navigating an Internship Search in the Middle of a DownturN, By Jennifer Kinder, April 2020
Should I still be conducting my internship search given so many companies are canceling their programs? This is the question I’ve been fielding frequently from my younger clients these past few weeks and it’s one that I’m very comfortable answering given my previous experience coaching MBA’s through the 2008 recession. I learned a lot that year, and so did they.
In short, my answer is an emphatic YES!
Why? You ask. Isn’t that a waste of time? No, it’s not. This is a long game strategy. An internship search should be solidly based on networking, not just throwing your resume at applications online. And networking, is a long game, with benefits for decades to come if you do it correctly. Every time you make a contact you “should” be approaching it as how can I help this person and learn from this person. If you build your networking relationships on that principle you will most likely receive something in return one day. It may not be a summer internship, but it may be a referral down the road to a great full-time job or a recommendation to one of their contacts who you’ve been interested in speaking with. Don’t make the mistake of going into it with the attitude that you need an internship and you want one with their company. Even though that may be the short-term goal, your approach will not be welcomed.
As you network and conduct informational interviews to learn about a company, industry or person's career path you will be setting the initial groundwork to build a solid network for the future. If you impress these contacts perhaps you may even get a referral for an internship this summer. If not, maybe next summer. Or even a full-time job lead in the future. Networking done right is never a waste of time. Be genuine and strategic and go for it!
Adaptability & Disruption 101
By Jennifer Kinder, March 2020
This week we find ourselves in the middle of a perfect business case on adaptability and disruption in life. The onset of COVID-19 in the United States is impacting all walks of life, including at-home work arrangements, the canceling of sports events and their entire seasons (much to my husband and father’s dismay), and the closing of grade schools and secondary institutions (some moving to online delivery). These rapid changes can cause stress and opportunity.
So, how are you going to proceed with intention? Well honestly, it's your choice. This is not meant to trivialize the real struggles people will face in the days, weeks and months ahead, but rather to be mindful of our own power. So do this with intention and take the time to find the silver linings. Here's your chance to take back what you can actually control in your life in a sea of unknown variables.
You may choose to stress out about working at home away from your team, rescheduling events and taking on extra work while you convert meetings to online platforms, or you may choose to reframe the situation in your mind and appreciate the opportunity to skip the commute, exit the "rat race" life, and appreciate the additional time to spend with family or your furry friends. As I asked my 84-year-old father today, "Maybe this is a good time to find a new hobby, Dad?" rather than watching 12 hours of sports a day. He laughed and responded, "Maybe I need to find a new job." After all, he did raise me with a very strong work ethic.
My point is, it’s up to you as to how you look at this uninvited change in your life. Are you going to find the silver lining or dwell on the negative impacts of the disruption? Are you going to show your boss your ability to be adaptable and resilient and look for innovative solutions to address the challenges you will inevitably encounter during these times, or are you going to be the one who approaches these discussions with a deflated tone and no ideas to propel the company mission forward? I’m not saying it’s always going to be easy, it won't be...but you do have a choice of how you will “show up” in these types of situations which ultimately will impact the outcomes. What choice are you going to make?