Students learn interviewing and professionalism

Bridget Janis, Staff Reporter

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Internships are an important aspect of any college student’s career.

To give Oakland University students tips and tricks to help make getting internships run more smoothly, the School of Business Administration and Career Services presented “Interviewing and Professionalism for Interns” on Thursday, Nov. 8. This was an opportunity for any Oakland student to come and ask questions about the interviewing and internship processes.

The event was hosted by Oakland Business ACHIEVE and Career Services. Oakland Business ACHIEVE is three zero-credit classes with goals to prepare students for the future, create opportunities for students to practice their skills and allow students to perform those skills in realistic settings.

“We want Oakland students overall to stand out, we want them to be successful,” OU Internship and ACHIEVE Coordinator Jaclyn Fortier said. “Anything we can do to make them be that prime candidate for a position and overall give Oakland this great reputation of having fantastic students, that’s what we’re looking for.”

The speaker for the event was Sharon Zalupski, a recruiting coordinator for Northwestern Mutual in Troy, Mich. Zalupski graduated from Michigan State University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Before Northwestern Mutual, Zalupski worked for several non-profit organizations, and then took on a marketing role in Livonia, Mich.

“If you’re in an internship in an industry you know you want to pursue and end up pursuing, it’s valuable experience in that industry,” Zalupski said. “It gives you a chance to really learn new skills and really help your career development.”

First, Zalupski talked about showing up for the interview early, dressing appropriately and preparing to talk about transferrable skills. Then she moved on to the interview itself, including how to keep introductions short and sweet, and how to state background information. Zalupski’s last main focus was how to make a professional introduction and communicate efficiently after getting the job.

“Interviewing and Professionalism for Interns” is part of the InternshipU series of workshops offered to business students. This particular event was focused on interviewing and professionalism for interns.

“Within the School of Business, we want to make sure when students are ready for that process that they’ve been prepared, so they’re talking to employers, we’re giving them those skills,” Fortier said.

One part of the series happened last month where students learned how to brand themselves in the internship process with presenters from United Shore. The third part of the series, called “Savvy Intern,” will be happening in the spring and will focus on how to stand out within your internship to potentially get a full-time position.

“The biggest thing is probably just confidence,” Zalupski said. “Confidence that comes from practicing your pitch, for example, confidence that comes from practicing your interview answers and really feeling prepared when you go speak to an employer — confidence that the work that you have done is valuable, even if it’s Starbucks, even if it’s at McDonald’s.”

Students can find more resources on internships, tips and advice through their school’s internship coordinator or Career Services. Career Services will provide specific people to represent each school within the university and a career consultant.

Northwestern Mutual is also looking for a year-round paid internship that is flexible with school hours. Training classes for the internship will be held in January and May. If any OU students are interested, they can email Zalupski at [email protected].