Tag: uic

How to get an internship

So this week, while sitting in my monthly internship seminar, it dawned on me: I talk a lot about my internship experiences on my blog, but shouldn’t I offer some of my tips to my readers? Well, today I will be doing exactly that!

I’ve been fortunate enough to have held three internships. The truth is, finding an internship can be a long and arduous process. It takes tons of research and follow-ups to get an internship. However, if you follow my tips below, I sincerely believe you should have no trouble landing an internship for next semester!

  • First internship? Search local.

My first internship was actually here at the UIC Office of Sustainability. Previous to holding this internship, I had no other work experience related to my major. I figured an internship on campus would actually be ideal for my first internship, because it is a) on campus and b) a great way to begin my career training doing something for my school. This is why I highly recommend you apply for something more in-reach when looking for your first internship. Not only is it convenient, but it also provides you a great connection to UIC.

  • Research online

When looking for an internship, I always spend a lot of time using Google or other internship websites sifting through the various opportunities out there. There are a TON of internship opportunities out there. Some of my favorite websites are internships.com, entertainmentcareers.com, and UIC’s Career Services website. Also, your college should have an internship advisor, so it would be wise to go in and talk to them about opportunities. 

  • Can’t find one? Make a call!

If you can’t find an internship, try calling a company or business of your interest and ask their manager if they are hiring any interns. Although I have never done this personally, I have heard plenty of students who have had luck obtaining an internship simply because they made an effort by calling the business. Sometimes business aren’t hiring interns but are willing to bring one on if you make a good case of why they should!

  • Apply promptly

Once you come across an interesting internship, apply right away! Chances are other people are applying for the internship at the same time you are. If you delay in sending your application and resume, these people will have a better chance of getting the internship, simply because they applied first.

  • Revise your cover letter and resume

This should be pretty known already, but make sure you have your cover letter and resume revised before submitting them. It is imperative. No employer wants to see tons of misspellings and grammar mistakes.

  • The importance of the follow-up

So you can apply for as many internship as you want, but the hardest part is getting a response from the company. This is why it is EXTREMELY important to follow up a week or two after you submit your application. How? Just send a nice email to the hiring manager asking about the status of your application. If they do not reply to your follow up within a week, send one again! Every internship I have received is because I followed up on my application. Take a gulp of courage and follow up on your application!

  • Interview, Interview, Interview

This should be straight forward as well, but make sure you prepare for any interviews you get. UIC’s Office of Career Services provides great mock interviews, so if you aren’t comfortable with your interviewing skills, this is a great way to get practice. Also, make sure you dress nice — dress to impress!
With these simple tips, I think you have a good chance of landing an internship. Internships are  good opportunities to apply everything you’re learning in the classroom into a real-life setting. With an internship, your odds of getting a job after graduation are much more likely!
So what are you waiting for? Get on it!
Until next time…
Mike : )

Student elections 2013

As some of you may know, this week UIC is holding its annual student elections. During student elections, undergraduates vote for the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) president and vice president. Additionally, both undergraduate and graduate students vote for their choice for student trustee. This year, the only position that has two candidates is the student trustee position.

I’m writing this blog to encourage all of you students to vote! Vote today and Wednesday for your favorite candidate! Here are links to the two candidates. Please review them and their platform and decide who you will vote for:

 Ponnu Padiyara

Danielle Leibowitz

Interning for success

When I came to UIC, I knew that I couldn’t possibly learn everything about my future career in the classroom. I had to extend a foot outside class and learn how to apply my theories from class into practice.

As a communication major and managerial skills minor, my goal is to be involved in the field of public relations after graduation. In fact, my dream job is to be a public relations manager for a record label or recording artist. In order to fully grasp what it takes to make it in the business, I understood that I needed to learn all I could about the field.

I landed my first internship sophomore year. I was fortunate enough to be hired as a social media intern for the Office of Sustainability here on campus. In that role, I contributed to the office blog, added content to the website, ran the Facebook page and Twitter account for the office and helped spread awareness about the office’s initiatives through a couple of videos I made for the organization. It was a great way to learn how to represent a brand and communicate with others through social media and online tools. I am truly happy I was able to start my career-oriented work at the Office of Sustainability.

A video I made at the Office of Sustainability internship

After about a year of interning for the office, I decided to pursue other interests for my junior year of college. Last semester, I started remotely interning for a independent record label. I learned some valuable stuff about the business and what happens behind the scenes of the music industry. I also learned a thing or two about online promotions and event planning through webinars with industry professionals. However, I felt the need to be in a physical workspace. The internship at the label was a good sneak preview of the public relations and communications field in the music industry; however, I wanted a full preview.

Before break last semester I began looking for a new internship. Around that time, I had a chance to meet the promotions manager for a major radio network in Chicago during a class presentation. It was then I learned of a promotions internship opportunity. After applying, I was able to snag an interview. After a great interview this past Wednesday, I was happy to find out that I got it! In the coming weeks, I will begin a new experience as a promotions intern for a major radio network. I am more than excited to start, as this internship will show me hands-on how to conduct great promotions and public relations.

Interning is essential if you want to get a great job when you graduate. I really encourage all of you to intern if you haven’t yet! Not only are you able to receive academic credit for it, but more importantly, you will learn a great deal about what you want to do later in life. You will also have some experience to show your employers when you begin job hunting. To be quite honest, the benefits of an internship are endless.

Are internships hard to find? Not at all! Is it hard to get into one? Maybe. Luckily, UIC has a variety of resources for internships and prepping. Go to the UIC Office of Career Services website to look at a list of places that are currently look for interns. Also, if you search the careers section of the website for a company where you’d like to intern, I’m sure you will find some great opportunities for internships. Furthermore, I know if you get in contact with the LAS Internship Program they will be more than willing to help you find some organizations you can intern at.

The point is — there are many places you can intern. You just have to take the first step and start looking! Interning benefits you in a number of ways…so get to it!

The joys of commuting…seriously!

To you 85% of commuter students at UIC: No, this blog headline is not sarcasm. I actually enjoy commuting! Just hear me out.

So today I was driving home and found myself, as always, singing out LOUD the lyrics to my favorite songs. It was a long, tiring day and little things, like singing out loud on my way home, get out some of the tensions and pains of the day. It’s little things like this that made me realize commuting really isn’t that bad!

Freshman year, I was kind of bummed and worried that I wouldn’t be dorming at UIC. Like most others, cost came into play. Also, I only live 7 miles away (20-minute drive) from UIC. There was no way I would be dorming at UIC when I’m a hop, skip and a jump away from home.

I feel like there is a bad stigma associated with commuting. Whenever someone mentions to another that they commute you get the typical shock-of-horror face and comment like, “Oh gosh, that sucks!” But it really doesn’t! I’ve learned to love commuting.

Although my drive is relatively short compared to others, I appreciate the drive itself. Again, I can sing aloud. But I can also just get in my car across from my classes and drive to run an errand around town. Furthermore, it’s nice to not be in the same “school” mindset that residents may have all the time. When I leave campus, I leave school behind. I obviously still have homework to do, but I’m able to leave the school mindset that I have when I am physically on campus. I look forward to going home to my comfortable bed, away from the physical school atmosphere. Home is a getaway.

For others who may commute by train, it’s not so bad either. I tried it out before but stopped because the CTA and Metra stations are far from my house. But from the times I did try it, I loved the fact that I was able to study or read on my way to classes. I am kind of jealous of those who have a nice comfy Metra to get to school in. I would totally utilize that time sitting to catch up on work or just enjoy a good book.

I hope that UIC students get away from the stigma that commuting is “bad.” Can you think of some ways that we could rid of this? I have some, but I’ll save my big ideas for another day. In the meantime, let me know how we can make commuting sound like a good thing!



Getaways at UIC

Continuing on from the stress theme from last week, I found myself exhausted at times again this week. But I found another nice getaway – somewhere here on campus.

I needed to find a nice place to take a break during my hectic day Tuesday. Luckily, one of my classes got out early so I went outside to brainstorm where to go. I had no urgent work to do so I didn’t want to go to the library or my office. After a little thinking, I saw the outside platform with seating on the 2nd floor of BSB. Bingo! There were very few students out there so it was the perfect place to sit down and just bask in the beautiful autumn weather. The space is pretty open and has some seating to eat your lunch or just sit and listen to music. I used the time to call a friend who goes to college in another state.

Finding the nice area made me realize there is actually a good amount of quiet and decent spaces at UIC to relax. Besides the terrace at BSB, there’s a couple of more places I want to share with you all:

  • Grant Hall Language Oasis - In Grant Hall 308 you will find this cool social space that is part of the Sandi Port Errant Language and Culture Learning Center. This is also a part of Project Oasis and it is equipped with a flat-screen TV and comfortable chairs. Plenty of students come here throughout the day to meet with friends or to start a conversation in a foreign language with other students.
  • University Hall Port Center Lounge - Located on the 2nd level of UH, the Port Center Lounge is the location for peace and quiet. Most students, faculty and staff retreat to this lounge to do some homework, make a quick phone call, knock off their shoes or eat their lunch. This lounge was also part of the Project Oasis and is a wonderful addition to University Hall. You’ll be sure to enjoy the modern and serene atmosphere. The best part is the comfortable seating and the cool glass floor in some sections.
  • Behavioral Sciences Building 3rd floor - On the this level of BSB you will find another place brought to you by Project Oasis. The area quickly catches your eye when you visit the building. Lighting is plentiful in the area and abstract artwork is showcased. There’s also colorful furniture and seating available. Students come to eat their lunches or work on group projects on the staircase. This pleasant oasis is one of the project’s best.
  • Student Recreation Facility - No, this is not a photo of an apartment. This is a lounge that is located on the 2nd floor of the Student Recreation Facility! What some may say is hidden, the area has desks for students to work on homework and has plenty of comfy chairs and couches to relax on. You can even watch some TV during your break! You’ll feel like you’re home here.


I highly encourage all of you to check these places out when you have some down time. Let me know how your relaxation goes!

Wait…I’m Half-Way Done With College?

Two years ago I was a freshman on a train on my way to classes at UIC for the first time. Today, I’m 20 years old, in my junior year of college.

Let me introduce myself – the name is Mike Queroz and I am now a junior here at UIC. I am majoring in Communication and minoring in Managerial Skills. I hope to be involved in the some type of media or corporate public relations management after I graduate in May 2014.


I’d like to say I have made the most of my time in college so far. Since I came to UIC I’ve been heavily involved on campus. I’ve been a part of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) since freshman year and I am currently in my second term as the Vice President. In USG I’ve done some amazing things like lobby in Springfield and co-organize the Undie Run. Last year, I was also a social media intern for the Office of Sustainability and wrote for HerCampus UIC.

I feel like now is one of those times I’m going to have to take a step back. Not only do I have junior-level classes this semester and my Vice President duties in USG, but I’ve added on a couple of more things, too! I was able to snag a great internship at a record label this semester and have also took on a part-time job doing childcare. Yeah, yikes! However, I’ve been managing well so far and just have to keep my head in the game of success.

But I’m ready to go full force at it, and I know that I want all of you to go along this journey to success with me. On the way, I hope to share with you all some of the things I’ve learned (and I am learning) on how to succeed at UIC.

As Chris Brown would say…”Leeeeggo!”

Some members of USG and I (far left) in Springfield talking to Rep. Ken Dunkin


Dont Forget to Pack your Motivation

Remembering what motivated you to attend college can be an invaluable asset to those who choose to use it. What is the true value of a college education? What motivates you to keep going forward? Most individuals tend to associate these questions with the cliché answer, “oh well it’s for financial stability”. I find this response inapplicable in some students’ lives, the main intent and purpose for that student attending college is not always for the monetary gains. Yes, a college degree does provide students with the resources to secure their own wealth. However, what are other driving factors that lead students to attending college and stay in there? I personally believe that most students are here simply because they were told at some point in their education career that this was a good thing for them, don’t get me wrong it really is a good thing. But this proves to me that most of the students, not all, made their decisions about attending college based on what someone else informed them to do, with the student not always having their own reasons as to why they decided to attend college.

For instance, I decided to attend college not primarily for the monetary gains but because of the void in proper role models for my nieces and nephew. Now most of you would say “well of course you are going to college so you can make money to help your family”, and to those people I say you are right but wrong. Do not get misunderstand me, attending college and not just any college, UIC for that matter, was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I attend college so that they can have an example to follow and hopefully reach further than I will. The bottom line to what I am saying is what is your motivation? What is intrinsically pushing you to achieve more in life? Quite honestly the pursuit of money can only get you so far. It is through the values and morals learned here at college that will allow you to become not just another individual with a degree but one that can change the world one person at a time. Now that might be a bit too much of a “head in the clouds” concept on college for some, but then again it is my personal opinion. If I were to say to my nephew (when he reaches the appropriate age that is) make sure you attend college/university.
At that point I should be more than able to say to him, look these are the steps I took to attain the things I have attained and this is what you can possibly do too. Leading by example is a far more efficient way of doing things rather than issuing rules, regulations and instructions. Therefore, when I am presented to him as a road map through life and college, he can see my flaws and my pros and decide if he wants to emulate then. I am not condemning those whose sole purpose is monetary gain, because maybe you have some extraneous situations that require just that and then again it is your own personal view. But even if your pursuit if sole monetary gain, there is something giving you that drive to wake up every morning and make a conscious decision to attend classes, do assignments on time and be a model student. “A man/woman who stands for nothing will fall for anything”, with that being stated—stand on what motivated you to be here and accomplished more than you had initially set out to accomplish.