafting social media posts and monitor the impact of those posts across different social channels. You’ll also get hands-on experience with social media tools like Google Analytics and HootSuite, as well as learning how to use metrics to optimize campaigns. This is a great internship for journalism majors interested in developing creative social campaigns and engaging users in the process.

Copywriting intern

A copywriting internship is all about writing engaging material and maintaining good communication with your team. As a copywriting intern, you’ll gain hands-on experience writing brochures, reports and marketing materials. You’ll also assist with drafting and editing blog posts, news articles and website content. Last but not least, you’ll learn how to monitor marketing and media trends and modify your writing style to suit your audience. This a wonderful internship for anyone interested in advertising or marketing.

Broadcast intern

As a broadcast intern for a TV or radio station, you’ll get to observe the planning, operation and execution of a TV show, radio program or podcast. Your responsibilities could range from administrative duties like researching and fact-checking news stories to more advanced tasks like booking guests, developing scripts and putting together press releases. If you’re interested in learning about broadcasting, this could be the right internship for you.

Whether you’re interning at a famous digital media company or writing copy for a small tech startup, a journalism internship will give you the skills you need to succeed in your first job after graduation.

Next, learn more about this college major such as What is a Journalism Major and is it Right for Me? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Entry-Level Job?

Types of Internships for Communications Majors

With their ability to communicate effectively in almost any situation, communications majors are some of the most sought after candidates in all sorts of professional fields. With so many opportunities available, you might be wondering how to find a job that’s a good fit for you. The best way to do that is through an internship where you can get exposure to a specific field or position.

Here are some of the best internships for communications majors:

Marketing intern

As a marketing intern, you’ll assist the marketing team with projects and find out how marketers help brands connect with their audience. During your internship, you’ll be taking on a number of tasks such as collaborating on blog post ideas, developing social media strategy and writing email copy. As a result, you’ll be gaining lots of hands-on experience and also getting exposed to all of the different elements involved in crafting a successful marketing campaign.

Editorial intern

From sharpening your SEO skills to shadowing an editorial meeting, an editorial internship can be a great and enriching experience. Depending on the type of company you intern with, you could be writing blog or news articles, learning how to research and fact-check news stories, or learning the ins and outs of copy editing and AP style.

Public relations intern

As a public relations intern, you’ll assist the PR team with campaign strategy, pitches and handling client relationships. You’ll also likely get to attend publicity events including sporting events and product launches. Best of all, you’ll learn the basics of writing a press release and assisting in the development of a full-scale PR campaign.

Content marketing intern

Content marketing internships give you direct exposure to drafting content for the company website, as well as copy for ads and blog posts. In addition, you’re likely to also get hands-on experience with other things such as managing social media accounts. Best of all, you’ll get to sit in meetings where ideas for new content are developed.

Social media intern

As a social media intern, you’ll engage your company’s followers, commenters and readers, while also attempting to grow the community. From coming up with funny memes to post on Instagram to crafting a great Snapchat story, a social media internship is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about engagement and about how to use social media as a powerful tool for business.

Copywriting Intern

As a copywriting intern, you’ll be trained in researching, drafting and editing copy for all types of content including blog posts, news articles and email campaigns. You’ll also learn how to match your writing style to a specific brand and fine-tune your copywriting skills. This internship is a great opportunity to get a feel for what’s required to thrive as a full-time copywriter.

Broadcast intern

A broadcast internship is a wonderful opportunity to learn the ins and out of working for a TV or radio station. From shadowing staff to fact-checking, researching and assisting with different aspects of production, you’ll be getting exposure to the whole world of broadcasting. Best of all, internship experience in broadcasting is essential and valued when it comes to applying for full-time jobs in the field after graduation.

In addition to the critical skills communications majors develop during college, they also benefit from the more specialized hands-on experience that can only result from an internship. By taking on one or more internships during your time in college, you’ll be able to learn more about your options and find a career path that’s right for you.

Next, learn more about this college major such as What is a Communications Major and is it Right for Me? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as Top 10 Things You Should Look for In an Internship.

Washington, DC Summer Housing Guide

With its perfect blend of tree-lined streets, colorful row homes and bustling city-life, Washington, DC is an amazing place to spend the summer. Whether you prefer 24-hour Internet cafes and dog parks or boutique stores and fresh farmers markets, DC has a lot to offer a newcomer.

Despite all of its glory, living in DC can be expensive. The recent influx of young professionals to the city has caused rents to escalate, which makes finding affordable housing difficult and competitive. With monthly rent averaging around $1000, we created this Summer Housing Guide so that you will have a leg up in your search.

While the list below contains descriptions of DC’s most popular neighborhoods, sites like Craigslist, PadMapper and Yelp are still the best ways to search for housing and read reviews about different neighborhoods.

LeDroit Park/Bloomingdale
Price: $$
Walking Score: 81
Weekend: Quiet

Duke Ellington and Jesse Jackson once called this neighborhood home. Young professionals, working class families and Howard University students and professors make up this neighborhood. LeDroit Park boasts a community-sponsored co-op garden and the kind of small cafes and convenient stores “where everybody knows your name.” Students choosing to live here will be no more than a 5 minute walk to the local buses and a 10-15 minute walk to the metro and U Street nightlife.

Columbia Heights
Price: $$$
Walking Score: 83
Weekend: Bring your headphones

This is probably the only neighborhood in DC where you can buy a bagel, a burrito and a bloody mary at 6am! CH has plenty of restaurants, internet cafes, dog parks,sports clubs, grocery stores, bodegas and it even has a Target. What doesn’t it have? Parking. The upside is that you can catch a cab from this area to any place in the city for under $12. We promise, you’ll want to go Vegan after a cupcake from Sticky Fingers. 

DuPont Circle
Price: $$$$
Walking Score: 98
Weekend: No inside voices needed here

Modern meets contemporary in this artsy hub of the city. With its French-inspired architecture, fountains and fresh bakeries, choosing to live here will almost feel like you’re in Paris — until you look up and see the National Monument. Even though there’s plenty of public transit in this area, you’ll never want to leave this neighborhood on the weekend because it has everything you need: froyo, yoga, a farmers market, bars and plenty of bookstores. Less than 10 blocks from the White House, those choosing to live in DP should be prepared to fork over a pretty penny for rent. Tip for grabbing brunch at Kramerworks? Ask them to seat you at the bar.

Adams Morgan
Price: $$$
Walking Score: 90
Weekend: Who needs sleep?

This is the kind of neighborhood where you can buy a piercing and a jumbo slice of pizza all in one sitting. There’s no shortage of dive bars, wi-fi or panhandling here. Searching for food around these parts is like a trip to the United Nations, everything is represented – from authentic empanadas and gyros to injera bread and baklava (and for reasonable prices). Bus lines are located on every other corner, but you’re in for a 15-minute walk to the nearest metro. If you like to party, then welcome home!

Georgetown
Price: $$$$
Walking Score: 89
Weekend: Did the Hoyas win or lose?

If you consider yourself a “bro”, prefer the collars on your shirts flipped up and take pride inyour 3-letter sorority/fraternity, then there’s no place like Georgetown. Full of high-end stores, restaurants, spas, small dogs and pedestrians, Georgetown is the neighborhood that people take visitors when they want to prove the city’s got class. With all of its bells and whistles, the public transportation in this area sucks: there’s no metro line and only a few bus routes to bustle people in and out. But don’t worry, Georgetown is the kind of neighborhood where friends are more than happy to visit you. After bruschetta and brunch, make sure you check out Blues Alley nightclub – where legendary performers like Sade and Bebe King have graced the stage.

Capitol Hill
Price: $$$
Walking Score:98
Weekend: Did you hear that pin drop?

Those serious about politics need only apply to live here. Affectionately known as “the Hill,” most of DC’s major politicos call this neighborhood home. During the day it’s bustling with lawmakers and Congressional aides and on the weekends you’ll find families with young kids hanging out in the park or folks running the steps of the Capitol Building. Eastern Market is a must-visit and the perfect way to blow a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Foggy Bottom
Price: $$$$
Walking Score: 91
Weekend: Is there a protest?

Foggy Bottom is home to the lawmakers and the lobbyist (and George Washington University). Living here will provide students with the most accessibility to some of DC’s most prized locales like the National Monument, the White House and cool neighborhoods like DuPont Circle and Georgetown. Apartments are expensive and they go fast, so if you want to take up residence here then you should start searching early. This neighborhood has all the trimmings of an upscale area: Whole Foods, Burberry and bistros. Since you’ll be sharing the block with the World Bank, be prepared for lots of protests. Otherwise, this is a great part of town with easy access to public transportation. Make sure to stop by Founding Farmers for brunch – you can thank us later.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Internship? and find answers to common interview questions such as What’s Your Dream Job?

Washington, DC Summer Internship Guide

Congratulations on landing a summer internship in Washington, DC! With its plethora of free museums, national landmarks, world-famous cupcakes (more on those later) and a thriving political scene, spending the summer in the nation’s capital is sure to be one that you won’t forget. DC has such a rich cultural history: from its French-inspired design by architect Charles L’Enfant to the historic March on Washington, it has always been a place that both artists and activists could comfortably call home. Most of the young professionals who currently live in the city are transplants from all over the world, making DC a cultural hybrid of some of our nation’s most well-known politicos and changemakers. So whether you want to discuss foreign policy while sipping fair trade coffee or attend a concert by your favorite band, you’ll definitely discover your perfect fit.

We want to make sure that you get the most out of your summer in DC so we created this Internship City Guide to give you an idea on how to maximize your summer in the city. This guide covers it all: from transportation and housing to avoiding common pitfalls (ever had a boot on your car?). More importantly, this guide was designed for a person like you in mind – someone who wants a more unique, off-the-beaten-path experience.

Exploring Washington DC as an Intern

While interning in DC for the summer, you’re bound to visit the usual suspects like the National Monument, WWII Memorial (make sure to go at night), Embassy Row, Ben’s Chili Bowl and the Smithsonian museums, but the city has so much more to offer! From hidden gardens and espionage exhibits to discussions with journalists and policymakers, you will definitely find your niche.

There’s tons of great food but if you really want to eat like a local then join the FoodTruckFight, discover your favorite Ethiopian restaurant on historic U St., dine at the best Indian restaurant (Bill Clinton’s words not ours) Bombay Club and elbow strangers for a soul food feast at Ohhs and Aaahs. More than anything, a true DC resident knows great cupcakes and for good reason: they’re home to the first ever cupcake shop – Sprinkles. So if you really want to earn your local stripes then head over to their famous shop in Georgetown and taste one of their award-winning cupcakes (red velvet is our favorite).

Hidden Gems

If you’re looking for a calorie-free way to spend the day, then check out some of DC’s most overlooked treasures. Conveniently located on Capitol Hill, the U.S. Botanic Garden is a living plant museum and home to some of the world’s most exotic collections of plants and flowers. Treat yourself (for free) to a day of beauty and discovery. Another place that you don’t want to miss is the Newseum. It’s not free like most of the museums in the area, but it’s the only place in the world where you can experience 5 centuries worth of interactive media exhibits. Like the Berlin Wall, Pulitzer Prize winning photography or the Watergate door. Those with a serious appetite for politics should visit the Brookings Institute and the Center for American Progress. These think tanks usually offer summer events that are open to the public. Past speakers include Arianna Huffington, Timothy Geithner and Condoleezza Rice.

More than Politics

Washington, DC is more than just politics and the city also boasts plenty of ways to stay entertained and take a break from long days on the Hill. Sports fans can take the metro over to Nationals Park and catch a baseball game or sign up to play flag football or soccer in one of the cities summer leagues. The newly renovated Howard Theater
is a great place to take in a concert and if you want to spend the evening outdoors, check out WolfTrap’s summer concert series. If you enjoy spoken word, then stop by Bus Boys ‘n Poets, grab a cup of java and catch one of their late night performances.

Need a lift? The Need-to-Know About DC Transportation

DC is commuter-friendly and accessible by most major forms of public transportation. While the getting around part is easy, parking can be a hassle. Most of the city’s available parking requires meter fees (credit cards accepted and you can pay from your mobile) Monday-Saturday. While there are plenty of parking garages, most cost an average of $15 to $25 per day. On-street parking is available in some residential neighborhoods, so if you plan to bring your car make sure to register for a parking permit or be prepared to move it during odd times for street sweeping and rush hour. Meter maids in DC are really aggressive, so don’t get caught parking in the wrong space or forget to feed the meter, because multiple tickets can result in a boot.

Public transportation is the best way to get around DC! WMATA offers multiple bus lines and trains that run throughout the city and surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs. Beware of morning and evening rush hour. Plan your route ahead of time with WMATA’s Trip Planner or Nextbus to make on-the-go travel plans. One of WMATA’s newest implementations is the DC Circulator – a specialty shuttle bus whose route includes only the hottest stops in the city ($1 and they arrive every 10 minutes).

Paying for public transportation is simple. Pick up a SmarTrip card, available at DC Metro stations and local convenience stores. You can add value and manage your card right from your mobile device. Make sure to register your card, because you can redeem its value in the event that it’s lost or stolen.

There are plenty of other alternatives to the metro. DC has multiple Zipcar lots or you can participate in the Capital Bikeshare and grab a lift from more than 160 bike racks around the city.

Working Out

Just incase flag football and outdoor yoga aren’t enough to keep those endorphins going, there are several gyms to choose from in the city. Local gyms like Results and Golds are great for those serious about a hardcore workout or weight lifting. For an all-in-one health and spa gym, Vida Fitness and Mint are the perfect places to go. Their facilities are high-end, including a full health bar, squash court and tons of cool classes.

If you’re on a budget, then check out the Washington Sports Clubs and the YMCA. They often offer a seasonal discount to students. Yogis will want to join Yoga District, a non-profit yoga studio where you have the option to pay or volunteer in exchange for your class.

Getting in and Out of Town

There are plenty of ways to get in and out of DC. The three major airports are DCA, IAD and BWI. All three are accessible by public transportation, Shuttle Bus or a $20-$60 cab ride depending on which airport you choose.

DC’s great location means that it’s only a few hours away from Philadelphia, New York and Boston, so if you’re looking to hop on the bus for a short weekend trip then try the BoltBus.. Warning: weekend tickets go fast and they’re known to overbook so always purchase a round trip ticket and arrive at the stop early.

If you don’t have room on your couch for friends and family, then direct them to cool sites like AirbnbHotel Tonight, or suggest they rent a bed in one of the cities numerous hostels.

What’s Up Doc?

Searching for a new doctor or health clinic in a major city can be frustrating. Use ZocDoc to book appointments and search for a physician based on your location and insurance provider. If you’re in a real emergency then you can visit one of the cities local hospitals –Howard University HospitalGeorge Washington University Hospital,
or Georgetown University Hospital.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Internship? and find answers to common interview questions such as What’s Your Dream Job?

How to Use a Blog to Apply for An Internship

Writing a blog post on why you would like to work at a company is a brilliant way to stand out. A blog post application serves two purposes:

1.) It demonstrates that you understand and know how to use important online marketing and communication tools.

2.) The medium itself allows you to express a voice and excitement for a company in a manner that is much stronger and more powerful than a traditional cover letter.

There are two easy to use services for writing a blog post on — Tumblr and WordPress!

Tumblr
takes only a few seconds to setup and is built to allow to get applying quickly.

WordPress
is more customizable, a little more complex to setup, but has a ton of additional tools and features to help you standout.  It is also more commonly used by companies so is more helpful in teaching you the right skills when applying for a marketing or communications role.

Inspiration:

This blog post by Lisa Petrilli explains 4 ways your blog can succeed in making you standout and offers additional insight on why this strategy can be effective.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Internship? and find answers to common interview questions such as What’s Your Dream Job?