Students Learn Interview and Application Tips For Summer Jobs and Internship Positions

Students hoping to secure a coveted summer job or internship attended a workshop on summer opportunities last Friday during Advising period. “Applying, interviewing, and sending in a résumé for a job… there’s an art to the entire process,” said Roxanne Barry, Director of the Summer Opportunities office. Barry, along with Christine Cloonan, Instructor in Spanish, provided insider tips to obtaining internship positions. Adam Tohn ’10, who was already planning to apply for a job or internship, found the tips Cloonan presented very valuable. He said, “She gave the kind of advice that no one tells you else where and made the whole application process seem far less intimidating . . . I am more confident about it now,” said Tohn. However, not all the attendees were satisfied with the workshop. Andi Zhou ’09 said, “It didn’t give me exactly what I was hoping to get out of it. I wanted more tips on how to find jobs, instead of how to present myself when I find one.” Zhou wanted the workshop to focus more on informing students on what kind of jobs are out there for teenagers over the summer, where to look, and who to talk to. Cloonan worked at a law firm, where she interviewed and recruited people for positions. “I found that, as I was interviewing people, that it was important to know how to interview. The nuances and tricks to apply and how to interact with the interview,” she said. Cloonan suggested visiting the Summer Opportunities Office to begin the search for internship positions. She also recommended networking—talking to friends, teachers, parents and alumni—for other possible positions. “[Alumni] are a great resource. You don’t know how helpful Andover alums are to other alums,” she said. Once a student finds an internship position of interest in a specific company Cloonan advised reading up on the background of the company or organization. She advised having answers to the typical basic questions prepared and dressing appropriately. “What you’re wearing is actually very important. It shows you know what type of job this is, the social norms, the industry, and it shows you care about yourself and thus your job,” she said. Following social courtesy and behavior is very important, according to Cloonan. In an interview, being enthusiastic and optimistic, smiling, making eye contact and giving the interviewer a firm handshake are important etiquettes to follow, she said. “Act as if you’ve got the job. This way, when you walk into the room, the interview is more receptive to you. It also gives you confidence,” said Cloonan. After the interview, Cloonan advised sending a thank you note to the interviewer. She pointed out that writing a follow-up note could also make a student’s résumé stand out and shows that you are interested and passionate about the job. Lastly, Cloonan stressed the importance of the résumé. “This is one page to sell yourself and to show that you are a perfect match for the job you’re applying for,” she said. Cloonan said, “You don’t get a rewrite on [the résumé], so have lots of people review it. There can be absolutely no mistakes or typos. People are judging you on your attention to detail. You probably will be tossed out of the pile if you do [have mistakes].” Barry and Cloonan were surprised at the turnout of over 40 kids at the workshop. Barry hopes to make Cloonan’s Powerpoint accessible for students to view and refer back to.