Tag Archives: career development

Locating and Applying for Internships

An internship allows you to test your career objectives, helps you identify your talents, and directs you toward an appropriate career, while helping you acquire essential practical and professional skills you need in the business world. It also lets you see how well you fit into a specific company’s culture. But finding an internship takes some preparation. Before setting out to find an internship, ask yourself these questions:

  • Where do I want to do an internship? My hometown? Out-of-state?
  • What type of work would I like to do? In what field?
  • What type of organization would I like to do an internship for?
  • What do I want to gain from an internship? What specific skills or experiences do I want to acquire?

Locating opportunities

After you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to start searching for internships. Here are some suggestions for locating internship opportunities:

  • Check out College Central Network (CCN) – NOVA’s online internship and job database for students.   Through the database you can learn about internship opportunities with local companies as well as connect to a national internship board.  Did you know it may be possible to earn college credit for an internship?   Visit this website to learn more.
  • Attend job fairs. Employers often use fairs to identify students for internships as well as for full-time employment.  View the “Upcoming Events and Programs” and the “Announcements” sections of CCN to learn about upcoming, local job fairs.
  • Network. Talk with friends, family, co-workers, supervisors, instructors, administrators, and professionals in your field of study, and let them know you are searching for an internship.

Applying for an internship

Each employer has its own application process. Does the company want you to apply online? What is the deadline? What will the employer need from you to make your application complete? Start the process early. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Create your resume.
  • Write a cover letter, if required.
  • Utilize the resume builder and Job Search Kit in CCN to create your resume and cover letter.
  • Work with a NOVA career counselor to discuss internship opportunities, have your resume and cover letter critiqued, and discuss tips and strategies for getting the most out of an internship.

Choosing an internship

Your final task is to select the internship opportunity that is the best match for you. Review your goals for doing an internship and choose the opportunity that best meets those goals. An internship offers many benefits, including:

  • Valuable experience. Many employers want to hire people who have experience and can step into the job and be productive right from the start.
  • Information. An internship will help you make contacts, get ideas, and learn about the field.
  • Practical application. You will have the chance to apply theories learned in the classroom to a real-world setting. When you return to the classroom after your internship, you will better understand the many nuances of business operations that relate to the theories you study.
  • In many cases, an internship can lead to a job offer.

Original article by Amy Marie Charland and Mary Ann Lawson. Modified by Christy Jensen. Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Social Media In Your Job Search

Social media is a great way to stay in touch with friends and relatives, but it also can be a useful tool in your job search. Employers are using social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to both promote their organizations and connect with potential job candidates.

While social media can help you research employers (critical to your job-search success), be sure to use it more actively—as a way to connect with potential employers. By following a few basic tips, you can use social media to get in front of hiring managers.

Get Noticed

There are a few key points to keep in mind when using social media as a job-search tool.

Create a Profile That Gives a Positive Impression of You Think of it as your online resume: What do you want it to say about you? Hiring managers can get a stronger sense of who you are, and if you’re a potentially good fit for their company, through your profile.

Be Aware of the Keywords You Include in Your Profile This is particularly true for sites focused on professional networking, such as LinkedIn. Many employers do keyword searches to find profiles that contain the skill sets they’re seeking in potential hires.

Don’t Include Photos, Comments, or Information You Wouldn’t Want a Potential Employer to See

Don’t Mix Personal With Professional The social media you use in your job search has to present you as a potential employee—not as a friend. Follow the rules for writing a resume.

Make Sure Your Profile Is Error-Free You wouldn’t offer up a resume rife with misspellings, would you?

Choose Appropriate Contact Information Your e-mail address or Twitter handle should be professional—a simple variation on your name, perhaps—rather than suggestive or offensive.

Connect Many organizations have embraced social media as an extension of their hiring practices, and provide information that you can use to research the organization and connect with hiring managers and recruiters.

    • Check your college/university’s social media groups: Many times, employers join such groups.
    • Check social media groups that are focused around your field of interest or career.
    • Search for the social media pages, profiles, and videos of organizations that interest you. Many organizations post job descriptions, information about salaries, and more.
    • Ask questions. Even something as broad as “Is anyone hiring in [industry]?” may bring responses, and asking questions about a specific organization—“What’s it like to work at Company X?” can give you insight into the organization and its culture.

Stay Connected Keep in touch with recruiters or other decision makers you may interact with in cyberspace.

There may not be an available opportunity at their organization right now, but that could change, and you want to be considered when it does.

Finally, in addition to maintaining your network, use social media tobuild your network. Don’t just establish a social media presence—work it. Reach out. Interact. You will get out of social media what you put into it.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers

This week at ELI!

Priority registration for continuing students begins on Tuesday, November 8 and open registration for all students starts Monday, November 14.

To help you plan for your next semester, join an ELI Counselor on Thursday, November 10 from 12:15 – 1:00 pm (EST) for the Getting Ready for your Next Semester Webinar! This 45 minute webinar that will focus on answering key questions students have about preparing for their next semester. This is a great opportunity for new and returning students!

Have any questions about your spring term courses? Need to change your degree plan? Schedule a virtual appointment with an ELI Counselor! Visit ELI’s Advising Week blog series for more information to help you plan your spring schedule.

November is National Career Development Month. Join ELI Career Counselor on Wednesday, November 9, 12:15 pm – 1:00 pm for the Exploring Career Options Webinar. This 45 minute webinar will focus on using various online resources to research career options.

This week is National Distance Learning Week! Not sure if online courses are right for you? Take the SmarterMeasure assessment to gauge your readiness!

logoWe will celebrate throughout the week with trivia, facts/myths, and memories ! ELI started as correspondence classes in 1975 and used video, audio, and postal mail for courses. Can you imagine? Join us on Facebook and Twitter throughout the week for more!

s ELI-2Have a great week!

Where Will Your Path Lead? (Part 1)

This article is part one in a three part series that provides readers with an overview of the career development process designed to help you identify your path and continue on your journey.

Stop for a minute and answer the following questions:

  • Are you thinking about pursuing a degree at NOVA, but are unsure as to what degree and program to select?
  • Are you considering transferring to a four year institution to continue your studies, but are unsure which major to pursue?
  • Are you trying to decide on a career to pursue, but are unsure where to begin your exploration?
  • Are you trying to find a job or gain practical experience, but are unsure where to begin your search?

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, look no further than NOVA’s Career Services website to help you get started finding answers.  The Career Development Process section of the website provides an overview of a four step process that will help you with the following:  1) understanding self, 2) exploring careers, 3) making decisions, and 4) finding employment.  The career development process begins with self-assessment.

Step 1: Understanding Self

When was the last time you thought about what you really enjoy doing?  During this step you will focus on gaining a better understanding of yourself by identifying your interests, personality, skills, and values through career assessments. The results of the assessments will identify potential career options for you to consider and explore.  A list of free assessments and resources can be found on the website.

One resource to try now – FOCUS 2.

FOCUS 2 is an online 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.

NOVA’s Career Counselors are available to assist you with each step of the career development process.

Article by Christy Jensen-NOVA Academic/Career Counselor.

November is National Career Development Month.  Check NOVA’s Career Services website for information about programs being offered virtually and across the College in support of NCDM.

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.

This week at ELI!

Today! – MA Campus or Livestream from 2 – 4 pm!  NOVA Student Life Presents, Carlos Andres Gomez: What Does Hispanic Look Like?

Be a part of this engaging and entertaining discussion that will spark conversation and thoughtful insight. You don’t want to miss it!

Can’t join us at the MA Campus?  Engage via livestream! Visit ELI Student Life to stream off campus.


Introduction to the Career Planning Process: A Career Webinar Seriescareer-planning-webinar-slide-1016

Tuesday – Webinar – 12:15 -1:00 pm – Focus on Your Career Planning. This 45 minute webinar will introduce students to FOCUS 2 an online, interactive, self-guided career and education planning system. Register Today!

Wednesday – Webinar – 12:15 – 1:00 pm – Exploring Career Options. This 45 minute webinar will focus on using various online resources to research career options. Register Today!

Thursday – Webinar – 12:15 – 1:00 pm – Conducting a Job Search. This 45 minute webinar will focus on basic strategies for conducting a job search. Register Today!

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! For more information visit Financial Aid’s Financial Literacy Blog. Official contest rules and registration to participate can be found here.


Webinar Series: Introduction to The Career Planning Process

Join ELI’s Career Counselor next week for the Introduction to the Career Planning Process Webinar Series. career_lightbulb

This lunchtime webinar series will take you through the basic steps of career planning with the goal of helping you make informed decisions about your academic and career goals.

Register for one session or register for all three. All three webinars will run from 12:15pm-1:00pm! All webinars can be found through the ELI Webinar Page!

Tuesday, October 4 from 12:15 – 1:00 pm – Focus on Your Career Planning

This 45 minute webinar will introduce students to FOCUS 2 an online, interactive, self-guided career and education planning system. Register Today!

Wednesday, October 5 from 12:15 – 1:00 pm – Exploring Career Options

This 45 minute webinar will focus on using various online resources to research career options. Register Today!

Thursday, October 6 from 12:15 – 1:00 pm – Conducting a Job Search

This 45 minute webinar will focus on basic strategies for conducting a job search. Register Today!

We hope to “see” you there!

Fall 2016 Apprenticeship Fair

Fall 2016 Apprenticeship Fair.

Thursday, September 15, 2016.


FREE and open to the public.

Note: This is an off-campus event.

The event will be held approximately 2 miles from campus.

Click here to view location.

View employers and their positions.


Career Planning Webinars – This Week!

Join ELI’s Career Counselor this week for two webinars this week

Video Call Facetime Chatting Communication ConceptTuesday (9/6) – 12:15 – 1:00 pm – Webinar: Focus on Your Career Planning:

This 45 minute webinar will introduce students to FOCUS 2 an online, interactive, self-guided career and education planning system. The system can help students select a program/major based on their interests and aspirations, discover occupations matching their personal preferences and attributes, map out their career plans – present and future, and make informed career decisions. Register Today!

Wednesday (9/7) – 12:15 – 1:00 pm – Webinar: Exploring Career Options:

This 45 minute webinar will focus on using various online resources to research career options. The relationship between programs of study at NOVA, college majors, and career options will be discussed.  Resources presented will provide information on nature of work, educational requirements, job outlook, and wages. Register Today!

Fall 2016 Apprenticeship Job Fair

The Apprenticeship Job Fair is scheduled for Thursday, September 15, 2016, 10am-2pm at 7611 Little River Turnpike, Annandale VA, 22003.  The event is free of charge and open to the public.

The Fall 2016 Apprenticeship Job Fair is in partnership with SkillSource Group Inc. and Virginia’s Department of Labor & Industry – Division of Registered Apprenticeship.