Tip Tuesday: Unpaid and Commission-Based Internships

Considering an unpaid internship?

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If you are thinking about pursuing an unpaid internship, or an internship that is based on commission, you need to carefully weigh the benefit of skills gained vs. how it will affect your financial well-being.  For instance, how many hours would you be able to give to an employer for an unpaid internship while still having enough time for any wage-earning jobs that you will hold concurrently?  You need a clear understanding of how a commission-only job is structured so that you can approximate the “prep time/payoff” ratio.  Also, keep in mind that students without prior internship experience may find greater benefit in these types of opportunities compared to students who have completed previous internships.  Often, these experiences allow students to strengthen their resumes so they can later qualify for paid internships.

FisherConnect does not post unpaid internship opportunities, but it will post positions that are stipend or commission-based.  You will see the following phrase accompanying these positions: Compensation for this position is stipend or commission/quota based. Be mindful of this payment structure when considering the opportunity and conduct thorough research to ensure you understand the potential outcomes and skills required to be successful in this type of position.

If you choose to interview for positions such as these, we encourage you to ask questions such as the ones listed below:

  • What percentage of time will I spend on administrative work vs. resume-building experiences related to my career development?
  • Which task will I be spending the most amount of time on?
  • Will I be able to obtain, in writing, an outline of the commission/stipend structure?
  • (If a campus marketing position) Will I be asked to utilize my own network (i.e. friends/social media connections) to be successful in this role?
  • Are you able to provide the contact information for previous interns, so that I may contact them for their opinion on the position?
  • (If an unpaid internship) Is there a possibility for this unpaid internship to evolve into a paid position in the future?
  • What types of career exploration activities will be offered through this opportunity?
  • Which transferable skills will I be able to obtain, or improve upon, via this position?
  • What is the average income that a sales representative earns (and differences between top salespeople vs. average salespeople)?
  • Could you describe your training program in detail?  Are new salespeople able to train with experienced salespeople?
  • What is the salesforce turnover rate?
  • Are leads provided or does the representative need to prospect their own leads?
  • What would you consider to be the biggest challenges to selling your product/service?

Please note you will not be able to ask all of these questions during the interview, so choose a few that seem most appropriate for your situation.

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If you have any questions about this type of opportunity, please make an appointment to speak with a career consultant in the Office of Career Management at your earliest convenience.

 

 

 

Construction Career Expo

Construction Career Expo

Monday, October 9th

10 am – 2 pm

Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center

2201 Fred Taylor Drive

Hosted by the College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences

Open to all Ohio State students – Bring your BuckID to check-in

Review the Student Career Expo Guide and Tips for Success to prepare!

Tip Tuesday: Evaluating and Negotiating Job Offers

Written by Undergraduate Career Consultant, Sheri Sheffel

It’s beginning to be that time of year…. job offer time (don’t freak out if you haven’t received an offer, there are still months of opportunities ahead of you)! But how do you know if your offer is right for you? Will you be happy at the company? How are you supposed to begin even thinking about “the real world?” We get it… this can be a daunting time, but don’t forget to be excited!!! You’re finally seeing all of your hard work payoff.  Here are a few steps to walk through when evaluating your offer and how to negotiate.

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  • If you have been given a short decision timeline, it is okay to ask for an extension. Make sure to express your gratitude for the opportunity, but let them know you realize it is a big decision and you want to fully think through your options.
  • Assess what is important to you. It can help for you to rank the pay, location, position, company size, etc. based on what is the most important for your summer/future career. How does the company/companies stack up against your rankings (use our matrix provided in the handout link at the bottom)?
  • Reflect on your past experiences. Were you an intern? Did you enjoy your internship or did you find the days dragging by? What did/didn’t you like? Not an intern before? You can still reflect back on your previous work experiences to look at what you liked and didn’t like. How did that position/company compare to the position you’ve been offered?
  • Utilize your network for two reasons. The first to reach out to current employees of the company to get a realistic look of company culture and other perks you can’t read online. The second reason is to talk with your family and friends who know you best. These people can be used as a great sounding board when you’re discussing future opportunities and environments that have brought out your best work in the past.
  • Did you decide the company and position are right for you, but want to negotiate your pay? We do not recommend this for internship positions, but it can be done for full-time positions. It is important to remember that you can’t just negotiate pay unless you have solid reasoning as to why you are worth more (experiences, skills, etc.). You can also use Fisher Career Data Central to give you hard data on what your peers have been offered by this company and show what other companies are offering your peers. When negotiating, it is important to stay grateful for the opportunity that you have been given and ensure that you do not come off as greedy.

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If you want personalized advice, don’t hesitate to make an appointment  with one of our career consultants.  Want more information? Check out our full job evaluation/negotiation handout.

 

 

 

Tip Tuesday: Do’s and Don’t’s of Video Interviewing

Written by Undergraduate Career Consultant, Jeremy Cantrill

Video interviewing is a great way to interact with potential employers without the time and travel constraints of interviewing face to face. While it may seem a bit daunting, or even awkward, it shouldn’t be. There are several ways to help alleviate any unfamiliarity with your first video interview. Below are some tips to help make you the best prepared candidate you can be:

1) Understand as best you can the format of the interview. Sometimes these interviews may be live with another person or they may be composed of pre-recorded questions. It is a good idea to get as much information as possible beforehand. What types of questions will be asked? How long do you have to answer? If you stumble on an answer, can you record another one?

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2) Prepare as best you can your surroundings when interviewing. Think about distracting noises, lighting, potential interruptions, and even pets. You want to try to minimize any chances you can become distracted.

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3) As soon as the interview starts and it is appropriate, get contact information if you do not already have it. No matter how much you prepare there can always be technical difficulties. If you have the contact information (email, phone number, Skype username) of the person interviewing you it is easy to reconnect and pick up where you left off.

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4) Practice in front of a video of yourself beforehand. It can often seem strange the first time you are answering questions to see yourself on the screen. If you have practiced a bit beforehand you can pick up on any things you may want to change in terms of surroundings and you will be used to seeing yourself at the same time you are talking.

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5) Have notes handy, even place a “cheat-sheet” against the screen below the camera. You wouldn’t want to make it look like you are just reading an answer, but a sheet with a few key points can be useful.

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6) Last but not least, go with the flow! Social cues and audio/video delays (even small ones) can make a video interview more difficult than a face to face one. However, it is the same with the people interviewing you, so go with the flow and don’t worry too much about the mistakes you make along the way. If you are interviewing pre-recorded answers and happen to stumble a bit with an answer this is especially important.

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As always, the more you know beforehand, the better. But, it is impossible to know every detail. So, be flexible, be prepared, and you’ll be able to give a stellar interview no problem!

Tip Tuesday: Interviewing Guide Resource

Written by Undergraduate Career Consultant, Jeremy Cantrill

Interviews can be a daunting process to undertake for an unexperienced interviewee! However, with this guide, you’ll be well on your way to being the best interviewer you can possibly be.

The theme for a confident interviewee is one of preparedness. The overall goal of this article is to prepare you so that you are ready to put your best self forward.

1) This may seem like an intuitive thing, but you need to be familiar with the company and position you are interviewing for. You can research the news for the company on many different news websites, or even just a general google search is a good start. Also, use the company website to your advantage. Research things like their values, quarterly reports, employee interviews, and social media. This can tell you a lot about what the company stands for and company culture.

2) Use the Office of Career Management! There are various coaches and consultants all available for both undergraduate and graduate students to use. Schedule a meeting with us if you have questions or concerns you would like feedback on.

Also, there are many useful handouts and resources to use on our webpage, specifically our Job Search Handouts page.

3) Use other resources available on the web. Websites such as GlassDoor can provide an “insider’s” viewpoint of the firm you are interviewing for. Doing research outside of the company’s official website can give you an idea of the culture and interview style for each company. It is important to remember that individuals may post biased views and opinions on the web, without any review. So, be sure to take the information you read with a grain of salt and seek to gain an overall picture of the company.

4) Use the University system as a whole to network. It can often seem daunting to make connections at a company you otherwise do not have an existing relationship with. OSU has a wonderful resource entitled AlumniFire (osu.alumnifire.com) where you can network with OSU alumni who work at various corporations across the globe. The great thing about AlumniFire is that each person listed has chosen to make themselves available for contact. So, use that resource to reach out to them! Give them emails or calls when appropriate and get your questions answered.

Overall, remember a few key points:

1) A prepared person is a confident person.

2) OSU and the Office of Career Management (OCM) have resources available for you, use them!

3) Reach out, both to us in the OCM and to alumni and other contacts. It doesn’t hurt to put a face to a name!