Here We Do: Students of Internship Plus (WQ22)

We know that not every student can afford to take an unpaid internship, which influenced our decision to establish the Internship Plus Program. This program awards up to $2,500 in financial assistance to students who have an unpaid internship opportunity and demonstrate financial need. Through this program, many students, like the ones below, have been able to gain important experience in their field of interest. Hear about it from them:

Haley Colegate interned at Arts of Life

My experience as an intern at Arts of Life consisted primarily of socializing with and assisting the artists in studio, as well as teaching weekly art history talks for virtual programming.

Choosing my favorite aspect of my internship is incredibly difficult, though I would have to say that forming relationships with the artists was definitely the most rewarding! For instance, one of the artists, Susan, sang to me a song that she had written about me, which brought a huge smile to my face. I have learned so much about each of their families, their passions, their pets—really anything that they wanted to share with me, I was happy to listen.

However, it was also hard at times. Sometimes artists would share very sensitive and upsetting events from their past with me. On one hand, I felt honored that they entrusted me with such information. However, I couldn’t help but be saddened by what I was told. When these sorts of topics came up, it helped test my skills with trauma responses and how to provide a safe place for artists to share.

As someone who is on track to become a therapist with a specialty in art, this internship at Arts of Life was a perfect fit for me.

I got to see first-hand how the creative process builds relationships, encourages independence, and provides a sense of fulfillment in these artists.

My experiences there also helped me to talk to other facilitators who worked there, many of whom are artists themselves. Meeting new people with similar interests/ career goals as myself is always beneficial.

In terms of advice, I would first recommend only interning at a place that you feel truly passionate about. If you don’t enjoy the work, the value of your experience greatly diminishes. Fortunately, Arts of Life combined two of my passions, which are special needs advocacy and art!

Without my Internship Plus award, I would have had a much more difficult time getting to and from my internship. Arts of Life is located on the west side of town and, without a car, was pretty hard to access by public transit. I am so grateful that I was chosen as a recipient, and I hope that this award will continue for others in the future!

Kendrick Bryant interned for RUN Sports

For my internship, I worked remote from home for a company in New York called RUN Sports. My official role working in the company was a mobile game developer/software engineer, and my work mostly focused on being the programmer for a mobile game.

Some of my responsibilities were handling the user interface, gameplay, and animations. What I enjoyed most about my internship were the people I got the opportunity to work with within the company. Everyone was very dedicated, enthusiastic about the project and remained motivated while working on the project to the end.

Some of my biggest takeaways from this internship were time management. During my internship, me and my group created meetings separate from our boss just so we could stay organized, and we created deadlines for ourselves to make sure we had extra development time. Everyone made sure that we accomplished our tasks ahead of time and this allowed us to have a very smooth development process.

This internship helped me get closer to achieving my career goals as it gave me more experience within the industry, more experience working with other people, and new tools to help me progress in my field.

My advice to other students would be, if you’re searching for an internship, find a project that you’re sure that you’re going to be passionate about. A lot of people get an internship, but then lose their motivation and get burnt out. If you find something that you’re passionate about, there will be less chances of you getting burnt out and bored of the project.

Being an Internship Plus award recipient impacted me positively as my internship was unpaid and required a lot of time and energy which would’ve gone into my part-time job. Receiving this award allowed me to focus more on my internship, my education and my career.

Malena Petronijevic interned at FashionBar Chicago

My internship at FashionBar Chicago in the Water Tower Place has given me the opportunity the gain a better understanding of the technical work a company needs to function efficiently. Not only did I get a finer idea of my management style, but also what I value in a work environment.

I engaged in many different parts of a business including marketing, finance, and management. Over the past few weeks I have been able to book designers for our upcoming April and October fashion shows, access and post on our TikTok and Instagram accounts, and manage mass communication emails. One of the most important and enjoyable learning lessons has been gaining a better understanding of entrepreneurial perspectives and how to eventually build something of my own.

Tony Long, my supervisor and the CEO, has structured all lessons with a common theme of applicability outside of FashionBar Chicago, which I have genuinely appreciated. My biggest takeaway in this internship has been learning about applicable work knowledge. Whether that was email etiquette, developing professional relationships, or setting boundaries, being able to learn about these rules in a work environment was very insightful.

I have also become very proud of my growing confidence inside and outside of the business. FashionBar Chicago, as a business administration major, has allowed me to reflect on what I would and would not want to apply in my management style. I hope that I can continue to explore alternative work environments but now know I work well in smaller teams.

My biggest advice for students seeking internships is to build connections with your business as best as possible. I had the opportunity to volunteer for Chicago Fashion Week back in October and because of my attentiveness then, was able to intern for them! As I continue to grow and constantly express my eagerness to learn, I have even had discussions with my supervisor regarding a potential job offer.

Do not feel afraid to ask questions. Your willingness to learn the industry will be very noticeable and influential. In regards to the Internship Plus award, the award has significantly impacted my financial stability this quarter. In December, prior to the internship, I broke my ankle in a mall shooting by falling down the escalators. Regaining my physical strength while working at an internship for free has been a unique experience! Being able to leave my part-time job was an easier experience with the award. Additionally, receiving the award was an immense honor considering my grade level and experience.

Anonda Tyler interned at Lincoln Park Preschool

My name is Anonda Tyler, better known as Nonie, and to the students I observed and taught Ms. Nonie. On Tuesdays and Thursdays , the school that I did my fieldwork hours at was at the Lincoln Park Preschool.

The school is smack in one of the busy places in the city and is a private school. This school is a dream location to me because it is right across the street from the Lincoln Park Zoo, where we always went to walk when we took the children outside for fresh air. The zoo was perfect to share intimate and angelic experiences that helped me build bonds with students more closely.

The days where I went to visit were during the school day, and typically their hours for school are 9 to 3 o’clock, where they take naps at 1pm, then wait for pick up at 2pm. I stayed from 7 o’clock till 12pm on most days and managed to get over 17 field hours.

The grade I was working with were preschoolers, who were called the 3s and 4s group. I enjoyed most visiting the zoo, and this internship allowed me to appreciate the art of play in teaching and why it is important to include multiple mediums with fine motor skills and gross motor skills activities.

This award impacted me in a good way financially, because it is very hard for my family and I to pay tuition, so it alleviated a lot of stress with worrying about proceeding in this field that I am passionate about due to not always having the resources to support that dream.

Expand Your Search: Opportunities in Education, Nonprofit & Government

Despite COVID-19’s impact on the job market, there is still a strong demand for certain careers within the education, nonprofit, and government industry. As a member of this community, you possess valuable transferable skills that will help you land similar roles.

Here is our curated list of alternative career options to consider:

 

For Grads Interested in Teaching: Summer School Tutoring


Summer school teaching opportunities may be hard to come by right now. Instead, there is still a high need for Tutors, where you can build transferable skills to obtain a full-time teaching position  in the future. 

  • Transferable Skills: facilitation, problem solving, conflict resolution, instruction, interpersonal skills

Example: K-12 Academic Tutor and Mentor for City Year

 

For Master’s Grads Interested in Higher Education: Online Instruction


As enrollment at larger in-person universities declines, universities are forced to freeze hiring. Online universities and community colleges, however, are still hiring faculty and staff roles. Gain experience in these settings to prepare you for a future career in a larger university once hiring is safe to resume. 

  • Transferable Skills: leadership, networking, management, remote technology 

Example: Admission Advisor for Orbis Education

 

For Grads Interested in Social Work: Community Outreach Coordinator


Currently, the social work industry is hiring less. As a Community Outreach Coordinator you can still work with the community to improve the status of their health and overall well-being just as you would as a social worker. 

  • Transferable Skills: communication, case management, active listening, critical thinking, empathy

Example: Community and Outreach Coordinator VISTA 

 

For Grads Interested in Event Coordinator Roles: Marketing Associate


With all large events canceled, Non Profits no longer need Event Coordinators. Instead, consider a similar role within the Non Profit sector: the Marketing Associate. With social media and marketing becoming increasingly influential, there is still a high demand for these roles. 

  • Transferable Skills: creativity, organization, budgeting, attention to detail, planning, networking

Example: Marketing Associate for Upwardly Global, Inc

 

For Grads Interested in Fundraising: Program Manager


As most fundraising events and galas are postponed, Non Profits are not hiring Fundraising Chairs or Coordinators. To gain similar experience in fundraising and management, consider Program Manager positions. 

  • Transferable Skills: budgeting, grant writing, communication, outreach, program development   

Example: Children’s Music Education and Arts Camps Programs Manager for Old Town School of Folk Music

  

As the job market continues to evolve, the Career Center is here to help you highlight your transferable skills and explore different opportunities. Get started by making an appointment on Handshake

Who’s Hiring: Recruiting Trends in Education, Nonprofit & Government

Law Enforcement & Civil Service


Top Posted Occupations in Illinois:

  • Compliance Officers
  • Emergency Management Directors
  • First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives
  • Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers
  • Court, Municipal, and License Clerks 
  • Protective Service Workers, All Other 
  • Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers
  • First-Line Supervisors of Fire Fighting and Prevention Workers 
  • Correctional Officers and Jailers 
  • Fire Inspectors and Investigators
  • Firefighters

Top Companies Posting:

  • State of Illinois 
  • Army National Guard 
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency 
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police,Incorporated
  • City of Chicago
  • County of Cook

Current Job Openings:

Museums & Cultural Organizations

Museum & cultural organization jobs up 9.7% from last year (EMSI, 2020)


Top Posted Occupations in Illinois:

  • Managers
  • Librarians
  • Curators 
  • Archivists
  • Ushers, Lobby Attendants, and Ticket Takers
  • Museum Technicians and Conservators 
  • Statistical Assistants 
  • Set and Exhibit Designers 
  • Historians

Current Job Openings:

Human Services, Outreach & Advocacy

Social work job postings up 53.4% from this time last year in Illinois (EMSI, 2020)


Top Companies Posting in Illinois:

  • State of Illinois 
  • Lutheran Social Services of Illinois 
  • Wellcare Health Plans, Inc. 
  • Children’s Home & Aid Society of Illinois
  • Dd Homes Network 
  • Reaching Across Illinois Library System
  • One Hope United 
  • Total Spectrum Inc Heartland Alliance 
  • Gateway Foundation, Inc. 
  • Ada S. McKinley Community Services, Inc.

Top Posted Occupations:

  • Social and Human Service Assistants 
  • Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors
  • Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors 
  • Child, Family, and School Social Workers 
  • Rehabilitation Counselors 
  • Social Workers, All Other

Current Job Openings:

 

Industry Trends


Education – Schools shut down completely

  • CPS and other schools have shifted to remote teaching and learning. Student teaching will continue in a remote capacity.
  • No changes have been made for fall 2020 recruiting.
  • Global unemployment rate in education – 3.2% (Based on UNESCO’s data on April 7, 2020)

Nonprofits – Loss of funding

  • The cancelation of fundraising galas and partner development conferences further strains the finances, capacity, and resources for the majority of nonprofits. The long-term impact to nonprofits’ bottom-line will affect the capacity of many nonprofits to serve their constituents in the months, and possibly years, to come. (Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire)
  • Foundations and donors are supporting frontline nonprofits that are tending those who need medical care as a result of COVID. (National Council of Nonprofits)
  • Global unemployment rate in Nonprofit – 4.6% (BLS)

Government – Federal, State and Local departments are overwhelmed

  • Global unemployment rate – 3.2% (BLS)
  • All levels of government are on a rapid learning curve as they try to manage remote workers and new online skills. This is an opportunity for jobseekers to highlight their skills with technology as an asset to employers. 
  • As a result of economic challenges (relief, aid, etc.), budgets will likely be more strained in 2020 and 2021. Serious reprioritization of technology investments will be required to overcome these challenges.

5 Transferable Skills to Highlight in Your Education, Nonprofit, & Government Job Search During COVID-19

Careers within Education, Nonprofit, and Government are evolving and changing due to COVID-19. Many of you are now being asked to adapt, change your perspective, or even consider pivoting your career goals. While this may seem daunting, as a member of the ENPG community you have a unique set of transferable skills that you’ve acquired through your various experiences–skills that make you marketable applicants for the jobs that are currently hiring. To stand out in your job search, here are five transferable (hard and soft) skills to highlight in your career toolkit documents:


1. Technology

With most activities shifted to virtual platforms, technology is at the forefront during COVID-19. You now use technology every day to communicate (Slack, Zoom, Google Meets, Microsoft Teams), complete coursework (Microsoft Office, Google Suite, VoiceThread, Panopto), and manage projects (Asana, Trello). Since most businesses and organizations are operating remotely, highlight your proficiency in different technology platforms in your resume, cover letter, or an interview to show a hiring manager that you are able to effectively work remotely.

2. Leadership

Whether you’ve taken the lead on a group project in one of your classes or had a leadership role in a student organization, being a leader can show an employer your ability to take charge. Highlight your leadership skills to demonstrate your effective communication, organization, and time-management skills so that an employer has the impression that you can be a leader in their organization. 

3. Adaptability 

During this pandemic, we are adapting to change. COVID-19 has impacted school, work, and daily life. Highlight your ability to adapt to different situations to show your flexibility and willingness to modify projects and tasks within the workplace. Implement a statement in your resume to showcase this skill.

4. Facilitation

Have you presented in a class, at work, or at a conference? Emphasize your ability to successfully present in front of a quantifiable number of members. Facilitation can also look like leading a group in an activity, implementing a lesson plan in a class, guiding a meeting, and more. Highlight this skill in your documents and interviews to show an employer that you have strong public speaking and presentation skills. 

5. Management 

Management doesn’t have to mean being a “manager” in a job or an internship. Management skills can come from working on a group project in class, leading a sports team, guiding a group of people through an activity, and more. These management skills speak to one’s ability to work and collaborate with others. Feature this skill in your documents and speak on your management abilities in interviews with employers. 

 

With the added pressure that COVID-19 brings, your current job or internship search can be challenging and intimidating. You may be seeking adjacent careers or considering changing career paths altogether. Have a solid toolkit of transferable skills in your back pocket to help you explore different careers and to be competitive candidates within the Education, Nonprofit, and Government community. 

Looking to discuss transferable skills or your career plans further? Make an appointment on Handshake!       

Teaching English Abroad: Myths Debunked

By: Samantha Ng, College of Computing and Digital Media admissions officer and former Career Center grad intern

Teaching abroad is a great opportunity to learn more about you as an educator, while also making an impact on communities abroad. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about teaching abroad and the challenges that come along with it. It’s time to put those myths to rest! Check out our list of common misconceptions about teaching abroad.

“Teaching is easy—it’s just English!”

Teaching is one of the hardest jobs out there. Throw in environmental factors and cultural differences and it is anything but easy. Teachers abroad are expected to be able to articulate their own philosophy on how learners best absorb information, and understand what teaching styles work for their own personal approach. Teachers should also be able to implement their knowledge, skills and abilities to help all types of learners. Think of it this way, just because English is your native language, doesn’t mean you’re automatically capable of explaining grammatical nuances to a foreign learner on the spot. Talk to a current teacher to learn more about their pedagogical philosophy to inform your own ways of teaching and learning before making the jump to teaching abroad.

“I have to know the local language of the country to teach.”

Many countries do not require teachers to know the native language. Especially in Asian countries, not knowing the native tongue can be seen as an advantage. However, Spanish-speaking countries, for example, require working knowledge of the language.

“I need to have an education background.”

Not necessarily! Many programs and schools only require that you have completed at least your bachelor’s degree and that you are a native English speaker. A TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certification can definitely be advantageous if you do not have an education background.

“If I teach English abroad, I have to teach grade-level students.”

While it is true that schools are the main market for English teachers, there are many universities and English centers that need teachers. There is also a high demand for business English teaching, especially for individuals with business degrees.

Myths like these often convey the wrong kind of reputation to potential teaching abroad candidates. A great way to determine whether or not a program is the right fit for you is by doing your research. Don’t know where to start? Stop by the Study Abroad Office to talk with others about teaching and moving abroad.

8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Teaching Abroad

By: Samantha Ng, College of Computing and Digital Media Admissions Officer and Former Career Center Grad Intern

Postgraduate planning involves a myriad of difficult decisions that will lead you down new and exciting paths; paths that may even take you abroad. One great opportunity to consider post-grad is teaching English abroad. When it comes to relocating to a different country, however, there are certain questions you should ask yourself to determine if you’re ready for this type of career path. Before you embark on this journey, here are a few questions you should ask yourself.

Am I up for the challenge?

You should first dig deep and ask yourself this: is teaching really your interest and passion, or is this really more about traveling and immersion, coupled with time to think more about what to do later? Also, keep in mind that moving to a new country comes with many challenges. Depending on the teaching program, you may receive minimal support when it comes to housing arrangements, adjusting to local culture, overcoming language barriers, etc. However, there are also many programs out there that will pick you up from the airport, provide an orientation for new teachers, set up housing, etc. The level of support desired or independence required is important to consider when applying for different jobs.

Am I willing to pay for a program?

There are generally two routes you can take: find a program that places you in a school, which sometimes requires a fee; or, find a teaching job on your own that provides compensation. Oftentimes, the programs that require a fee are non-profit organizations and sometimes include some sort of teaching certification. However, there are many teaching abroad programs that do not require fees or search sites that can help people find jobs abroad.

Can I afford to teach abroad?

There will most likely be some upfront costs when it comes to teaching abroad. This may include the flights, passports and visa(s) (if applicable), accommodations, health insurance, or a teaching certificate. When considering teaching abroad, do not forget to consider the initial costs you may have to pay.

Do I want to save money or am I willing to break even?

For programs that provide compensation, teachers will either earn savings or break even. In many countries, teachers will receive large compensations, and even housing and airfare. In Asian countries like Thailand, China, and Korea, where the cost of living is cheaper, teachers can earn some savings. However, some European countries like Paris, Spain and Turkey where the cost of living is much higher, teachers are more likely to break even in those locations.

Will I take a certification course?

Many schools and institutions look for their teachers to be qualified in TEFL/TESOL/CELTA. There are online and in-person options for these certifications. These courses will provide you with a better understanding and set of skills in teaching English as a foreign language. The certification can range from $1,000 USD (online) to $3,000 USD (in-person). While there are many programs/schools that do not require a certification, it can help position you as a more competitive candidate, especially if you do not have an education background.

How long do I want to live abroad?

Every teaching program has different placement commitments. Some programs require at least a one academic year contract, while others have weekly or monthly options. Consider different factors (i.e. family, finances, holidays, etc.) in deciding how long you want to live in a foreign country.

Where will I live if I go abroad?

Some schools and companies will provide housing for their teachers. These may be single apartments or shared. However, for some teaching jobs, you may be responsible for finding your own accommodations. Many countries have similar websites like Craigslist that may help with your apartment search.

What do I know about the destination?

Before embarking on a journey to a whole new country, it’s important that you do some research on the culture, food, local customs, laws, safety issues, etc. Since you will be immersing yourself into a new lifestyle, it’s essential that you become familiar with the surroundings in which you will live and work. Some initial research may even get you more excited for what’s to come.

I sat down with Career Advisor Ed Childs to talk teaching and moving abroad. Here are a few top questions he will often raise during advising appointments:

  • Have you explored alumni with first-hand experiences in these target areas?
  • Have you reviewed the skills developed from students and alumni who have worked abroad to help give you ideas for your own guidance?
  • Have you considered augmenting your pay with private tutoring, tours, and restaurant work, or remote freelance work?
  • Would you create a vlog/blog or utilize photo/film equipment while abroad as a potential independent study, or for credit in a grad program?
  • Have you explored grad programs with working abroad built into the curriculum?

Navigating these questions can be tough, but remember, you don’t have to do it alone! Stop by the Study Abroad Office or schedule a chat with Ed at the Career Center to talk about teaching and exploring abroad!