Have you ever wondered what it takes to land a paid position after your internship ends in Washington D.C.? We hosted former WISH residents to answer your questions about DC, networking, avoiding mistakes in the workplace, offer career advice. They took the necessary steps to turn their internship into employment. Below is our WISH Career Night Recap: Tips & Advice!
Career & Interview Advice
Q: What are some do’s and don’ts during an interview?
Sara: Do bring portfolio of work. Piece together some of your best work and present it during your second interview. It will make you feel more comfortable and it provides a visual for the employer.
Meghan: It’s good to be confident, but don’t be arrogant. It isn’t appealing
Sara: And don’t summarize your resume in your cover letter! Your cover letter is an actual letter to the employer. Tell them why you will benefit their company.
Q: What are a few pieces of career advice?
Hannah: In a place like DC, your hard work won’t go unnoticed. It will be rewarded.
Gerald: If you want something, say something. If you want a job, tell everyone you know which job you want.
Jose: Brand yourself! Be the person that has a specific skill and everyone knows it. Start a blog about what you’re accomplishing.
Hannah: Sometimes you have to “go out before you can go back in.” If your internship is with your dream job, you might not be able to transition into employment immediately. It is good to go outside the company and get more experience, then come back and bring those new skills with you.
Gerald: Beef up your skill set whenever you can, whether it is with a new language or new certificate. You never know when jobs are going to be presented to you and it is always a good idea to keep learning.
Jose: And never be afraid to ask for more work throughout other departments. It will show initiative and that you actually want to be there. But don’t spread yourself thin. If you have taken on too much, don’t be afraid to tell your employer.
Q: How do you network and keep in touch with those contacts without being overbearing?
Jose: Touch base with them on holidays and when you relocate. Send them a holiday card or let them know when a big event happens in your life. They care about what is going on and it will make them feel less like you always need something from them.
Gerald: Email them once every two or three months with an updated resume. I had a former intern do that. My manager asked me a few days later if I knew anyone with a specific skill set and I forwarded him her resume because I remembered she just updated it.
Sara: Go out for coffee breaks and ask them their opinion. Use them as a resource so it doesn’t come off as always asking for a favor.
Hannah: Download Eventbrite on your phone! It has a list of all kinds of events daily throughout the city. And this is where the YES mindset comes to play. Make sure you print business cards to hand out at the events. You can get 200 for less than a burrito at Chipotle!
Q: In your opinion, is it worth it to pay more and live in the city, or is it better to commute from Maryland or Virginia?
Sara: For me, it is much more worth it to live in the city. Especially if you are just starting out, it makes it easier to have a YES attitude.
Meghan: My husband wanted to live further out in a bigger house, but it ended up being too much of a commute for me. I’ve found that living closer and paying more is definitely worth it.
Thank you to our five panelists and to all current WISH residents who attended WISH Career Night! Keep a lookout for future events on our calendar!