Throwback Thursday: These four PBP employees were once interns here

As our summer internships only have a few weeks left, I thought it would be interesting to get some insight from four past PBP interns that continued working at PBP full-time once their internships ended.

 

2013 Interns featuring Mike and Pat

Summer 2013 Interns featuring Mike and Pat

(From l-r): Chris, Kal, Emily, Ashley, Julia, Meredith, Ed, and Alex.

Summer 2014 Interns featuring Ashley and Julia

 

ashley head shotAshley Zawistowski was an Editorial intern last summer and continued working in the Editorial department full-time in August. Prior to her professional life, she was a competitive gymnast where she accidentally found out she has four extra bones in her body! After getting X-rays for her various gymnast injuries, she was told that she has one extra vertebra, two extra ribs and an extra bone in her foot.

julia head shotJulia Scavicchio was also an Editorial intern last summer and began her career at PBP soon after her internship was over. Unlike Ashley, Julia switched departments and now works in the Media division using her writing skills as a Digital Content Specialist. During her time in college, she developed her leadership skills as a Varsity Coxswain.

 

4Mike Elisio is a Product Marketer who interned with PBP during the 2013 summer in the Executive Education department. He began his full-time position in June of last year after his graduation from Gettysburg College. Mike once used the Heimlich on his friend’s brother when he was choking. (If I ever start choking while eating my lunch, I now know who to run to!)

patPat Schober is another past Editorial intern who now works in Editorial full-time. He was an intern during the 2013 summer with Mike and started his Editorial job in January of 2014. He continues writing in his free time and has written a couple of novels. However, he ran out of steam on both of them, so neither of the novels has made it to a second draft.

 

Post-intern & Post-hired Reflections

I was able to get answers from Ashley, Julia, Mike and Pat on four questions that may help us current interns and any future PBP interns. Read below to find out what they enjoyed about their internships and how it prepared them for their job now, as well as why they decided to work at PBP full-time. They also gave advice for the current and future PBP interns!

 

1) What was your favorite part about your internship?

Ashley: “I enjoyed learning about the different newsletters and having the opportunity to work on several before my internship ended. I also loved the intern group I got to know and work with throughout the summer!”

Julia: My favorite part of the internship was learning about all the different publications. The experience greatly influenced my writing style.”

Mike: Working hands-on preparing presentation materials for the sales team.”

Pat: My favorite part of the internship was all the stuff I learned. Getting moved from publication to publication every few weeks exposed me to areas of business I would otherwise know nothing about.”

 

2) Why did you decide to work at PBP full time?

Ashley: “Having a job fresh out of college isn’t something every recent grad can say, so I wasn’t about to let this job offer go! I really enjoyed my experience as an intern, so that played a big role in my decision to stick around full-time.”

Julia: The position offered to me by Media opened the door to a career path. My research and writing is unique to any other publication on the web, and I’ve developed an expertise thanks to this opportunity. The work is challenging, but I derive a lot value from being a Digital Content Specialist.”

Mike: I liked the atmosphere and it was close enough to commute.”

Pat: I like the people here and the challenges that come with writing business newsletters.”

 

3) How did your internship prepare you for your job now?

Ashley: Editorial interns really do exactly what new-hires in the department do, so the transition was seamless. The only real difference was that once I was hired I was assigned to one specific pub, rather than rotating. Other than that, learning about PBP’s style and the different features in each newsletter helped ensure I was prepared.”

Julia: Editorial provides awesome training, and Media is quickly expanding. The two combined has helped me maximize my potential.”

Mike: It gave me a better sense of what the environment is like in the professional world.”

Pat: Well, it taught me the PBP style, so it was a relatively easy transition going from intern to employee. Plus, a couple publications I worked on as an intern I ended up working on as a full-time. And when I got here, I already knew all my co-workers, so that was nice!”

 

4) Do you have any advice for this year’s interns or future PBP interns?

Ashley: “My biggest piece of advice is to ask for more work! When you have downtime, don’t be afraid to say so. At the end of the day, this internship is what you make it. Challenge yourself by asking if there are other tasks you can learn or other aspects of employees’ daily routines you can take part in.”

Julia: Enjoy the summer and keep up with your LinkedIn profile.”

Mike: Actively look for things to do and help with. It’s more engaging and you won’t get bored. Plus it helps set you apart from other candidates for full-time positions.”

Pat: Get involved as much as you can, and ask a lot of questions. PBP has a lot of great talent, and you can learn a lot from the people around you.”

Settling in at PBP

pbp interns

This week concludes our sixth week of our internship at Progressive Business Publications, officially half way through!  Although it has been 6 weeks, it feels like it was yesterday that we had our first day. Boy does time fly when you are having fun! The first few days came with a combination of nervousness and feelings of excitement but now all the anxiety has worn off. Between finally finding our way around the building without a map and learning to prioritize our daily tasks, we have all adapted quickly and are now very comfortable at PBP.

Unlike others, for us the purpose of adapting as interns is not just to survive but to learn, grow, and contribute. Here are a few quotes from us interns on some things we have learned, accomplished or enjoyed from our first 6 weeks here at PBP!

Christina- “I’ve learned a lot of different skills in the publication product marketing department, from writing headlines to understanding HTML for email marketing . I have also really enjoyed the intern “Traditions” class where I have learned more about myself, specifically my strengths, as well as hearing from other PBP employees and their advice to us interns.”

Kevin– “I have met so many great people who immediately made me feel part of the PBP family. Through my 6 weeks in the AC division I have learned so much about direct marketing that I don’t think I could have learned in a classroom setting. Jess allowed me to take over the Managers Are Heroes twitter and I have really enjoyed driving new customers to view our amazing content.”

Caroline– “I have enjoyed forming friendships with everyone in AC and creating content for the women’s leadership group.”

Jake– “I’ve been assigned to interview managers from the different Business Units to understand how reports are being used throughout the company. It’s been very interesting to meet people from all parts of the company and try to piece together the way PBP operates.”

Paige– “This internship has been a great opportunity to absorb information from attending meetings and executing projects. I am enjoying this internship. The structure of the program is great. Traditions has been interesting to learn about the company and learn more from employees here at PBP.”

Eugena– “At the PBP Media Division, I’ve been learning about SEO and putting the theory into practice. This is a crucial aspect of digital marketing and is fascinating to be educated in. It’s given me a new perspective on how much goes on in the background of Google, a function that all of us mindlessly utilize every day.”

Anthony– “I have enjoyed learning all of the different writing styles for my publications. I have worked on and successfully written articles that were published online for Administrative Professional Update and Facility Managers Alert. I enjoy how friendly and helpful everyone is and how there are plenty of opportunities to ask questions.”

Amanda– “I’ve loved the editors I’ve had the chance to work with, and I’ve learned a ton about the different topics I’m writing about. I’ve refined my writing style and even got the chance to write stories that are now published!”

Thank you so much to everyone for making all of us feel so welcome and at home. If you have not met us yet we would love to meet you so if you see us around, give us a wave!

Twitter Contest Update

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With this week marking roughly the halfway point of our internships, we first want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have participated in the contests on Twitter and would encourage even more people to participate in the coming weeks. What’s the worst that can happen? It’s not like your twitter will be on private and we won’t see your tweet and you’ll get ripped off with points (once again, sorry Stephanie!)

We know these contests are the first thing you guys think of when you wake up in the morning so we thought it would be a good idea to give you an insight into the contest and give you that extra boost of confidence before you set up the grill for some serious BBQ’n this weekend.

Stephanie Reid – 7 pts.

Beth Novick – 5 pts.

Tyrone Pernsley – 4 pts.

Joshua Cole – 3.5 pts.

Julia Scavicchio – 3.5 pts.

Nicole Reigl – 3.5 pts.

Jim Murphy – 2 pts.

Kate McNally – 2 pts.

Patrick Schober – 2 pts.

John Benbrook – 1.5 pts.

Wannetta Turner – 1.5 pts.

Samantha Schwartz – 1 pt.

Glenn Junker – 0.5 pt.

Jim Murphy – 0.5 pt.

Kim Gentile – 0.5 pt.

Yvette Miller – 0.5 pt.

 

Please note that these points are correct as of Wednesday July 1. They do not include the contest winner for the week of 6/29.

Once again thank you for participating and have a safe and happy holiday! We look forward to continuing the contests after the holiday (:

Traditions: Life advice with cookies on the side

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This week the eight of us got the chance to meet some top execs in the company. CEO John Benbrook and COO & CFO Tom Schubert joined us for lunch at our weekly Traditions class.

After rushing to grab sandwiches and salad, we all sat around the boardroom table ready to share about ourselves.

John Benbrook and Tom Schubert both shared their entire careers – from college to PBP – and we got the chance to ask them any questions we wanted.

They talked about the biggest challenges they face working in the company, their affinity for soccer and basketball, and also their biggest joys in life. One thing they both expressed was that they love working with the great people here at PBP.

We appreciated the casual atmosphere of the lunch and the fact that both the CEO and CFO were very open and receptive to us. We’ve found that at PBP, people don’t need to put on a facade, they are themselves.

So what were the main take-aways from the day? Besides stealing a mountain of cookies for our department, we all received great, useful words of wisdom from both execs. Here’s some advice that resonated with us:

  • Don’t miss out on opportunities. You never know what direction life is going to take you and you want to live it without any regrets.
  • Focus early in life. You’re never too young to start making a plan and taking initiative. Your choices are up to you and it’s never too early to get a head start on where you want end up.
  • Strive for excellence, not perfection. Try to be great! But if you try to be perfect, you’ll always fail and be unhappy.
  • Define what makes you happy. Happiness is extremely important, and you should define what makes you happy so that you can strive for the things that you enjoy.
  • Enjoy life’s journey. There are so many great stages in life. Embrace them as they come and try to stay positive through life’s trials.

Jumping Right In! PBP’s Eight New Interns

With two weeks down for some and a week for others, we are beginning to feel situated here at PBP! We are all working in different divisions of PBP and learning so much!

Aside from our different departments, the eight of us will be working together to post weekly blogs as well as daily tweets! Make sure you stay updated on this blog for new posts by each intern and follow @PBPInterns on Twitter for daily updates and fun office challenges!

Last week, we had our first PBP Traditions meeting, a weekly two hour orientation class that all interns take part in. After playing a couple of ice breaker games, we were able to learn so much about each other. Now it’s time for you to learn a little bit about us…

 

Amanda Abrom (PBP Editorial)delaware      

Hometown: Lancaster, Pennsylvania

School: University of Delaware

Major(s)/Minor: Economics and English with a Dance minor

Fun Fact: She choreographs musicals at her school!

 

sju

Anthony Panvini (PBP Editorial)

Hometown: South Philadelphia

School: Saint Joseph’s University

Major(s)/Minor: English (Journalism) and Communications

Fun Fact: He has 22 pairs of basketball shoes!

 

Caroline Dorey-Stein (PBP Executive Education/Conferences)

Hometown: Narberth, Pennsylvaniafm

School: She recently graduated from Franklin and Marshall College

Major(s)/Minor: English Literature

Fun Fact: She is a milk connoisseur!

 

 

Christina Gould (PBP Publication Product Marketing)

Hometown: Newtown, ConnecticutHaverford_logo

School: Haverford College

Major(s)/Minor: Economics

Fun Fact: She studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark for a semester!

 

Eugena Lee (PBP Media Division)upenn

Hometown: Philadelphia

School: University of Pennsylvania

Major(s)/Minor: Marketing and OPIM with a minor in Fine Arts.

Fun Fact: She used to be a competitive ballroom dancer!

 

Jake Eastman (PBP Analytics)penn state

Hometown: Schwenksville, Pennsylvania

School: He recently graduated from Penn State

Major(s)/Minor: Management Information Systems

Fun Fact: He loves to go see live music!

 

 Kevin McCarthy (PBP Audio Conferences)gettysburg

Hometown: Yardley, Pennsylvania

School: Gettysburg College

Major(s)/Minor: Organization and Management Studies

Fun Fact: He started a laundry service at Gettysburg!

 

Paige Preston (PBP Gifts and Incentives)elizabethtown

Hometown: Birchrunville, Pennsylvania

School: Elizabethtown College

Major(s)/Minor: Corporate Communications with a Business Administration minor

Fun Fact: She studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland for 4 months!

 

 

How’s that RESUME Look?

We all want to work at our dream job, right? So not a single day ever feels like work, right? But to get that so-called dream job you’ll need to have a killer interview. And before you can even interview you need the most important tool to sell yourself to employers, recruiters, and HR departments before they ever even meet you. What is it you may ask? It’s having an effective resume! Here’s a few tips and guidelines to improving that resume to get you through the company’s door and landing that interview.resume-interview-620x480

1.) Formatting Your Resume

Generally the first time a resume gets looked at it’s for 10-25 seconds. What’s this mean? This means that your resume better be as clear and concise as possible.

  • Be sure to use a logical format and wide margins, and clean type along with clear headings.
  • Use bullets in order to call attention to important points.
  • Apply bold and italic typeface to help guide the reader’s eye to important content.

2.) Identify Accomplishments, Not Job Descriptions

Hiring managers seek candidates who can assist them with solving a problem or satisfying a need in their company, so you’ll need to make sure your resume states how you’ve solved similar problems at past work experiences.

  • Focus on what you did in the job.
  • Include one or two top line description of the job, then list accomplishments.
  • Accomplishments should be unique, not just a list of day-to-day tasks.
  • For each point/accomplishment you should ask yourself, what was the benefit of having done what you did?

3.) Quantify Accomplishments

When it comes to reviewing resumes, a very common mistake hiring managers face every day is the use of too much industry jargon and confusing general claims. Be sure to use your resume as a marketing tool to sell your skills and strengths effectively.

  • Include specific achievements and accomplishments that will send a comprehensive picture of your marketability.
  • Quantify achievements at any chance you get by generating percentages, dollar amounts, number of employees, results, etc. These are big confidence boosters for hiring managers.tailor_255x255

4.) Tailor Your Resume for the Industry

When designing your resume you need to be aware of the industry you’re going into and what kind of territory comes with that industry. For example, the resume of someone in advertising and design has a lot more leeway when it comes to creativity with the layout compared to someone in chemical engineering.

  • When in doubt stay on the conservative side when it comes to style (not to be confused with boring… more along the lines of less flashy if you’re a chemical engineer.)
  • Essentials: Accomplishments, grammatically-correctness, error-free writing, and a clean crisp type will make the right impression.
  • When revising don’t rely on spell check… Use it, but review it many times yourself, and then get another set of eyes to look it over to get another perspective on things.

5.) Think Career Summary Versus Your Objective

What’s the difference? A Career Summary gives a brief overview of who you are and what you do. Where Objectives all sound the same: seeking a challenging position, interested in position A where I can use my skills A, B, and C in order to contribute to the bottom line. What does that tell us? Not much at all.

  • With a Career Summary you need to grab that hiring manager’s attention right from the get-go, with keeping in mind you have less than 25 seconds to make a good impression.
  • Spend a decent amount of time developing your career summary so you achieve getting their attention by accurately and effectively describing you as a solution to their problems.

6.) Network! Network! Network!

If you’re an unemployed candidate, then handing out resumes should be a full-time job. The majority of positions today are filled through networking, so contacting anyone and everyone you know with the addition of recruiters who are in a position to hire or provide insights is crucial. Networking can include:

  • Personal business contacts, people you’ve worked for or who worked for you.
  • Vendors / sales representatives you’ve dealt with in past 5 years.
  • Friends and family that work in the same or similar industries.
  • People listed in alumni directories of your alma mater.

With a solid resume you’ll greatly increase your chances of getting through the door, landing that interview, and being one step closer to securing your dream job.

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From Fiesta to Formula Sheets: Adjusting to the Workplace Post Study Abroad

The thrill of studying abroad is hard to beat. Being in a foreign environment constantly keeps the brain active—it has been five months of exploring; taking in culture, language, and delicious food—and you miss it so much that it is sometimes hard to focus (this article explains it pretty well).

All of the positive changes that coincide with living in a different country also come with some negative side effects (which are often unexpected because, well, who reads the fine print?). Thus, there is no doubt that your new found travel bug is making you itch to escape your cubicle.

Here are some simple tips to keep you active and enthusiastic about your work while trying to adjust back to the United States frame of mind.

PicMonkey Collage

Be creative! Design your space in a way that makes you excited to go to work.

1) The first and most important thing to do in avoiding PTSAD (Post Traumatic Study Abroad Disorder) is to find adventure no matter where you are. Revamp the ordinary. Remodel bland. Make yourself known. Maybe decorate your desk, or pack yourself exotic foods for lunch, or add fun themes to Casual Fridays.

Personally, I added an exercise ball to my workspace. Rather than being stationary in a regular office chair all day, the exercise ball keeps me moving and my blood pumping, keeping my brain active and ready for the workload that lies ahead.Get creative with how you want your workspace to look; considering the amount of time you spend in the office every day, it really becomes your second home. On the right are some examples of extraordinary cubicle décor if you are looking for some inspiration.

2) It’s all about attitude.Keeping a positive attitude shows that you appreciate the great opportunities of right now, rather than dwelling on the things you had in the past overseas. Sometimes, all it takes is a smile.When we smile, the muscle memory of this action triggers receptors in our brains that stimulate a feeling of happiness. This phenomenon falls under the facial feedback hypothesis, and was tested by Strack, Martin, and Stepper in 1988.

They created a study testing two groups: one group was instructed to hold a pen in their mouths in a way that caused a frown, and the others held the pen in their mouths horizontally, forcing a smile. Then, both groups were asked to rate cartoons based on how funny they felt they were. The results show that the smiling group consistently found the cartoons to be funnier, indicating that the action of smiling in itself changed the way people perceived the stimuli. This idea can be easily applied to how we experience our work.

3) Use your new perspective to your advantage.Try to apply what you’ve learned to whatever it is that is giving you trouble in the office. The purpose of living abroad is to gain perspective, learn about yourself, and broaden your horizons, so you might as well put all of that newfound knowledge to good use. Make it a personal goal to prove to yourself (and your employer) that you have grown intellectually and extrovertly.  This could be applied to money conservation techniques, confidence in your presentations, extracurricular involvement, intra-office leadership skills, and more.

As Robert Tew once said, “Challenge yourself every day to do better and be better. Remember, growth starts with a decision to move beyond your present circumstances.” And as Hannah Montana once said, “Life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock.”

Traditions: Advice from the Top

One of the many reasons I decided to intern here at PBP is that interns are truly made to feel part of the company, from the kinds of assignments we are given to our inclusion in work-related events and training.  Like all other new hires, interns participate in “Traditions,” a seven-week orientation program.

During Traditions, we play fun icebreakers to get to know each other, explore our individual strengths and how to enhance them, learn about the history of the company, and receive valuable advice and insight from top PBP executives.

(From l-r): Chris, Kal, Emily, Ashley, Julia, Meredith, Ed, and Alex.

(From l-r): Chris, Kal, Emily, Ashley, Julia, Meredith, Ed, and Alex.

Last week during Traditions, we had the opportunity to have a Q&A session over lunch with Ed Satell, PBP’s CEO, and Tom Schubert, the COO and CFO.  Ed was inspiring when he encouraged us to “create our own realities,” much the way he did when he started PBP.

Ed explained how, while he was pursuing his undergraduate degree at the University of Connecticut, he began working as a china salesman.  After experiencing success at sales, in 1959 Ed founded PBP’s parent company, American Future Systems (AFS).  Then, in the 1980s, PBP was born when Ed expanded into the world of publications.  PBP’s first newsletter, The Selling Advantage, was aimed at helping other business executives do their jobs better.

Since then, PBP has grown substantially, publishing twenty different newsletters, and encompassing many different divisions, such as Progressive Gifts & Incentives and Progressive Business Executive Education.

By telling his own success story, Ed made us feel as though we could also turn our dreams into realities. Ed taught us that to be great leaders, we should always remember to help others, ask more questions than we give answers, stay resilient, and view every experience as a building block to a future goal.

Tom added that mentors can be great resources to interns and other young professionals.  A mentor can be a peer or someone at a higher level, but in either case, you should not hesitate to ask for guidance, or simply to strike up a conversation.   One key aspect of success is to expose yourself to as many ideas, opinions, and job functions as possible.

When we left lunch, we all felt both humbled and empowered and are looking forward to the next Traditions class.

Keep up to date with what we are doing by following us on Twitter.  Make sure to participate in #TriviaTuesday and look out for Phoebe the PBP Polar Bear in #WhereIsItWednesday for your chance to win a prize.

How to be productive during a slow day

We have all been there: the day is dragging on and all of your assignments are complete. Now,  if only the last couple hours could go faster…

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What not to do.

When faced with this dilemma, it’s sometimes tempting to get off track. Facebook, Twitter, ESPN, Instagram, and others are where people will go to kill the time at the desk. But is that going to impress your boss? Is that an efficient way to spend your time? Being productive when you have some downtime  is a great quality to possess, and it could leave a lasting impression on those around you.

So how can you be productive when the day is slow and you’ve finished all your tasks? Here are 3 easy tips:

  1. Organize: Organizing your workspace and assignments is crucial to having efficient days. It is important to know where everything is and be able to get to it easily.
  1. Help others: You may be all caught up, but your fellow employees may not be. Ask  if there’s anything you can do for them! It’s a big help for co-workers and they’ll return the favor next time you are caught in a time crunch!
  1. Get ahead: There is going to come a time when you have so much work and not enough time. So why not get ahead while you can to ease the stress?! Start outlining the next few days and map out your action plan to ease the tension and make the rest of the week manageable.

Using these 3 simple strategies can help you be more productive, even during the slowest of days. The time will go faster and you are sure to be prepared for the road ahead!

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So You Want an Internship?

Summer comes around and for a college kid you have a few options for work. You could work at the local YMCA, grocery store, get a landscaping job with your buddy’s dad’s company… Or you could work somewhere that’ll help you reach your long term career goals. How so? Well, with an internship of course! Here’s a few tips and pointers to get that internship:

1.) Make your listshutterstock_9255982
Think about what you want to do. Know what interests you, what you want to learn how to do, and what you could see yourself doing 10 years from now. With this information, write down some places and/or lines of work that you could see yourself in.

2.) Do your research
Research big companies in your area, or in the location you want to work, in order to find a good internship program. Bigger companies are more likely to have a well-established program to meet all your needs as an intern. But, don’t be afraid to pursue smaller companies for internship opportunities if it seems like it’s the line of work you want to be in.

3.) Know the company
This piece also requires some research. You need to research the company and its product lines to familiarize yourself with what the company does, how they do what they do, and most importantly why they do what they do. This will give you a better understanding to whether or not the company is a good fit and show employers come interview time that you did your homework!

4.) Make sure it’s attainable
When researching and looking through internship opportunities you need to make sure that it’s one that is attainable and realistic. So, make sure that you have transportation, living, and all other necessities worked out in order for this internship to work. The last thing you want is to commit yourself to an awesome internship program and have to pull out at the last minute.

5.) Build and trim that resume
In terms of building the right resume, your ultimate goal should be to make it as clear and thorough as possible so an employer will see and feel that you are the right candidate for the job. You need to hone in on the key skills and requirements that the employer is looking for. Be sure to tailor your resume to each internship you apply for, as the skills and requirements will most likely vary upon position, department, industry, etc.

6.) Reach out and contact
Contacting employers for internship opportunities can vary. If there is a formal application program, then be sure to write out your application and apply online or by mailing in (go with the preferred method of the employer). Be sure to do a little digging and research to figure out who will be receiving your application. If you don’t know this you can probably figure it out by calling HR and asking them who handles hiring. Then, be sure to contact that person via email or letter displaying your interest and explaining why you would make a good fit.

7.) Fine-tune your interview skills
Before you go waltzing in there for an interview you need to make sure you’ve done the right preparation. A big one is knowing your resume and yourself better than anyone else. If you can’t sell yourself and what’s on the sheet of paper you hand them, then you probably won’t get that second interview or the job at all. In addition to knowing yourself, be sure to do research on the company and the position you’re applying for. You need to understand the position and why you’re the best match for it by providing concrete examples to the interviewer. When interviewing be sure to be enthusiastic and confident, but not over the top. Show this through a firm handshake, positive eye-contact, confident body language, and carefully thought-out responses. And don’t be afraid to literally state to the interviewer/hiring manager that you want the position and following it up with why.

8.) Follow-Up
Any time you talk or have an interview with someone at a company, be sure to thank them and remind them that you’re out there and still want to intern with them. This can be done by means of email, letters, or both. This will reinforce your interest in the company and the position, in addition to keeping you fresh in the minds of the employer.

 

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