Category Archives: UCI

If I tell you what I’m looking for, can you send over a student to work for me? (FAQ 7.0)

Let me start out by saying that we love helping employers. Love, love, love it. In fact, we have a team of folks whose duties include supporting employer recruiting efforts. However, as much as our roles involve helping off-campus folks, we ultimately have to keep what’s best for the students and for the university in mind. Which brings us to a question that we get fairly often…

Question: If I tell you what I’m looking for, can you send me a student employee?

Answer: I’m afraid not. The size of our student body makes it impossible for us to know the skills and qualifications of each student, so we are not able to recommend individuals. It’s simply not fair for us to only recommend from the small (in comparison) pool of students we know individually on a campus that has tens of thousands of people. On top of that, we don’t know your office culture well, so we are unable to discern what kind of person would be a good personality fit for your team. Lastly, most students that we encounter want to know what they are getting into before they begin a job.  Ultimately, we want to see students happy with their career choices, but as you can imagine, the chances of that would likely go down if we were to pick jobs for them.

This is what we are trying to help you avoid.

That said, we can give you some suggested recruiting strategies to help you find your desired candidates, and we’ll do our best to support you along the way. Hopefully you agree that this is the best of both worlds!

For those that are ready to learn about what services and resources are available, feel free to reach me via email at dena.o [at] uci.edu

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Building your Internship – Getting Started on the Right Foot (Part 4 of 6)

In parts 1, 2 & 3, you determined your organization’s goals for the internship program, outlined the duties and requirements of your intern, clarified the structure of the internship position(s), decided how you will compensate your interns, and learned how to recruit interns. Today’s post will focus on the next steps, getting ready for their arrival and starting on the right foot.

Prepare the Team
Back in Part 1, you also determined the departments and the supervisors that would be working with the interns, and gave them the opportunity to establish goals. Now that the big day has arrived, everyone invested in your internship program should have a clear understand not only of the topics discussed in Part 1 (here’s a refresher, if you need it) but also how these topics will translate to a typical work day for the intern. This could take the shape of an outline, a handbook, a list, or even simply through conversations with one another.

Supervisors should be prepared to welcome the interns and offer clear, relevant expectations. I also recommend a review of this article by Small Business Trends, specifically Section A for “Authentically Mentor and Coach Your Intern.”

Prepare the Space
Ask yourself a quick question – where will the interns be physically located during their tenure?  If that space (and equipment ) is accessible for them starting on day one, they will immediately feel like they belong (and like their new employer is on top of things)!

Welcome!
Sounds simple enough, right?  Granted, bringing a new body into your work space can be stressful and even nerve-wracking, but I promise you that they are more nervous than you are. Take a moment to look them in the eye, shake their hand and let them know you’re happy they’re here (or that you’re glad to see them…or that you’re excited to work together. Whatever language is the most genuine for you).

Also, keep the rest of the team informed about their arrival. While not everyone will be working closely with the intern, they should at least know about the newcomer, and be prepared to introduce themselves as well. If their new cubicle buddy looks surprised to see them and clearly hasn’t tidied up their half of the desk, the intern will notice, and will likely not feel too good about it.

Help them get connected
The larger your team of interns, the more creative you can get in this area. Facebook and LinkedIn groups? Evening socials?  Weekend service days? Themed days in the office?  Book clubs? Coffee breaks?  The list of things you can schedule for the team is endless.

Coming up in Part 5: Evaluating Performance and Concluding the internship.

Building your Internship – Laying the Foundation (Part 1 of 6)

So, you’re interested in bringing one or more interns into your organization – great idea!  Let’s talk about that…

First off, I’d like to point out two outside resources with which familiarizing yourself is imperative. NACE, or the National Association of Colleges & Employers, and their position on interships, along with the DOL Fact Sheet on Internships.  You’ll find that many guidelines relate to unpaid internships, but I recommend that you consider them universal. Your internship will be well-structured, fair, and ahead of the curve in a number of areas. You will also notice that both have a permanent spot in “Employer Resources” here on this blog, should you ever need to know where to find them. 

After you’ve reviewed the NACE website and the DOL guidelines, I suggest that everyone in your organization who has an investment in your future intern(s) discuss the following areas:

  1. Organizational goals for hosting interns
  2. Departmental goals for hosting interns
  3. Intern duties and learning objectives
  4. Required Intern qualifications

And lastly,

    5. Assign mentors/supervisors in each department hosting interns, and allow mentors/supervisors to establish goals.

You can nail down these topics in a single meeting, in a series of meetings, over email, slowly over time, or any other way that you see fit for your organization. However you decide to approach these topics, the more thorough you are at this stage, the better off you will be in the long run.

It’s also at this stage where opportunities to measure success (however your organization defines it) will become clearer. We’ll touch on that in Part 5!

Coming up next: Part 2 – Setting up Your Program

Until next time,

DBO

To Fair or not to Fair, that is the question…

A common query from employers who are new to student recruitment is “what should I do first?” There are so many options for performing outreach to our campus , that I get why there is some confusion over how (and where to begin).

Often, employers are already familiar with the idea of Career Fairs, and assume that’s where they should begin. For some, that is a great idea. For others, their budget and efforts may be better spent elsewhere. I’d like to suggest that employers considering Career Fair attendance ask themselves the following questions…

  • What exactly are my hiring needs? That’s right, hiring needs. As tempting is it may be, a Career Fair is not a place to come advertise products or services (in fact, we don’t allow it). I recommend that you should be actively looking to hire for at least 2-3 openings/internships in the near future, whatever that means for your organization. The more positions, the better, and the more chances that a student can make a long-term career out of them, the better.
  • Do I see value in having face-to-face interactions with potential employees?  Online/digital applications are very common these days, so it’s no surprise that many of the employers who attend career fairs have electronic apps. In fact, many have to decline paper resumes that are offered to them by students. As a result, when there is no exchange of paper, there is little happening aside from the conversation between the recruiter and the student.  Does your company value such interactions?  Which brings me to…
  • Am I okay with the possibility of talking for 5+ hours? What it really comes down to is whether or not you (or your company’s representatives) can maintain a positive attitude toward each student who approaches your table after a long and tiring afternoon. I have (unfortunately) seen recruiters who wear their exhaustion on their face, and it negatively affects the interactions they have with potential employees.
  • Do I see long-term benefits to having UCI students aware of our opportunities?  You’ll likely spend time talking to students who will be ready for your next wave of job opportunities, but you’ll also meet students who have another year or two of school (or more) to finish before they’re ready to take on work. Are you okay if not every conversation you have results in an immediate application?  To piggy-back on that, there will be students who notice your presence, but who don’t talk to you.  How does that sound to you?

All right, it’s no secret what the answers to these questions should be. What I’m hoping employers understand is that career fairs can be great investments for many, but not everyone. If you only need one student for a part-time opportunity that starts immediately, it’s not your best bet. But if you want to build a pipeline of future graduates and develop long-term relationships, it’s a great way to begin. For those specifically interested in UCI Career Fairs, further details are available here. And, for those joining us later this month (or after), be sure to check out last fall’s Top 5 Career Fair Tips (for recruiters).

-DBO

 

Happy 2012! Here’s what’s coming up…

Hello again from the UCI Career Center! It’s my pleasure to wish you all a Happy New Year. Though we’re still dusting off our keyboards after being away for nearly two weeks, I wanted to give you all a preview about some things to come. Our Winter Quarter highlights include:

  • On-Campus Interviewing, beginning on Monday, January 23
  • Internship & Career Fair, happening on Thursday, January 26 (10am-3pm)
  • Career Fest, happening throughout the month of February!

On top of these in-person events, I’m excited to announce that this quarter, we’re kicking off a new online Employer Relations Newsletter, and that a new blog series on How to Build an Internship is in the works. Stay tuned!

Happy New Year,
DBO

MPACE pictures, part 2 – Everything BUT the social

As promised, here is round 2! As you can see, they kept us busy, but not too busy that I didn’t have time for a few quick photos. I’ll let the pictures (well, and the captions) speak for themselves. Enjoy!

Opening keynote...a few minutes before UCI got a shout-out in front of the whole ballroom!

Who's the girl taking a picture of herself on accident after the session?...Oh, wait. Nevermind.

Action shot of a session #1

Action shot of a session #2

Artsy shot of Shirley Temples in the hotel bar. Mine's on the left.

Beautiful decorations from the mall across the street from our hotel...pretty enough to rival the dangling crystals in my room!

I saw no green pool tables in Portland. Coincidence? Or an Oregon thing?

Bus ride TO the social...the calm before the storm!

Is timing really everything?

For those who are working closely with us here on campus, you might already know that today is the last day official day of class for the Fall 2011 quarter. Which means…next week is Finals Week!  And shortly after that, campus will start to get very, very quiet, as students head home for the holidays. The reason I’m bringing all of this up is to address just how the academic calendar can affect recruitment and hiring.

Granted, not every employer can hire around a school schedule, we certainly get that. ZotLink never closes, so you are absolutely welcome to post your positions as they become available. But, for those who do have the luxury of choosing when to recruit, we suggest keeping the following in mind…

  • UCI is on a quarter system, meaning we have three 10-week academic terms per year – Fall, Winter, and Spring, plus Summer quarter, which is its own entity.  A link to our academic calendars can be found here.
  • The first week of each quarter can be hectic for students – changing schedules, fighting for space in classes, settling back into a routine, etc. It’s not an ideal time to put up a new posting, if you can avoid it.
  • The last week of classes, along with finals week, are also not the best times to recruit. For most, the priorities will be finishing up with academics and going home. 
  • And of course, ZotLink activity is quieter during actual breaks.  UCI Student Housing is closed for breaks/holidays, so going further with hiring steps (interviewing, etc.) can also be tough during these times. 

Is it still possible for you to successfully recruit during parts of the year when ZotLink is quieter? Yes, of course. I wouldn’t say that timing is everything, but when it comes to recruiting, it’s certainly  something.  It nevers hurts to keep the ebbs and flows of the academic calendar in mind as you plan out your  recruiting schedule.

Speaking of schedules, a heads-up that next week, four staff members from UCI (including me) will be representing the Career Center at the annual MPACE Conference in Portland. Get ready for some live blogging coming your way from Oregon!

In the meantime, have a great weekend!
-DBO