Interviewing From 3,202 Miles Away

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Ever since day one in college every single person I spoke to always said: “Go abroad, it’s a great experience!”

During your 4 years there are so many opportunities available to you. I tried my best to take advantage of every opportunity I possibly could. I even took summer and winter break classes in an effort to fulfill all my required courses so I could go abroad and obtain that “great experience” everyone was talking about.

Before I left to go abroad during the spring semester of my junior year I knew I wanted an internship when I returned for the summer. I thought that given everything is online it would be easy to find internships, apply to them and get a great opportunity when I return.

Little did I know the challenge I would soon face.

While I was abroad, I continued to check my college email from back home. I continued to receive emails from the career services office at my school. They sent alerts of internships that they found. I was interested in one of them so I emailed my resume to them and received an email saying that there would be interviews on campus the following week. Obviously, that wasn’t going to work for me since I was in another country.  I emailed them back telling them about my interest in the opportunity and that I was willing to do a Skype or phone interview because of the fact I was in another country getting the “great experience” everyone was telling me about.

That didn’t fly. They said they would only be doing in-person interviews.

I reflected on this experience and realized that this may reveal the type of company they are. Would I want to work at a company that isn’t willing to make use of current technology and make an exception for me since I was doing what everyone was telling me was a “great experience”? I never would have thought going abroad would hinder me in my internship search.

A Little Advice for Future Interns

When searching for an internship, take every hurdle as a lesson and move on.

I continued to persistently search for an internship, worked with the career services department and found Progressive Business Publications. I had a phone interview with Progressive Business Publications and couldn’t be happier with the internship, the interviewing experience, and their willingness to be flexible.

Tom Schubert Sheds Light on Habits for Success

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This week all eight of the interns gathered to meet with Tom Schubert, PBP’s COO and CFO, to discuss The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. We all agreed that these habits are very crucial for success. One aspect of the book that I found to be particularly important is the point that excellence is not an act but it is a habit. It is the habits of excellence that we perform each and every day.  These are the 7 habits of highly effective people:

  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the end in mind
  3. Put first things first
  4. Think “win/win”
  5. Seek to understand-Then be understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the Saw

Tom Schubert also introduced a method called “The 4 Quads – Putting First Things First”. This exercise allows employees to have an understanding of where they are spending their time throughout the work day. The 4 quadrants are broken up by “urgent but important”, “not urgent but important”, “not important but urgent” and “both, not urgent and not important”. It is important to have most of your daily tasks in quadrant 2, which is “not urgent but important”. Quadrant 2 is important because it is where we develop ourselves, our future and relationships with other people. Tom Schubert also said, “Be the CEO in you.” I believe it is crucial to be in control of each and every thing you do and determine the best way possible to maximize your time.