An Inspiring Workplace For Boston’s Entrepreneurial Community

Cartoon Wallpaper, A Swinging Work Table and Free Beer

Does that sound like the sedate office spaces of the past? This past summer, we were welcomed for an on- site visit to We Work, a coworking office space in Boston and site of Travis, our marketing intern.

 

As we research and contact new businesses for our students’ internships, we are amazed at the exciting opportunities in Boston’s innovative and entrepreneurial culture.

 

We Work1

WeWork

 

“WeWork is an amazing platform for creators — providing beautiful workspaces and a vibrant, valuable community to freelancers, startups, artists, small businesses and even divisions of large corporations all around the world. Their two Boston buildings are bustling with over 2,000 people who embody an energy that’s off the charts.”

                                                                     -Marlo Fogelman, the CEO of  Marlo Marketing

 

A few photos from our visit:

We Work 2

 

We Work 3

 

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We Work 6

 

Stay tuned for our next blog to hear about Travis’ internship!

 

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Best Mentor in History!

At Internship Connection, we seek out mentors who take a genuine interest in each student. After speaking to Claire Varner, the Chief Academic Officer of HSTRY, https://www.hstry.co/ an exciting startup related to education, Dr. Jabbawy felt that her heartfelt enthusiasm to mentor students as well as her company’s mission related to education would lead to a great internship experience.

logo-hstryWith interests in education, history and business, we placed Chloe, a sophomore at The Rivers School and Derek, a junior at Noble and Greenough, under Claire’s mentorship.

Claire Varner HSTRY

 

HSTRY’s mission is to captivate students. I think it’s wonderful that both Derek and Chloe can see how a new product is launched and how many modifications are made.

                                                               -Mentor Claire Varner, Chief Academic Officer

 

HSTRY is a company that has created a digital learning tool that enables teachers, students and historians to create and explore interactive timelines. Using a platform designed to mimic social media, HSTRY presents content in a format that is easily understood, engaging, and familiar to the 21st century student.

 

On her site visit to Derek and Chloe, Dr. Jabbawy observed a weekly seminar where interns presented their work on PowerPoint from the previous week. Their mentor complimented their work and at the same time, posed questions that would lead to a deeper awareness of the company’s mission.

 

Derek and Chloe

 

Excerpts from Derek’s Journal:

  • Having autonomy when doing my work, creating the timelines; I think this was a rare opportunity for a high school student to gain exposure to this type of internship. It wasn’t just getting coffee but a true learning experience.

 

  • I didn’t realize the enormous scope of the startup industry in Boston- all the various business accelerators, including this one. It’s really a hot industry in Boston.

 

  • Creating content for the timelines took much longer than I thought. It was important to tailor the content to the developmental level of the audience and finding various sources for my research.

 

Excerpts from Chloe’s Journal:

  • I learned that I should be comfortable voicing my opinion in a group setting. Claire loved my idea about using a different color palate for their new concept, wedding timelines. I created a spreadsheet on my wedding research and also created wedding timelines to advertise the product.

 

  • I love the environment, as it is very collaborative and friendly. I already feel like I have a better grasp on what working at a start-up would be like.

 

  • I’ve really enjoyed talking to Claire about her experiences at conferences, meetings with other start up businesses and also asking her questions about her background in education.

 

Chloe at learnlaunch

 

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A Moving Physical Therapy Summer Internship For A High School Junior

A Physical Therapy Internship

Adaptive Sports Program at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

Spaulding sign

What a moving visit we had to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, the site of David’s summer internship. David, a junior at Buckingham, Browne and Nichols, and his older sister are long time Internship Connection clients.  David has always been interested in science, so two summers ago, we placed David on a robotics internship. More recently, after recovering from knee surgery from a soccer injury, David was so impressed with the support and encouragement he received from his physical therapist, he thought that he might consider physical therapy as a career.

 

We placed David in the Adaptive Sports Program at Spaulding Rehab. As an athlete and compassionate young man, he could appreciate what it takes to get back into sports after an injury. In addition, he was also able to shadow a therapist working in their therapy gym. Spaulding in Charlestown is a magnificent facility on Boston Harbor where the Boston Marathon bombing victims were treated.

David assisting a patient

 

“The two main activities we do are canoeing and biking. The patients have fantastic life stories. They have gone through so much, so to help them stay fit and have fun is very rewarding. I get to meet new people every single day. Encouraging them to talk and bond with me is a key part of making both my day and their day fun. All the time, I’m asking patients about their lives…listening to them and just being a friend makes me feel that I am making their day better.”

Spaulding building

 

adapted bikes

 

 

 

Adapting a canoe

 

 

Canoeing!

 

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This Young Intern Helped Make Waves At Swim Across America

“What set Olivia apart from other interns was her age. She was much younger than interns we have had in the past, but her work ethic and skills put her in the best company of some of our best interns.”

 

-Kathleen Mannion, Director of Programs, Swim Across America

 

swimming man and clean ocean water

Olivia was a sophomore athlete at Marblehead High, who loved sports and community service. We felt that both her maturity as well as familiarity with all forms of social media would be a plus for any business or organization. Since she would be taking the commuter boat from the North Shore, we tried to be very careful in scouting out an internship location that would be convenient for her.

 

Swim Across America fit our checklist in every way: great mentors, a perfect match for Olivia’s combined interests and a 5 minute walk to International Place from the commuter boat. Swim Across America is a national non-profit dedicated to raising money for cancer research through swimming related events.

 

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Olivia wrote:

 

“So far at Swim Across America, I have learned a lot of new things about the “real world”. My office is located at One International Place, one of the fanciest office buildings in Boston. Not only being in this building, but being on the top floor, my initial feelings about the work environment were like any other 15 year old’s would be, extremely nervous and anxious. However, once I met Kay and Blake, the transition became a lot more smooth and comfortable. They are two very down to earth people and relatable people and it feels extremely natural working with them.

 

I have helped Blake and Kay out with various tasks. These include: mailing out special T-shirts to those who have reached the “wavemaker donor status, organizing the Swim Across America bill book, correcting duplicates in the online registrant system, helping reply to messages on Twitter, and updating photos on Flickr.

olivia 2

 

In her letter of recommendation, the Director wrote:

 

“Olivia was able to help us with social media, which no intern has done for us in the past. In addition, I asked her to be part of one of our events. She was very hands on, doing whatever was asked of her- the first to carry a box, set up a banner. No task was too small or big for her. Olivia is a wonderful young woman with the combination of a studied head and a charitable heart. She is going to be a great success, whatever she chooses to do.

 

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We Secured A Coveted Sports Internship For This High School Sophomore

Male High School Basketball Team Having Team Talk With Coach

When I ask young men who have called about our program- “What would be your fantasy internship”, almost always their answer is “Interning for the Boston Red Sox.”  While those coveted spots are few and far between, their response tells me that a sports related internship would be ideal.

 

Case in point was Billy, a sophomore at Phillips Academy. Billy was already a talented writer, the Head Manager at Press Room Sports: Boston, a sports blog thatprovided regional news, analysis, and opinions from writers who are just as passionate as their readers.” Billy had written weekly on topics ranging from the Celtics’ rebuilding plans to the “State of the NBA.” He had also written weekly articles for the sports and features section of his school newspaper.

 

We were able to match Billy to one of the coolest and most successful startups located on the Boston Waterfront. Coachup helps athletes reach the next level by connecting them with private coaches in every sport, nationwide.

Billy Coachup

In his journal, Billy wrote:

“The atmosphere at CoachUp has been awesome and I’ve always felt accepted, even though I’m the youngest in the office. It’s great being able to work in an environment I enjoy, rather than one I dread. My mentor, like the rest of the office, is very upbeat and positive. The environment is young, friendly, and enjoyable.”

 

What have you been doing there?

Working on my big project: the e-Book. The e-Book is comprised of articles written by myself and other interns with information we’ll be gathering from conducting phone interviews with some of CoachUp’s more notable coaches (i.e. ex-professionals/college notables).

Other projects include:

  • Working with their website
  • Fixing links on their blogs
  • Sifting through messages between coaches and clients
  • Approving/disapproving many coaching applications
  • Writing some of my own video tip blogs

 

Can you describe a situation during your internship in which you really put yourself out there? How did it made you feel and what did you learn about yourself?

 

A couple of weeks ago I conducted my first phone interview for the e-Book project with former NBA player Lamond Murray. I was kind of nervous at first, because I wasn’t too sure of how seriously he was going to take the interview. I was amazed at how thoughtful he was throughout our conversation and how much information he shared with me about how he grew up playing basketball. I was ecstatic with how well the interview went and even decided to write an extra blog about Lamond’s life because he gave me so much information (you can find the blog on CoachUp’s website). The success of Lamond’s interview instilled a lot of confidence in me, and I couldn’t have asked for a better first interview.

 

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Uncovering Your College Sophomore’s Future Career

College Sophomore

What if my college sophomore has no idea what type of career to pursue?

 

This is a question we hear from both parents of college and high school students. In terms of career advice, when we meet with students, we do a very thorough intake of their interests, experiences and what they are passionate about. Some students can tell us right away about their career interests while others have no idea.  Our specialty is extracting enough information to be able to pose suggestions about the types of careers that might pique their interest as well as the internship placements that we establish, relating to those careers. The following are two examples of students and what we take into consideration as we connect them to internships.

 

 

Alison is a Psychology Major who has always loved Fashion

 

Online marketing is the way to go these days in just about any business and who better to snag marketing positions, than a young person who uses Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. The term “Fashion Tech” describes what’s happening these days in the fashion industry. Almost all businesses need young people to do their social networking. A psych major will be able to apply her classroom studies to approach the idea of how consumers think and act. By experiencing an internship at an online fashion retailer she will be able to observe all the different marketing channels that companies utilize. Over the last 10 years, we have placed students in “Lifestyle” careers that include not only fashion, but Public Relations, Interior Design, Event Planning and more.

 

 

Jonathan is studying Political Science and Chinese

 

Often students have more than one interest. Recently, we met with a political science major who had a minor in Chinese. At this point, he was simply pursuing subjects that he was interested in but really had no idea about what career path to pursue. So we reached out to a Massachusetts State Senator who has a majority of Chinese speaking constituents. Now this young man will be able to intern at the State House, utilize his fluency in Chinese and observe the day-to-day workings of the state legislature. Furthermore, he will be under the supervision of a legislative aide, and by observing what is involved in that position, could potentially lead to a job after graduation.

 

 

Best advice: Nurture your child’s interests

 

Help them find out what they truly enjoy, let them run with it and finally, encourage them to gain as much early exposure to the workplace.

 

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Building Your College Application Story With An Internship

Computer Chip

When we meet with high school sophomores and juniors, applying to college is often at the forefront of their minds as well as the angst of their parents. While their previous experiences may seem a bit disjointed to them, we are able to help them find the unique “thread of interest” that runs through their high school years.

 

The idea for us, is to establish an internship that directly relates to their academic interests. On their college applications, students are able to show that they are pursuing their passions and talents, not only within the school day, but also in a much deeper way. This becomes their story on their applications and college interviews.

 

Setting yourself apart from other students

 

Taking this idea one step further, the following is an example of one student’s college essay about nanotechnology. Not only does he write about his interest in this particular field of science, he is able to talk about the in-depth experience he had through the internship we established for him in high school.

 

 

Ben followed our suggestions about “Telling his Story” in a creative way.

As a side note, he was accepted to both Cornell and Columbia for engineering. Today, years later, he is a businessman, in a field unrelated to science.

 

 Cornell_University_logo.svg

 

 

Academic Interests Essays

 

-Describe your intellectual interests, their evolution, and what makes them exciting to you.

 

A Path to Discovery

After slipping into a white coat, I insert my hands into tight latex gloves, carefully covering my hair with a cap made of thin, crinkly paper. I slide open the heavy rubber curtains, stepping into the clean room, enveloped by dust-collecting Styrofoam and silence. Facing me are two computers and a state of the art, half million-dollar Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), powerful enough to see anything a few billionths of a meter in size. For the next six hours, I will work alone in this room, etching off misaligned carbon nanotubes through wafer-scale electron beam lithography using SEM to define high-resolution features on test chips.

 

Why am I doing this on a beautiful summer day? Imagine computers that boot up instantaneously, cell phones with enough memory to run full-motion video and music clips for days. Or picture a trillion bits of data stored on a chip the size of a postage stamp. These are some of the potentially radical implications of technology being developed at Nantero, the place of my summer internship. I hope in this generation to contribute to the development of these exciting new discoveries in the interrelated fields of engineering, nanoscience and biology.

 

 

-Consider the academic programs in the school/college you indicated on page one. How will you utilize them to further explore your intended major or field of interest (or general academic interests if you’re undecided)?

 

Cornell’s reputation for interdisciplinary research and advanced approaches in nanotechnology are very exciting to me. The Duffield Hall facility and collaborative partnerships within programs is exactly the type of academic setting that is so appealing to me. The Center for Nanoscale systems and ongoing research in carbon-based nanoelectronics and silicon nanoelectronics is are of particular interest and relate to my separate summer internships working with printed circuit boards as well as carbon nanotubes. Also, the opportunity for undergraduate research at Cornell is very important to me.

 

I am seeking a broad-based and well-rounded education and Cornell’s strengths in Liberal Arts combined with excellence in science and engineering would provide the perfect match for my academic interests.

 

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Should You Include High School Experience On Your College Resume?

Continuing our series on resume writing, college students often ask us if they should include their high school experiences on a college resume.

 

Staff members at college career centers will often tell students that once in college, you should never list high school activities on a resume. However, from our perspective, most college freshman and even sophomores really don’t have enough college experiences that would reveal enough to a potential employer.

 

Plus, students should really be focusing on academics for the first year! Therefore, we suggest a combination resume that lists college activities first and relevant high school activities second. As the student gains more experience each year, high school activities can be pared down or eliminated.

 

Here is a resume that includes both high school and college experiences:

Sample College Resume

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High School Resume Guidance For Upward Bound Students

December/January is the time of year students should be thinking about summer jobs and internships. Creating a high school resume is the first step necessary before reaching out to a potential place of work.

 

We recommend that students create a 1-page resume, listing only their most important activities and experiences. The rule of thumb for resumes is 1 page per 10 years of experience.

 

Sample Format for a Chronological Resume using Action Verbs.

 

* The sections for athletics and honors can be omitted if not applicable.

 

high school resume

 

When describing degree of expertise in language:

 

For basic knowledge, use the term: “working knowledge of Mandarin”

Higher level, use the term “proficient in Spanish”

Most advanced would be “fluent” in French”

 

Now you are ready to apply!

 

Once you create a resume, you should update it every year, putting your most recent experiences first. Not only will you have a resume on hand as positions come up but you will have one ready to go for your college applications.

 

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An Inspiring Internship at PayPal’s Boston Headquarters

PayPal's Boston Headquarters

 

Are you thinking about a college internship in Boston? What could be more exciting than a summer internship in Boston at the ultra modern PayPal headquarters? Harrison, a student at Babson College, told us about his interest of interning at a startup, so we established an internship for him at an exciting company in PayPal’s business incubator, Start Tank, which offers entrepreneurs free office space in downtown Boston, along with seminars and mentorship from PayPal employees.

 

Harrison had a very successful interview on a Friday and went to work immediately on Monday! At Cylent Systems, he interned for the two founders, seasoned entrepreneurs who sold their last company to IBM. Cylent Systems is a high tech startup that delivers automatic real-time disruption of cyber attacks and a 24×7 response service to businesses and organizations.

 

 

Working at PayPal

PayPal's Boston Headquarters

 

Harrison: “I’ve enjoyed working with my mentors Mike and Jack, as well as all of the other founders at Start Tank. Everyone that I have met has been very friendly and my mentors have acted more like teachers than bosses. To best describe the environment at the Start Tank it would be similar to a giant library with small study groups working on their own projects.

 

I’ve vastly enjoyed the work I have done, which has included researching similar companies’ strategies and creating lists of potential clients to contact. I have also researched competitors. That research included their fundraising, financial statistics, revenue and all demographics. I have been able to sit in on meetings with design partners and clients who will be testing our beta product. I have found the work very meaningful and I have also learned a great deal about computer security and hacking.”

 

 

Lunch with My Bosses

Harrison, Cylent Systems Internship

Harrison, Internship Connection Intern with Michael Duffy, Founder and CEO of Cylent Systems

“My favorite part of the internship was being able to go out to lunch everyday with both of my bosses. It has allowed me to get to know both of them on more of a personal level and I have been able to ask questions about starting a business, something that I tentatively plan to do when I’m out of college. It’s also been great because I have been able to try a lot of really great restaurants close to us, and because of that I’m a huge fan of Thai food.”

 

 

Lessons about Speaking Up

 

“One time I was sitting in on a meeting with the engineers. I by no means have any kind of knowledge about computers or programming so while I felt a bit timid, I kept asking  questions about the software. This turned out to be helpful because I better grasped the concept of how anti-virus software works and in turn I acted as a potential client where the engineers on the team had the opportunity to explain the software on a less advanced level. I learned that it’s certainly better to ask questions rather than pretending you know the answer.

 

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