Building Relevant Work Experience

Getting the Most From Your Internship Experience

Learning, confirming, impressing, and positioning. When you take an internship, these should be four of your goals.

Of course you want to learn as much as you can about your employer and its culture, and about the industry in which it operates. You’re looking to confirm that both the employer and the industry are good matches for you.

But you also want to impress managers and leaders to position yourself for an offer of full-time employment from the organization once you graduate.

“If you get a ‘high-quality’ internship that gives you the chance to apply what you are studying in school, it will give you the opportunity to confirm that your major is really the right direction for the start of your career,” explains Steve Canale, General Electric’s (GE) manager of global recruiting and staffing services. “An internship is a great testing ground to make sure that you are on the right path.”

Most companies hire the majority of their full-time college graduates from their pool of interns and co-ops. Canale says that 70 percent of GE’s full-time hires have interned with the company. What can you do to get the most out of your internship experience? First, you need to know what employers look for in their interns that makes them candidates for full-time positions.

First and foremost, employers see potential in you, says Julie Cunningham, president of The Cunningham Group. Potential, Cunningham explains, is indicated by your:

  • Ability to learn quickly (not just the job tasks, but the informal rules of the organization)
  • Perseverance when confronted with obstacles
  • Ability to work independently and finish tasks
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Technical skills related to the job

 

“Lastly,” she continues, “don’t underestimate how much social poise and good manners count.”

Burke Walls, Intel’s intern program manager, agrees, adding that a positive attitude during your internship is a key indicator of on-the-job success.

“Many times, students come into an internship ready for their dream job,” Walls says.

“However, in some cases, that dream job may be several steps away from the original internship. Even if this is the situation you’re in, you need to perform at a high level. Managers want to see you take care of your assignments, understand your deliverables, and use your skills and the resources available to you to get the job done. Be humble and appreciate the work others have done to make you successful.”

In this competitive job market, it’s important to keep in mind that the overarching goal of an internship is to get a full-time job offer, Canale says. “Realize that, like school, you are in a competitive environment and that your actions, attitude, and deliverables are being ‘graded,’ ” he adds. “With this in mind, look for ways to differentiate yourself.”

To make your mark, take advantage of the opportunities your employer makes available to you, says Shannon Atkison, Vanguard’s intern program manager. An example is speaking or presenting in front of senior leaders.

“Treat this like a final exam and prepare as much as you can,” Atkison says. “And be creative with your projects. Every project has the opportunity to turn into something robust and value-added given the right amount of time and creativity you put into it. These opportunities are like auditions and represent an incredible chance for you to set yourself apart.”

Incorporating these strategies will help you meet your internship goals in pursuit of the ultimate prize: a full-time job offer.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Memorial Day!

NOVA campus offices, including the Campus Testing Centers, are closed today Monday, May 29 in observance of Memorial Day!

451846227Summer Tuition Payment: If you registered for summer 2017 courses and haven’t submitted your tuition payment or have financial aid in place, you must do so by the following business day at 5 p.m. to avoid being dropped from your courses! The last summer start date for ELI courses is Monday, June 5. Check out this blog post for more details about summer tuition payment.

Join our Virtual Student Union: ELI’s VSU has a new look! Are you taking online classes and looking to connect with other students outside of a classroom setting? Check out our Virtual Student Union or VSU. This is an engagement hub where ELI students have access to create a profile, join discussion forums and connect with other students. In celebration of our new site launch, students will be eligible for raffle prizes once they create an account and interact on the site. Drawings will be done weekly and monthly through the fall semester. Join now!

Engage in your Community! Did you miss our Community Involvement Fair? Check out our community volunteer booklet to learn more about the variety of non-profits participating and volunteer opportunities available: Community Volunteer Booklet. Email us at elistulife@nvcc.edu and tell us where and when you are volunteering and we will send you a FREE NOVA Student Life T-shirt to wear!

Financial Avenue – Financial Literacy Contest: Twenty $100 NOVA bookstore gift cards towards educational costs at NOVA will be given-away throughout the 2016‐2017 academic year to randomly selected students ELI who successfully complete Financial Avenue web‐based financial literacy modules! Last date to submit your module is June 11. For more information visit Financial Aid’s Financial Literacy Blog. Official contest rules and registration to participate can be found here.

Want to write for the ELI Student Blog? Share your story? Connect with your peers? Send us a writing sample to get started. Email ELIStuLife@nvcc.edu for more information.

Ten Quick Steps to Email Your Instructor

Need to email your instructor and not sure where to start? These ten easy to follow steps will help you get that email written and the send button hit in no time!4805341351. Use your NOVA student email account to send your email. All correspondence relating to your courses should come from and go to your NOVA email address. Email messages originating from other email addresses may go directly to your instructors SPAM folder and go unnoticed.

2. Make your subject line meaningful. Your instructor likely teaches multiple courses and may even teach on other campuses. Include the course and section number along with a quick description of why you are writing your instructor.
An example might look like this:
Subject: PSY 200-E05W, Question about grade calculations

3. Briefly and politely state the reason you are writing. Be sure to include all of the relevant information pertaining to your question and leave out anything that does not relate directly to the situation.

4. If you are writing your instructor because you have a problem, include a proposed solution in your email. The instructor may or may not agree with your suggestion. Regardless, it does demonstrate to your instructor you are taking the initiative to actively work towards resolving the situation.

5. Sign your email with your complete first and last name along with your student ID number.

6. Read through your email to check for spelling and punctuation errors. Make sure all of your sentences are complete and do not contain any abbreviations or other modified text that is used in text messaging.

7. If your email is lengthy, have a second set of eyes proofread your email for clarity. This will be an opportunity to make sure you have clearly articulated what it is you wanted to say.

8. Send your email.

9. Allow adequate time for a response from your instructor. Many ELI instructors also teach campus based courses so they are not always sitting at their computer in their office. Often you will find information in the syllabus relating to how soon you should expect a response from your instructor.

10. Once you have received a response from your instructor, acknowledge it. A simple “Thank you” may be all that is needed. If your instructor asks you questions in their response to your email, be sure to answer all of them thoroughly.

This post was adapted from www.wikihow.com/Email-a-professor by the ELI Success Coaches to help you develop skills to effectively communicate through email to your instructor for the February focus on communication. ELI Success Coaches can be reached at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.764.5076.

Written by Laura, ELI Success Coach

The Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship Program

logoFiling Deadline:  All on-line applications must be received by Friday, June 23, 2017.

The purpose of the Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship Program is to increase access to higher education and to develop student leadership potential for graduating high school seniors who will be attending a Virginia Community College for the first time in Fall 2017. One ($3,500) scholarship will be awarded for the fall 2017 and spring 2018 semesters.  The Student Financial Aid Committee will select the recipient in July. The recipient will be notified by August 2017.  The following criteria will be used to award the scholarship:

  1. Commonwealth Legacy Scholars will be students attending Northern Virginia Community College for the first time in Fall 2017.
  2. Selections will be based on merit.
  3. Scholars will demonstrate academic excellence during high school.
  4. Scholars will demonstrate a willingness to promote community college education and the Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship Program.
  5. Scholars will demonstrate a willingness to mentor future scholars.
  6. Scholars will demonstrate a commitment to developing leadership potential.
  7. Students must be full-time, associate’s degree-seeking students with plans to graduate from  Northern Virginia Community College.
  8. Scholars must agree to an interview with the selecting committee to be considered.
  9. If selected, recipients agree to participate in the annual Student Leadership program.

Applicant Materials

  1. Complete on-line  application at: https://nvcc.academicworks.com/
  2. High School Transcript (upload to the on-line application)
  3. One letter of recommendation from high school faculty written on official school stationary- (see submission instructions in the on-line application).

Free Online Internship & Job Search Tool for NOVA Students

Trying to find an internship?  Looking for a job?  Whether you are near a computer or on the go, a great place to begin your search is by accessing College Central Network (CCN) – NOVA’s online job board system.

The following are some benefits of using the system.

  • Search for jobs and other opportunities posted exclusively to NOVA.  Take a look at many local positions available now.
  • Search for jobs on CCN’s Jobs Central® national job board.  The job board contains over 500,000 opportunities from unique sources.
  • Check out CCN’s Intern Central® national internship board to search for internships.
  • Build a new resume with the Resume Builder feature.
  • Upload your resume and make it searchable to employers.
  • Check out over 1,000 career articles written by industry professionals.
  • View career videos and listen to over 25 career advice podcasts on topics including resume basics,  interviewing, and personal branding.
  • Browse and sign-up for upcoming workshops, programs, and events at NOVA and in the surrounding area.

Don’t delay – follow the steps below to begin using the system.

  1. Access College Central Network
  2. Select Students
  3. Follow on screen instructions

Contact Career and Experiential Learning Services if you are unable to access the system.

Understanding your online syllabus

Thoroughly reading your syllabus and addressing questions at the beginning of the course, will help you succeed from the first to the last day of class!null

You will have access to your course the first day the class is scheduled to begin or sometimes a few days in advance. If your course is scheduled to begin later in the summer, check Blackboard closer to that date.

Once you have access to your course in Blackboard, you can start navigating the virtual classroom and get comfortable with the platform. You can start by reading through the online syllabus to get an idea of the course expectations.

Your online course syllabus serves as a blueprint for your course. This is such an important document that to reinforce it, some instructors may require you to complete a syllabus quiz, acknowledging that you have read and understand the important information laid out in the syllabus.

The “overview of assignments” or “course calendar” will be helpful to your success in the course. This section will layout the course schedule and you can use it as a checklist to make sure you don’t miss any assignments. Look ahead to see when the exams will fall so you can plan ahead.

All ELI courses require proctored exams. Make sure you understand what this means for you – whether that is taking exams at a campus testing center, using a testing location in your area, or using ProctorU. Find out more in this past blog post.

Establish a routine. This will help set you up for success for the remainder of the course. Just because you aren’t meeting at specific days and times, doesn’t mean you can’t schedule your time like are have class meetings. Organize your week and make sure you have enough time to take on the courses you have selected.

If you have a concerns or questions about assignments, check your syllabus and you may find the answer. The online course syllabus will help you manage your time by enabling you to map out and plan your projects, assignments and quiz/test dates. In addition to providing your instructor’s contact information and office hours, it might even provide resources to help you study and learn more about your course subject.

ELI offers a video to help you Review Your Online Syllabus.

If you have questions or would like some additional help, the ELI Student Success Coaching Team is here for you. Coaches can be reached at 703.764.5076 or elisuccess@nvcc.edu.

Tips to help you get started!

Below are some tips to help you get started in your ELI classes this summer!

You will have access to your course the first day the class is scheduled to begin or sometimes a few days in advance. If your course is scheduled to begin later in the summer, check back closer to that date. 484765389Be sure to check your Blackboard course site regularly throughout the summer to make sure you don’t miss any course specific deadlines. Check each folder and read announcements from your instructors.

It is important to be aware of Critical Course Deadlines for your courses. In addition, you also want to be aware of course specific deadlines. Get started immediately so you don’t miss any deadlines.

ELI Student Life offers various in-person and virtual events throughout the semester to help connect you to peers, faculty and staff. Join us!

Take advantage of NOVA’s Library Services from your home computer. You can access resources and references from the Library database with your VCCS username and password.

Do you have any general ELI questions? Live Chat (bottom right)  or ELI Hotline – 703.323.3347 is a great option to ask general questions, but remember your instructors are available if you have course specific questions.

Proctor U is an online proctoring service available for some ELI courses. This service is available for some ELI courses and gives you the opportunity to take your exams from your home computer using a web cam, microphone and speakers.

Try using Smarthinking for 24/7 online tutoring.

Checking your Student E-Mail Account is important throughout the semester. You will get updates and announcements from your instructor as well as from ELI. Get in the habit of checking this e-mail.

24/7 Tech Support is available from NOVA by calling 703.764.5051.

ELI offers several webinars throughout the semester to help you succeed. Check out live sessions or request a copy of a recording.

Financial Aid assistance is available 24/7 by calling 1-855-323-3199, by email – FinAidSupport@nvcc.edu or through live chat at the Student Support Center. Questions about financial aid eligibility? Check out the Financial Aid Blog.

Not your first ELI course? What tips would you share with a new student?

Hiding a Course on the My Blackboard Courses Module

Hiding a Course on the My Blackboard Courses Module

Usually courses will disappear from your Blackboard course site once the course has ended and is closed, however, every so often, one may stick around.

If spring courses are cluttering your summer schedule, get organized with this tutorial!

You can hide courses from previous semesters in the My Blackboard Course Module. This does not remove the course from Blackboard, but hides it from view so that you only see the current semester courses when you first login to Blackboard.

 Step 1: Log in to your Blackboard Dashboard and click the gear icon in the top right of the My Courses module.  The icon will not appear until you hover your mouse in that area.bb1

Step 2: Locate the row for the course or courses you would like to hide and clear the check box in the Course Name column.

Step 3:  Be sure all check marks are cleared in that course’s row.bb2

 

 Step 4: Click the Submit button to complete this action.bb3

 

 

If you have any questions, the 24/7 ELI IT Helpdesk is available at 703.764.5051.

Creating and Using the FSA ID

What’s an FSA ID? 

The FSA ID is a username and password you use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education websites, including fafsa.gov, StudentAid.gov, and StudentLoans.gov. The FSA ID is your legal signature and shouldn’t be created or used by anyone other than you—not even your parent, your child, a school official, or a loan company representative. You’ll use your FSA ID every year you fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and for the lifetime of your federal student loans.

How do I get an FSA ID? 

Visit StudentAid.gov/fsaid to create an FSA ID. You’ll need your Social Security number, full name, and date of birth. You’ll also need to create a memorable username and password, and provide answers to some challenge questions so you can retrieve your account information if you forget it.

We strongly recommend that you provide a mobile phone number and email address when you make your FSA ID. Providing a mobile phone number and/or email address that you have access to will make it easier to unlock your account, retrieve your forgotten username, or reset your forgotten password.

Important: An email address and mobile phone number cannot be used with more than one FSA ID. If you share an email address with someone else, then only one of you will be able to use that email address to create an FSA ID. This applies to your mobile phone number too.

FSA ID Tips 

 One of your parents might need an FSA ID as well. If you need to provide information about your parents on the FAFSA® form, one of your parents will have to sign the form. Your parent can create an FSA ID and then sign the FAFSA form electronically using that FSA ID. Not sure whether you’ll need to put your parents’ information on the FAFSA form? Check out StudentAid.gov/dependency. Remember: You should create your own FSA ID and your parent should create his or her own FSA ID. Also, make sure to use the correct FSA ID when signing the FAFSA form electronically.

 When you first create your FSA ID, all you’ll be able to use your FSA ID for is to complete, sign, and submit an original (first-time) FAFSA form. You’ll have to wait one to three days for your information to be confirmed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) before you can use your FSA ID for other actions, such as submitting a Renewal FAFSA form or signing a Master Promissory Note. If you provided an email address, then you’ll receive an email letting you know that your information was successfully matched with the SSA and you can use your FSA ID for all of its purposes.

 If you forget your FSA ID username and password, look for links, such as “Forgot My Username” and “Forgot My Password,” at the log-in pages of our websites. These links will direct you to web pages where you can request a secure code to be texted to your verified mobile phone number or emailed to your verified email address. The secure code will allow you to retrieve your username or reset your password. You can also retrieve your username or reset your password by successfully answering your challenge questions.

Learn more about the FSA ID at StudentAid.gov/fsaid. Find this fact sheet at StudentAid.gov/resources.

Questions about your Financial Aid award? Contact them at 855.323.3199 or FinAidSupport@nvcc.edu or on live chat through the Student Support Center.

FA Support Center

Free Career Planning Tool for NOVA Students

Did you know all NOVA students, staff, and faculty have free access to FOCUS 2, an online, interactive, self-guided career and education planning system that can help you:

  • Select a program/major based on your interests and aspirations
  • Discover occupations matching your personal preferences and attributes
  • Map out your career plans, present and future
  • Make informed career decisions

View a Getting Started with FOCUS 2 handout.

Follow the steps below to begin using FOCUS 2.

  1. Visit NOVA’s Career Services website
  2. Select FOCUS 2
  3. Click FOCUS 2 button
  4. Click REGISTER button
  5. Enter “NOVA” for the access code
  6. Enter your NOVA student e-mail address in the e-mail box
  7. Provide requested information
  8. Check box to acknowledge terms and conditions of system
  9. Click CONTINUE button

Contact Christy Jensen (chjensen@nvcc.edu) if you have any problems accessing the system or to schedule a career advising appointment.