University Career Center

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Get Help Interning in Washington, DC

The Public Service Intern Program (PSIP) is a program for Michigan students interested in working with Congress members, federal agencies, policy organizations, media firms, think tanks, NGO’s, non-profits, and consulting firms during the summer.

The majority of PSIP members intern in DC ⏤ though there are a few students who take on public service internships in other cities.

For those that do intern in DC over the summer, they'll get a chance to continue working with other PSIP students while also attending networking events with U-M alumni as well as attending briefings/tours at DC organizations.

PSIP students have reported this summer experience as being a transformative part of their Michigan education.

The application process is competitive. In order to apply you must attend one of the two mass meetings.

Mass Meetings will be held at 1120 Ford School on Monday, September 17th, 2018 at 6 p.m. and Thursday, September 20th, 2018 at 7 p.m. (only attend one). 

PSIP applications are being accepted from September 17th, 2018 - September 27th, 2018.

To learn more about PSIP visit: https://careercenter.umich.edu/article/public-service-intern-program

If you have questions, email the PSIP student coordinators at psipcoordinators@umich.edu.


Something Recruiters Wish You Did Better

Want to know what recruiters wish you did better? The answer is research their company ⏤ or at least research their industry.

Campus recruiters often tell us that the students they meet here at Michigan are smart and incredible students but that they haven’t done enough research. And that by not doing research they’re making it harder on themselves to stand out.

Part of the reason for this disconnect is because recruiters and students define research differently.

When recruiters mention research they’re referring to learning about things that you’re not going to quickly find with a Google search. In their eyes, if you’re doing a Google search and reading their website then that’s really just the tip of the iceberg (i.e., that’s like the bare minimum you should be doing).

So what should you be doing? You should be talking to someone who works at the company or who works in the industry. That way you can confirm and rule out some of the things that you think happen at the company or in the industry.

  • Learn about what challenges the company faces or what goals they’re trying to accomplish
  • Find out about the individual challenges people face in their role/department
  • See what led them to choosing that organization as a place work at
  • Ask someone working there what they did to get hired there

Take a moment and ask yourself whether a student who knows the information above would standout more than a student who has no idea about what it’s like to work there, what type of challenges people face, what the company culture is like, who the company considers as its competitors (and why), etc.

So what do you do if you don’t know anyone at the company you're interested in or anyone who works in the industry?

Not knowing anyone can be a barrier. But luckily it's often a mental barrier because for you and other Michigan students there are a lot of people who want to speak with you and who are making themselves available to share this information with you.

Immersions and the University Career Alumni Network (UCAN) are two ways in which alumni and professionals are making themselves available to chat with you.

  1. Immersions are FREE field trips that happen over Fall Break, Spring Break, and summer. They also happen on various Fridays throughout the Fall and Winter semesters. Go with a group of Michigan students and meet people who work at a company. Spend a day with Michigan alumni and other professionals. Hangout and chat with interns, recent grads, executives, and the awesome talent managers responsible for hiring decisions. See if that's somewhere you'd feel comfortable at. Learn how people got hired there and what you could do to improve your odds of getting hired there too. Try out some of the work that they do. Make a contact for whenever you have future questions.
  2. UCAN is a FREE social network that you can use to reach out to Michigan alumni who have volunteered to speak with you. There’s even a built in prompt that guides you through what to say when reaching out. It basically prevents you from sending an inappropriate request to connect. LinkedIn is a great resource too but not everyone on LinkedIn is there to speak with you. On UCAN, everyone is there to speak with you. Chatting with an alum becomes something you can do from the comfort of your own couch :-)

The bottom line is that knowing helpful information that others don't know ⏤ and then incorporating that info into your application, interactions, and interviews ⏤ is what will help you set yourself apart and make your conversations go more smoothly with recruiters.


Events This Week

To see other events related to internships, jobs, and general career exploration, please visit our Upcoming Events page. All of the upcoming events are also listed in Handshake as well as on the Happening @ Michigan events calendar.


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