Madonna finds new ways to assist students in securing an internship

By: Peg Krollpfeiffer

Looking for an internship in Michigan has never been as easy as with InternInMichigan.com. To create this service, key strategic partners such as the Detroit Regional Chamber, West Michigan Strategic Alliance, Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan, Mid-Michigan Innovation Team, and a grant from Workforce Innovations in Regional Economic Development collaborate with the goal to place 25,000 Michigan college students in Michigan-based internships by year five of the project.

To access the internship database students need to create a profile and upload a resume. As opposed to other job sites, InternInMichigan.com gathers information about skills, characteristics, and preferences for a job, rather than just asking for the job title and the kind of industry that students want to work in to match those soft-skills to the requirements of currently available internships.

Be prepared to also enter a personal description that contains some of your key skills to replace a cover letter. Otherwise, it is not possible to send a cover letter unless it’s combined in one file with the resume.

To identify the key skills for their database, one gets 20 points to distribute among 27 skills. Each skill can contain up to 5 points. After the key skills have been identified, the Web site asks for the top five characteristics. The characteristics rank from one to five, where one determines the most defining characteristic.

Further information needed includes the job characteristics, such as job location, travel, environment, work hours, or internship lengths.

Once the profile has been created, job searches with different job characteristics can be entered and saved. The internship database then shows the results of the best matches. Fortunately, the list is quite long – unfortunately, not up to date. The results show many internship opportunities expired months ago.

With the information entered into the profile, it is easy to apply. By simply clicking the ‘apply’ button on the bottom right of each internship description, the profile including the resume will be automatically submitted to the employer.

To avoid unnecessary problems, it is still recommended to involve Madonna’s Career Services Department. This way they can establish contacts in advance and assist in the event of difficulties. “It happened in the past that an international business student ended up in HR,” said Ingrid Kroeger, Assistant Director, Career Services.  Furthermore, they can assist with all aspects of the ‘internship hunt’. Career Services also contact previous employers to check for openings. They encourage and help students to self-start the internship search. “We teach students how to look for work,” Kroeger said. She recommends for the students to investigate the local Chamber of Commerce Web sites of each city to find small to medium sized employers one would consider to work for and then research the company Web sites. Depending on the major, Career Services knows of several Web sites that hold postings in specialized areas, such as MartinDale.com as a resource for paralegals.

For more information on how to find the right internship or best pursue possible employers, contact Kroeger at 734-432-5621.