Get Real With: @properties

By: Rachel Chessky, DePaul University marketing and economics major ’16

Looking for the right internship can seem like an intimidating task. Sometimes it helps to take a step back and remember where we are; Chicago is filled with numerous companies and organizations looking to hire interns and you never know which one will be the right fit for you. At the University Internship Program (UIP) at DePaul, we strive to help connect students with an internship that best fits their needs and we love to hear when an employer is just as thrilled with the match.

Chicago is filled with numerous companies and organizations looking to hire interns…

@properties, one of the top 25 residential brokers in the U.S. and the #1 real estate brokerage in Chicago by market share, recently reached out to us to share their excellent experience with a DePaul intern.

Real Estate Broker & Loan Officer Robert Adolfson, who focuses on the Lincoln Park community, shared that the internship program provided “training and mentorship customized to each individual’s ambitions along with their skill sets – all within the profession.” He went on to say that the internship was “highly interactive and practical.” Due to this customization, interns were able to grow and cultivate new skills that are directly applicable to their chosen career path.

Thinking of DePaul interns, he noted:

“They are savvy; polished and very open to mentoring. More importantly, there is an excitement that comes out with their initiative and desire to want to learn about the professional working world.”

DePaul interns have come to stand out in the professional world due to this eagerness to learn more mentality instilled in the classroom.

DePaul students are excited to develop their abilities and passionate about their work, leading professionals across a wide array of industries to think very highly of DePaul. Having this outlook makes an intern more appealing to employers as they know their efforts to train you are being appreciated. Adolfson even went on to say that he “enjoys bringing a real-world practicum to the learned classroom skills.”

Having an internship where you are able to grow and your employer is invested in your growth is the essence of a great internship. Settling for an internship that is simply another checkmark for the resume does not inspire passion. UIP encourages students to search for those opportunities they will be able to learn from.


Inspired and interested in finding a job or internship in the real estate industry? Check out Handshake for new career listings!

If you are looking for that perfect internship and want to know how to receive credit for it, visit our internship advisor, Alisha Pharr, to learn more.

DePaul Diaries: Life as a Tech Specialist Intern

By: Renee Radzom, DePaul University graduate, former University Internship Program (UIP) assistant

DePaul Diaries is a day-in-the-life blog series written by DePaul students. The series unveils DePaulians’ experiences as interns in their field of choice. Students share their honest thoughts about their experiences, what they learned as an intern and advice for students who are interested in the same field.


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Abdus Saleem, a finance and management information systems major, had the opportunity to work as a technical specialist intern at AKA Comp, a small company that specializes in IT support for educational institutes. Abdus had a variety of responsibilities in his role, including installing printers, wireless access points and safeguarding against potential viruses and security threats. Abdus secured this internship through his LinkedIn profile after the manager of the company reached out to him after reviewing his profile on the site. By keeping his profile up-to-date, Abdus showed that he was a good candidate for the opportunity and employers took notice.

When Abdus started his internship, he was given a lot of responsibility right off the bat and was allowed to make decisions where he thought appropriate. AKA Comp also gave him the freedom to contribute his ideas and thoughts on projects. “My favorite part was that I was considered a full-time employee. I was an actual participating member of the team,” Abdus said.

In addition to the responsibilities and work experience, Abdus learned a lot of great skills along the way. According to Abdus, the biggest skill he learned was time management. Juggling five classes and also working 27 hours a week was no easy task, so Abdus said he had to take the time to set up his schedule accordingly. Abdus confessed to not having much time to socialize, but it challenged him to do better; “This really challenged me to push myself and to make sure that I was on top of my school work because school is a priority,” Abdus said.

The biggest skill he [Abdus] learned was time management.

He also had the opportunity to learn about a business he previously had no idea about and how big of a role technology plays in the day-to-day life of organizations. In terms of compensation, the internship gave Abdus a stipend, but the experience he is receiving is much more valuable than the money, in his opinion.

His internship wasn’t the only place that offered learning opportunities, though. Abdus also took the UIP 350: Navigating the Changing Workplace course alongside his internship. The class is for students who already have internship experience and are looking to build upon their knowledge. Abdus took the class online and really enjoyed the experience. “Our weekly discussions allowed me to think more critically about what I wanted to do after college and what kind of career I wanted. This is something that I had not given much thought to prior to taking this class,” Abdus reflected.

Keeping an up-to-date LinkedIn profile is one piece of advice Abdus strongly recommended, along with using all the resources that DePaul has to offer, like InterviewStream and the ASK program.


Want to learn about DePaul’s University Internship Program? Check it out, here, or send inquiries to UIP@depaul.edu. Need help finding an internship? Visit depaul.joinhandshake.com, or come into DePaul’s Career Center to meet with an advisor.

DePaul Diaries: Life as a Southwest Airlines Intern

By: Sean Nasi, DePaul University digital cinema major ’15

DePaul Diaries is a day-in-the-life blog series written by DePaul students. The series unveils DePaulians’ experiences as interns in their field of choice. Students share their honest thoughts about their experiences, what they learned as an intern and advice for students who are interested in the same field.


What makes an internship a great experience? For Anna Hamelin, an economics major at DePaul, her job experience at Southwest Airlines was unlike any other.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 2.15.17 PMTime literally flew by while interning at the company. Internships as phenomenal as Anna’s are not hard to come by, but they do take time and energy to find. Here are some questions to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to apply to an internship or accept an offer for one!

What Will I Learn?

The biggest thing that separates great internships from good ones is the learning components. As college students, we are still developing our skills and learning how to apply them to the workforce. At Southwest, Anna never filed papers or went out for coffee runs for her superiors. Instead, she learned how to plan events and collaborate with companies to create a satisfying final product. “They trust the interns…and give them projects that are important. That makes everyone work extremely hard to make sure everything comes out perfect,” Anna said.

Who Will Teach Me?

It is one thing to simply gain experience at an internship, but it’s another thing to learn from and make connections with industry professionals. Mentorship is another big component of an internship, and it can come through supervision or by leading through example. At Southwest, Anna received both types of mentorship. “The people who work here are happy and approachable, so it’s a great environment to learn,” Anna said.

The people who work here [Southwest Airlines] are happy and approachable, so it’s a great environment to learn.

It’s important to select an internship that will complement your work style. Organizations in Chicago offer all kinds of internship programs, and some environments are not suitable for everyone. Some companies are high-pressure and fast-paced, while others are more laid-back. Some companies even look for interns to work remotely. Anna enjoyed the laid-back environment at Southwest. “Southwest does a lot to ensure that their employees are genuinely happy,” Anna said. “They want you to work hard, but they also want you to have fun and enjoy your job and coworkers. The people at Southwest know how to work hard and play hard.”

How Will I Be Compensated for My Time?

Contrary to popular belief, not all internships are unpaid. In fact, roughly 65% of the internships posted at DePaul are paid. Additionally, some unpaid internships offer non-monetary perks, such as free lunches, or stipends to cover expenses. For example, Southwest not only offered paid internships, but also gave interns the opportunity to travel for free anywhere Southwest flies. “I’ve been able to travel almost every weekend…It’s been a semester long adventure, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience,” Anna expressed.

Am I Qualified for the Position?

“When I was a freshman, I was looking up the top internship programs in the country, and Southwest was high on the list,” Anna recalled. “At the time, I wasn’t qualified, but as soon as I was I applied to a few different positions and ended up getting my current internship!”

Many students experience anxiety when applying for positions for which they feel underqualified. Most employers understand students are still learning, and are willing to overlook a lack of experience if they exhibit ambition and enthusiasm. If you possess the minimum position requirements, it never hurts to apply for an internship position, even if you feel it may be “out of your league.” The worst that can happen is they either don’t respond, or say no. Even if they say no, never be afraid to reapply in the future when you meet more of their qualifications.

It never hurts to apply for an internship position, even if you feel it may be “out of your league.

Where Could This Lead?

Many companies offer opportunities for full- or part-time employment post internship. However, even if there is no opportunity to move up, the networking opportunities available, both with full-time staff members and other interns, will last a lifetime. At Southwest, Anna enjoyed regular interactions with both staff members and other interns. “There are 90 interns in my class, so I’ve met a ton of awesome people from around the country and have developed friendships that will last…,” Anna said.

Anna made the most of her time at Southwest, and would encourage prospective interns to “enjoy every minute and work as hard as you can because time goes by way too fast.” It also never hurts to be open-minded to new opportunities. If you are on the fence about applying to a certain internship, apply anyway. You can always decide after the interview if it’s really a company worth working for!


Want to learn about DePaul’s University Internship Program? Check it out, here, or send inquiries to UIP@depaul.edu. Need help finding an internship? Visit depaul.joinhandshake.com, or come into DePaul’s Career Center to meet with an advisor.

DePaul Diaries: Life as an ED Intern

By: Sean Nasi, DePaul University digital cinema major ’15

DePaul Diaries is a day-in-the-life blog series written by DePaul students. The series unveils DePaulians’ experiences as interns in their field of choice. Students share their honest thoughts about their experiences, what they learned as an intern and advice for students who are interested in the same field.


Arturo Chang, a political science major, who interned full-time at the United States Department of Education (ED) in Washington, D.C. this past fall. At ED, Arturo’s colleagues and superiors treated him not as an intern, but a full-time staff member. Arturo was given the privilege and responsibility to share his opinions and have his voice heard.

“I had just begun my new internship, and two hours later I was answering questions for the assistant secretary of education,” Arturo said. “It was a shocking experience at first, but it definitely made me feel appreciated and accountable for our successes and failures.”

Arturo enjoyed many aspects of working at ED, including the environment, which he described as a healthy balance between professional and friendly. He always felt comfortable asking his co-workers for guidance as needed to improve his skills. Through the internship program, Arturo improved his writing and communication skills by publishing articles for the Federal Registry for Education Excellence. He also learned the necessary leadership abilities to be successful in his industry, as he had to occasionally lead discussions and even provide advice to people with decades more experience.

Through the internship program, Arturo improved his writing and communication skills…

“This kind of treatment is not common at an internship level, and I appreciated the freedom to work on my own,” Arturo pointed out, who “would be given projects, priorities and expectations without a large amount of direction or overview.”

“ED gave us opportunities to tour the White House, the Supreme Court, and the Capitol Building, and would even organize networking socials at bars in Washington,” Arturo said. These field trips expanded Arturo’s network of connections in Washington. Additionally, the experience allowed him to voice his passions for education at the highest branch of government.

“Understanding how policy functions at the federal level is incredibly useful, and I now feel more prepared to tackle issues at the city level,” Arturo said. He believes the skills he gained at ED will assist him in his current position at the Chicago Board of Education.

Arturo found the internship opportunity after searching the Department of Education’s website, and would strongly encourage anyone interested in the political sphere to check out the opportunity. However, Arturo warns that students shouldn’t expect to be handed a ton of responsibilities right away. “When you work at high-level institutions, you need to prove yourself,” he says. “Use your judgment, and leverage your abilities efficiently to show that you are a great worker.” By leveraging abilities and proving to be an exceptional worker, a student can expect to learn valuable career development skills, impress employers and expand their network of connections, and make a positive, long-lasting impact at their organization.


Want to learn about DePaul’s University Internship Program? Check it out, here, or send inquiries to UIP@depaul.edu. Need help finding an internship? Visit depaul.joinhandshake.com, or come into DePaul’s Career Center to meet with an advisor.

DePaul Diaries: Life as a Software Tech Intern

By: Sean Nasi, DePaul University digital cinema major ’15

DePaul Diaries is a day-in-the-life blog series written by DePaul students. The series unveils DePaulians’ experiences as interns in their field of choice. Students share their honest thoughts about their experiences, what they learned as an intern and advice for students who are interested in the same field.


After attending one of DePaul’s internship fairs, Zachary Graceffa, DePaul graduate, received an offer to intern at Nansen, Inc., a digital agency headquartered in Sweden, with offices in Chicago. After discovering that participating in the internship program at Nansen would lead to a full-time position within the company, Zach happily accepted the internship. This year, he attended the same job fair, but this time as a representative for Nansen rather than a job seeker, coming full circle in under a year.

Zach started his internship at Nansen by watching tutorial videos, which taught him the basics of .NET MVC and EPiServer. As his technical knowledge expanded, his responsibilities gradually transformed from fixing bugs to implementing new features into the system. Zach said that one of his favorite parts of the internship was the collaborative environment. His coworkers were always around to offer up their advice and expertise. “The tools are there to help you succeed, whether it be your top-of-the-line laptop and software, or the people who are incredibly knowledgeable in their field and more than happy to help you learn more,” Zach said.

In the end, Zach ended his internship with more than just an increase in technical knowledge and an outlet to apply his classroom learning to a real-world environment. He ended his internship with a career. “You can read countless articles and documents on the Internet, but there is nothing better than being taught by someone who is successful in the field you wish to be a part of,” Zach said. Perhaps one day, Zach will come full circle again and be a mentor for his own intern.


Want to learn about DePaul’s University Internship Program? Check it out, here, or send inquiries to UIP@depaul.edu. Need help finding an internship? Visit depaul.joinhandshake.com, or come into DePaul’s Career Center to meet with an advisor.

Get Real With: Bloodshot Records

By: Olivia Alfaro, DePaul University health sciences major ’18

Gettin’ real with Sales and Distribution Manager Pete Klockau of Bloodshot Records. In this employer spotlight post, get an inside look at what it would be like to intern with a record label.


 

monochrome hipster vintage label , badge " let's rock " for poster , flayer or t-shirt print with plectrum, starburst and rayBloodshot Records is a record label dedicated to helping passionate and talented musicians in their path to creating memorable and exciting music. Bloodshot helps musicians who create music in various genres such as punk, rock, country, soul, and other genres. If you have a love for music, enjoy working hard, and are interested in pursuing a career in the music industry, an internship at Bloodshot would be excellent. Pete Klockau, sales and distribution manager of Bloodshot, has shared with us what it is like for interns to work at their company, what they should expect, and what Bloodshot looks for in the interns they hire.

An intern at Bloodshot must be a hard worker ready to devote one full day of their week to work. Interns will get the feel of running a record label. “The more inquisitive and ready to learn about the nuts-and-bolts they are, the better,” Klockau said. When going in for an interview, they want potential interns to be knowledgeable about their label, and demonstrate a true affinity and excitement for the their artists.

Bloodshot is supportive of the bands they work with, and the employees are always eager to work. The most exciting and hardest part about working here is to see how a, “small and efficient community the independent music industry can be.”

Just how small you ask? Well the company has a total of six employees. Due to the small staff, each member has many important tasks including communicating with the bands and answering emails and phone calls. They also create spreadsheets, generate mailings, “and due to the tiny DIY nature of the indie biz,” they stuff envelopes and unload trucks themselves. The environment is laid back, but with all those tasks it can get hectic, yet that is all part of the fun.

Klockau shares that the intern’s various tasks, “range from helping stay on top of our radio, press, and social networking and helping talk to record stores, to helping with promotional mailings, posters, and postcards. We try to tailor each intern’s experience with where their interests lie.” This business is not just a place to get a real hands-on experience, that is helpful for undergraduates down the road for graduate school, but it is also an educational experience where interns are encouraged to ask questions and retrieve as much information as they can during their time there.

When it comes to skills, Klockau mentioned, “The most crucial thing is really just experiencing and knowing more fully what it takes to work with bands and promote a record at a full-service record label in the modern era.” If an intern thinks working in a record label is glamorous, they’re mistaken. It is a lot of hard work, but those who truly have a passion for this type of work must love it and believe in what they’re creating. The staff work to, “paint a realistic picture for what to expect after college should they choose to pursue the indie route.” Many of the staff at this record label started off as interns, and now THEIR interns pursue many different jobs within the industry.

Even though landing an internship can be difficult, it can also be one of the best and most rewarding decisions. Klockau‘s advice for people pursing their dreams is, “No matter where you work, make sure you love what you’re doing, love what you’re promoting and embrace it, wherever you are.” He also says to never be afraid to ask questions because it is the only way to learn and is the smartest thing you can do. So, interns, make sure you get the best out of what you are pursing and love what you are learning.

No matter where you work, make sure you love what you’re doing…


Inspired and interested in finding a job or internship in the music industry? Check out Handshake for new career listings!