Selected Resources

All Work, No Pay: Finding an Internship, Building Your Resume, Making Connections, and Gaining Job Experience, Lauren Berger

Ten Speed Press, 208 pages, 2012

The author asserts that a resume is not complete without internship experience. All Work, No Pay is a resource targeted toward recent college graduates. It includes basic information on internships as well as techniques and even exercises to help recent graduates attain internships that will help them grow and expand their experiences. Print.

Devex

See chapter 5 in this volume.

Foreign Policy Association

See chapter 5 in this volume.

Hello Real World! A Student's Approach to Great Internships, Co-ops, and Entry Level Positions, Jengyee Liang

BookSurge Publishing, 146 pages, 2006 (booksurge.com)

This book bills itself as an insider's guide to getting and succeeding in internships (with some tips for postgraduation jobs also included). Hello Real World! provides the college student with a perspective on how to land an internship or first job, as well as how to excel in it. This book also includes tips for employers on how to structure an effective internship or entry-level program for students who are new to the professional world. Print.

Idealist

See chapter 9 in this volume.

InternAbroad.com

Website: internabroad.com

As a member of the GoAbroad.com family (see chapter 5 in this volume), this site is part of a one-stop shopping opportunity for students who wish to travel internationally for many different reasons. Intern Abroad.com specializes in providing resources that specifically pertain to internships. Web.

The Intern Files: How to Get, Keep, and Make the Most of Your Internship, Jamie Fedorko

Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 208 pages, 2006 (simonsays.com)

A straightforward guide for college students, this book leads you through the process of landing an internship and then guides you to make the most of the experience. Print.

Internships.com

internships.com Twitter: @internships

Billed as the world's largest internship marketplace, this site requires an individual to sign up for a free membership in order to access its internship listings.

NAFSA: Association of International Educators

See chapter 5 in this volume.

Vault Guide to Top Internships, Carolyn C. Wise

Vault, Inc., 760 pages, 2009 (vault.com)

This guide is written by the founders of the career information website Vault.com. The third edition of the Vault Guide provides details on internships at more than 750 companies nationwide. Each internship entry provides information on qualifications, pay, length of internship, and contact information, as well as background information on the company or organization. Print.

The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars

twc.edu

Twitter: @TWCInternships

The Washington Center's programs combine semester-long internships in Washington, DC, with academic seminars. Positions are available for various fields of study, including international education, exchange, and development. Employers include the federal government, nonprofit organizations, news media, and international businesses. The internships are typically unpaid, although successful interns can receive academic credit.

See the profile of Jennifer Clinton for more information. Jennifer was formerly the chief operating officer and executive vice president at The Washington Center.

PROFILE

Jennifer Clinton

President, National Council for International Visitors, Washington, DC, 2012-present

Career Trajectory

The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Washington, DC, 2002-12

Telecommunications Industry Association, International Marketing Manager, Arlington, VA, 2001-3

Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Special Assistant to the CEO, Washington, DC, 1999-2001

STS Foundation, Program Manager, Alexandria, VA, 1998-99

Academic Background

University of Maryland, College Park, Executive MBA, 2008 University of California, Davis, PhD (French Literature), 2001 Marquette University, BA (Political Science and French), 1994

How do you define your cause?

I define it in two ways. The first is about finding opportunities to be a bridge among perspectives, people, and ideas. This is what has drawn me to the international exchange world. The second is about helping individuals and organizations excel. I have a motto that there's always room for improvement. Helping nonprofit organizations continually improve and find new ways to think about being creative and excelling in their field—that's something I'm really passionate about. I've been able to bring those two worlds together: bridging cultures, people, and ideas, and helping the nonprofit sector to excel.

What drew you to this cause and your field?

When I was in high school and an undergrad, I really had this love for languages and felt that language was a key to bridging cultures. When you learn a language, you learn so much about the way a country, or a set of countries, think and behave. I developed a passion for learning languages that then became so much more. It became learning about cultures and perspectives.

I majored in French and completed a PhD in French literature, and was very interested in teaching French at the university level. That was my initial career path. Are these language skills essential to my job right now? The answer is yes and no. Technically, not so much. Philosophically, yes. You have to make an effort to learn a language, right? Learning a language is about putting yourself out there, being okay about saying the wrong thing, putting yourself in the position where other cultures are dominant. I think that the mindset—of accepting vulnerability, listening, and having the discipline to master something in a way that brings you closer to another person, to other cultures— is what, at the fundamental core, has helped me in my role. The skills of how and why you acquire another language are critical.

How would you describe your field?

Our field is one of building cross-cultural relationships to a particular end. For my current work, the endgame is building a cadre of leaders around the world who have, and want to continue to develop, the proficiency to be respectful of other perspectives and mindsets, and even integrate those mindsets into their own. We hope these leaders in key positions can bring that perspective, that greater respect for global differences, to their jobs when they're making tough decisions. We're building a foundation for the expansion of perspectives for good decision making that ultimately leads to good relations between nations.

How would you describe your career path?

Windey (laughs). Early on, I identified for myself three key buckets, or areas of interest: international affairs, education, and nonprofit management. I've used these as my compass. But I knew that not every job was going to be able to hit each of these interest areas. When I moved to Washington, DC, I was very much in the international arena. I worked for an international exchange program, then a government agency (Overseas Private Investment Corporation), and then a telecom trade association.

Then I made the decision to move to The Washington Center, an academic institution that serves college and university students. There was some international work in it, but it was not as much as I had done. That was, for me, a bit of a compromise. I knew I was consciously stepping away from the international world. I was able to focus on higher education and nonprofit management, and really hone those two interest areas. Even though I knew I was sort of compromising, I also knew what my three core buckets were. And when I came to NCIV, I was able to bring the education and management components, along with the international pieces that I had developed early on.

Identify your nonnegotiables, or core beliefs, early on. Be okay with knowing that, over time, not every job is going to fit every single one of those buckets—but that you're developing in each of those. Then, at some point, you will be able to bring them all together. It's taken me a good fifteen-plus years to do that. But I've been very conscious about what my nonnegotiables are. I didn't want to go off the track in some direction that didn't touch one of my interest areas.

Where did you start, and how did it help you get to where you are today?

When I was fifteen, I had an opportunity to go overseas with a basketball team to Sweden. That experience was really defining for me, and after that I took every opportunity I could to have similar experiences abroad. And I began to feel like it was my mission in life to play an ongoing role helping other people have those experiences. I met so many great people—a wonderful summer I spent in the Bordeaux region of France with a set of six Rotary families who took me under their wings and let me stay with them while I was doing an internship. They were the most generous, warm people. I told them that I could never pay them back for what they provided me, but that I would commit myself to paying it forward.

What are the major day-to-day activities of your current position?

It's about setting and implementing direction, looking for opportunities, being creative about the direction we want to pursue, and prioritizing those opportunities. I find that it's also about nurturing relationships and building new relationships. Helping the organization move forward and being thoughtful and strategic about why it's doing what it's doing. I'm challenging assumptions, within the organization and outside, by bringing a new set of perspectives.

When I was in my previous job at The Washington Center, so much of my work was to think about the needs of young people from a professional development perspective. The technical skills were very important. How do you develop a curriculum? How do you educate? I can bring all of that to NCIV. But here, it's been more about the networking and relationship-building piece, while also bringing that academic mindset: What are the skills people need and how can we play a role in building them so that people see themselves growing and developing over time?

I also spend a lot time leading and managing: managing budgets, leading people, managing infrastructure of technology, and communications, and processes, and all of that fun stuff (laughs).

What is your best advice for developing effective networking skills?

Networking can be intimidating, especially the superficial "go to cocktail parties and collect as many business cards as you can" type of networking. That's not everyone's cup of tea, and not a lot of people are good at it or even want to be good at it. It's more important to know what drives you, or what your buckets are. I'm big on quality over quantity.

Don't just connect with people for a job or a transaction. People appreciate that long-term vision: How do you cultivate a relationship over time that's aligned with what you care about? People love to talk to others who have similar passions.

I also see networking as being about proactively cultivating mentors. For every internship you do, walk away with two or three people you feel aligned with. Keep in touch with them over time. Ask for input on your resume, send them a holiday card, or invite them for coffee. I like it when people ask me for help by saying, "Here's my list of organizations that really interest me, do you know anybody you could connect me with?"

Do you have a mentor? How has he or she affected your life and career?

My boss at OPIC, Kirk Robertson, is still a mentor to me today. He is a great sounding board; I learned so many lessons from him. My former boss at The Washington Center certainly was. A board member from The Washington Center still is today—I'm in regular touch with her. I've maintained contact with some of my professors, most recently at Maryland, and worked with them on a number of projects. I actively seek opportunities to learn from them, in terms of advice or as a sounding board. For me, they play that role, though I don't even know if they know they play that role.

The notion of role models is very important to me. You can have a mentor who you're not necessarily in touch with but who you strive to be like. You want to find people who embody the kinds of values that you have and the ways in which you want to interact with people. I've sought role models who are close to me, as well as those I've never met—perhaps I read about them in a book. They describe how they interact with people and I see that as an opportunity to be mentored, aligning with the type of person I want to be, based on how their career has unfolded or how they conduct themselves.

Do you consider yourself a mentor to others?

Yes, absolutely. During my time with The Washington Center, I had more opportunities on a day-to-day basis to mentor compared to NCIV, a much smaller organization. But I do have a number of young people who intern here or have learned about NCIV and want to do an informational interview. I'm always happy to provide guidance and insight. And some of them have stayed in touch, just checking in every few months to tell me how they're doing and follow up. I think that's great.

How have you maintained a healthy balance between your work and personal life?

I haven't been great at it (laughs), but that's part of my nature. I always want to learn and grow, so it's not a matter of work and life being different. My husband makes fun of me for reading the Harvard Business Review or management books for fun. So you could say I never turn it off. But for me, turning it off is not really that much fun (laughs). I don't have this distinct line between work and life. They bleed into each other, and I'm okay with that because that's what gives me a lot of pleasure. And I think this speaks to the fact that I'm in the right place and doing what I'm passionate about.

Are you involved in community service?

I sit on a board of a local nonprofit called the Academy of Hope. I specifically chose this organization because my mindset has been more international than local, and I really wanted to understand DC politics and what's going on in my local community. This is an organization that helps adult learners prepare and pass the GED and gain critical job skills so they can improve their lives. It's been a great experience to better understand the place where I live.

What lessons have you learned as your career has evolved?

I tend to be a fairly impatient person—working hard and striving to get to the next level quickly. That's been good for me, but at the same time, I still have a long career ahead of me. Know your compass and follow it, but also give yourself the time to learn and grow. Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint.

 
< Prev   CONTENTS   Next >