Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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Ask and Ye Shall Receive – How to request a Letter of Recommendation the Right Way

March 19, 2014

Ah internship season, perhaps not quite as popular as the Ohio University fest season, but much more important. With many internship and even scholarship applications comes the requirement for at least one letter of recommendation. Now I know how a daunting a task this can be. Who do I ask? Will they say no? How many letters can I ask for? These are all valid questions that will swarm into your mind once you start the process. However, I think I can provide some tips that will help simplify the process when asking for letters of recommendation.

  1. Know how many letters youll need ahead of time. It is very important that you give whoever is recommending you enough time to write the letter. I always recommend asking them at least two weeks before the application is due. If you send requests out this early, you won’t have to worry about getting your letters at the last minute and it makes the process less stressful.
  2. Make a list of professors and employers you have made a good impression on. It might be hard to determine who you feel comfortable asking for a letter of recommendation. Try thinking about which professors you’ve developed a good relationship with, past employers that have been supportive and even leaders in your clubs and organizations. Make a list of all these people and keep notes by their name detailing what field they specialize in, and use this list to keep track of how many times you’ve asked them for a letter of recommendation and how many times (if any) they’ve written one.
  3. Ask for more letters than you may need. If an application requires you to have two letters of recommendation, send out requests for three to four. That way, if one person says no, you still have the number that you need. This can save you a lot of time scrambling around at the last minute for an additional letter.
  4. Try to tailor your letters to the internship for which youre applying. When you send your email requesting a letter of recommendation, be sure to include information on the internship itself and some of it’s requirements, as well as your own resume. This gives the recommender the information they need to ensure your recommendation fits with the internship application. Some may even ask for specific accomplishments you may want them to highlight in their letter. Be ready to answer all these questions and include enough information so the writer can make you look as good as possible in their letter.
  5. ALWAYS say thank you!. I know this just sounds like common sense but I felt that it needed to be said. Writing a good letter of recommendation takes time and effort, and it deserves a sincere thank you email. I have been truly touched by some of the recommendation letters I have received and said so when I thanked the writers. Also keep in mind that a sincere showing of appreciation will go a long way when you ask them to write another letter in the future. Always leave people with a better impression of yourself each time you work with them.

Sarah Rachul is a sophomore studying Strategic Communications with specializations in Sports Management and Visual Communication. You can follow her on Twitter at @SarahMRachul.

The Internship Search: Simplified

December 20, 2013 1 Comment

As the seemingly never-ending torture of finals week comes to a close, students envision a relaxing break, cuddled up on the couch with their cats (or maybe that’s just me) and watching ABC Family’s Harry Potter weekend.

In reality, though, we know that’s not going to happen. Substitute “watching Harry Potter weekend” with “searching for internships” and that pretty much sums up the (sadly, truthful) epitome of winter break.

However, It is possible to make this process a bit easier, and knowing where to look is the first step in finding the ideal internship. While job opportunities and internship listings seem few and far between, there are hundreds of opportunities just a click away.

So, need help? Here are some of the best resources for finding your dream internship:

1. E.W. Scripps School of Journalism (http://scrippsjschool.org)Scripps

As most of you may (or may not) know, the Scripps’ homepage lists numerous internship and job opportunities. Because of our journalism school’s successful reputation, businesses want us. They want Scripps students to work for them, so what better to do than contact the school itself?

The site also stays current, deleting old internships and adding new ones as they become available. Follow Scripps on Twitter @scrippsjschool.

2. Ed 2010 (http://www.ed2010.com/jobs/whisperjobs)Ed

Offering a wide variety of communications internships, Ed 2010 is an organization designed to assist students in finding internships. Notorious for listing internship positions available in big companies, like Cosmopolitan and the Food Network, Ed 2010 is a great site for finding internships tailored directly to your skill set, as they list the job descriptions, responsibilities and requirements for interns.

In fact, I used Ed 2010 to find my internship at Avenue Magazine (http://www.avenuemagazine.com) last summer in Manhattan. Follow Ed2010 on Twitter @Ed2010News.

3. Intern Queen (http://www.internqueen.com/internships)Intern queen

Founded by a girl who’s had more internships than we could imagine (15, to be exact), Intern Queen is an excellent resource for finding work, from fashion to public relations to graphic design.

Signing up is free and makes applying for internships significantly easier and less stressful. Once you are signed up, you upload your resume and cover letter(s) and, from there, apply for jobs straight from the site. Follow Lauren Berger, the Intern Queen, on Twitter @InternQueen.

4. Media Bistro (http://www.mediabistro.com/PRMarketing-jobs.html)Media

Similar to Intern Queen, Media Bistro allows users to apply for jobs straight from the site. However, Media Bistro is organized by field of communication, allowing users to choose from jobs ranging from online/new media to entertainment to technical writing.

It has job and internship opportunities in almost every field of communication, making it an awesome resource for finding a job tailored to your talents. Follow Media Bistro on Twitter @Mediabistro.

So, take advantage of all of these resources. Opportunity is right around the corner. In fact, it’s standing right in front of you. You just have to take it.

-Allison Barwacz is a senior studying magazine journalism. Follow her on Twitter @abarwacz.


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