Knocking that Final Presentation Out of the Park!

With most internships coming to an end in the next couple of weeks, it’s time to start thinking about final intern presentations. Most internships that you have will have some type of period where you are expected to present to the leadership team about everything that you accomplished during your internship. This can be an intimidating experience if it’s something that you haven’t done before, so I have some tips to help you get started and get through that presentation.

The first and best way for you to start thinking about your presentation is to create some type of storyboard. Reflect on your internship thus far and think about a couple different things: what the executives want to see, what were the accomplishments, what were the goals and challenges, and overall what is the layout going to look like. The way that I have done my layout is a simple intro slide with an agenda, I talk a little bit about myself including goals, I move onto the actual projects, then wrap up with key takeaways, a thank you and finally questions. Once you have the storyboard laid out and you make sure that it flows well, your presentation will be easy to build in PowerPoint.

While you start writing the actual content of your project, make sure that you are keeping it high level and staying out of the weeds. Your slides should be simple with keywords and simple statements. Avoid putting sentences and paragraphs of text on your slide. All your detail should come from what you say, and your slides should just be used as a basic summary of that. Make sure that you pay attention to grammar and avoid acronyms and cliché sayings that will detract from what the message if that you’re trying to convey.

Since your slides won’t be taken up entirely by words, don’t shy away from using images to emphasize your points. Utilize clip art, graphs, charts, tables, screenshots from your project, whatever you think will help you jazz up that presentation. Make sure that you keep in mind the colors that you choose you for your charts and graphs. It’s important that they go with your template and that the colors aren’t too harsh, but still differentiable from other colors in the charts. In addition to that, the pictures should be applicable and appropriate for your presentation and your audience.

Finally, let’s talk about the actual presentation. Once the PowerPoint is done, it’s important to prepare for how you’re going to present it. It’s important to practice multiple times and get down what you are going to say about each slide or project that you are talking about. In addition, make sure that you practice in front of people (ex: other interns, mentors, coworkers in your department) this way you will work on getting the eye contact down and will feel more comfortable with this information in front of people. They should also be able to give you some great feedback on things that you’re doing well and things you could improve upon. Practice truly does make perfect when it comes to these presentations. The more you present it, the more confident and comfortable you will be in front of the leadership team.

While presentations can be very stressful, keep in mind that these are still only a portion of your internship. It’s not the end all be all, but to combat some of those stressors and knock this PowerPoint out of the park, the points above that I made can really help you out if you work at them. With that, I leave you with a simple good luck and go bucks!

 

Cheers!

Hunter

Start Your Engines! Week One

My first week at Reynolds was a huge switch up from my college schedule. There were no more 3 hour gaps in-between daily activities. I was nervous to navigate a busy work schedule, especially in a field I’d never experienced before. This was the first time I was working from 8 until 5. It was also the start of my professional story. Butterflies were fully present in my stomach as I walked through the entrance way into Reynolds. Luckily, I was paired with two other interns who lived with me in a community near Reynolds. We carpooled and embraced the first day in unison.

The internship started with introductions and a brief overview of what we should expect over the summer. I wrote down a few goals in my notebook: 1. Learn the corporate culture. 2. Develop professional business acumen. 3. Remember that this experience is on-the-job interviewing. That’s a phrase I heard all week, “On-the-job interview.” I believe it’s incredibly important to remember this as an intern. You are representing your school and yourself in every conversation. This isn’t meant to scare you. Let this inspire you! And most importantly, don’t be afraid to step up in your role. It can be as simple as writing articles about your experience. On the flip side, you are also interviewing the company. Embrace your experience, but be realistic. Ask yourself, “Do I feel comfortable in this role?”, “Would I enjoy working with this group 5 days a week?” If you’re lucky enough to say yes to both, you may have a bright future ahead of you.

The best part about my first week was seeing the passion Reynolds has for interns. No matter their ranking, people stopped by and asked me my name. My cubicle was decorated with an Ohio State flag, personalized business cards, and my own Reynolds name tag. I was paired with a mentor in the Fixed Ops department and we started our relationship by having lunch together. The culture here is definitely work hard, play hard. Employees are constantly on the go, but know how to relax by joking around and possibly joining one of the many sports leagues or service excursions.

What I can do within 20 minutes of my apartment in San Jose

San Jose is the 10th  largest city in the United States by population, so there isn’t a lack of things to do here when I’m not working. In this blog I’m going to outline some of the fun things to do here.

Guadeloupe River Trail

This is a trail that runs all through San Jose. It’s right by my apartment, so I enjoy getting on the trail after work and taking a run with the river right next me.

Chill by the pool

The apartment Cisco set me up with has a pool, so when I need some relaxation I will head there to enjoy the sun and take a swim! The weather here is consistently hot -it hasn’t rained once-so anytime I want to go to the pool is a good time!

Tech Museum of Innovation

I had the chance to visit this museum with my roommates and had loads of fun! A highlight was putting on a brain wave scanner that gave me a report at the end-apparently my brain waves categorized me as:“nerdy inventor”.

Municipal Rose Garden

This was the most beautiful area of flowers I have ever seen. It just so happened to be that there was a wedding going on when I was there, so my roommates sat down and “crashed it.”

Mission Peak

Mission Peak is a must do in San Jose! It’s about a 2 hour hike up to the top, and the views did not disappoint.

For the foodies:

This blog wouldn’t be complete without an ode to the amazing food here! I’ve had a chance to eat some local fare, and have enjoyed every bite. I love the diversity of food here, from Japanese to Indian, there’s no shortage of really tasty meals! Pictured from top to bottom: Sajj (Mediterranean), Banana Leaf (Malaysian), Straits Café (Chinese) and In-N-Out Burger (American).

Hope you enjoyed this one, thanks for reading!

Alli

Getting Comfortable with Your Internship

Now that it’s halfway through the summer, I’m sure everyone is starting to feel comfortable with their internships. While a sense of belonging can be great, it makes it easy to forget where you stand as an intern and it can lead to some common mistakes that we are all prone to making.

These mistakes include:

  1. Becoming Too Casual
    1. When you start to get to know your coworkers and managers, it’s easy to get too comfortable with them. Make sure that you’re always being professional with communications like emails or instant messaging. You may be friends with someone, but it’s still a working environment and these forms of communication are recorded by the company. Make sure that you’re always being respectful and mindful of your syntax and grammar. In addition to that, make sure that during meetings you are paying attention and not checking your phone or doing other things on your computer while someone else is presenting. Be attentive and present during all meetings and conversations that you have while at work. If you do this it will show that you are dedicated to your work.
  2. Sitting Back
    1. Sometimes there is a lag in your project or workload which is the nature of all internships and sometimes even full-time jobs. While it can be nice to sit and relax a little bit, it’s not something that you should do all of the time. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your manager or other people in the department if you want to learn something new or pick up some extra ad hoc tasks. This can show that you’re taking an initiative and have a good work ethic.
  3. Poor Time Management
    1. Showing up to work late or taking a two-hour lunch may be nice, but it’s not something that your employers will appreciate. Pay attention to what the other employees are doing and set your clock to them so you can better fit in if there are no set rules for times and lunch breaks. In addition to timing, prioritizing your workload and schedule is also good. If you have multiple tasks due on different dates, make a time schedule and to do list for how you’re going to tackle those projects. This will ensure that you won’t be missing anything that’s important or expected of you.
  4. Lack of Communication
    1. Once the internship has calmed down, it’s easy for both you and your manager to think that things are all set and that everyone knows what’s going on and doesn’t need anything from the other. While that may be true to some degree, it’s easy to lose much-needed communication. Reaching out to your manager and setting up a weekly check-in meeting is a great way to make sure that you are still on track with your goals and ensure that you are meeting the expectations of the company and your manager. This line of communication will allow you to get the most out of your internship and make sure that you’re learning. It will help you have a better gauge on whether or not you want to work with this company in the future or have a job similar to your internship.

While I’m sure that none of you will make any of these mistakes, it’s always a good idea to assess yourself and make sure that you aren’t falling into any of these traps. With that, good luck with the second half of your internships and enjoy the rest of the summer.

Cheers!

Hunter

Managing the Start: Ways to ease into an Internship

Hi everyone! I hope you all enjoyed my first post and found something that may benefit you in your time here at Fisher. The main goal of each of my posts will be to have you walk away with a lesson or tip that you can use while starting off your career. In this post, I’d like to share some of the background of the summer and some tips to ease your transition into a new job.

Background

To set the stage, the Unilever Leadership Internship Program (ULIP) is a 10-week internship aimed at developing leaders and placing interns in the Unilever Future Leaders Program (UFLP). The UFLP is a three year accelerated leadership program that exposes you to many different functions of the business to develop both your leadership and overall business skills so you can make a real impact. This is the prize at the end of the tunnel that myself and the other interns are working hard for. To walk away with an offer into the program would be the most amazing outcome and a true testament of the hard work that I have put in not only during these 10 weeks, but overall at Fisher as well. No matter what, however, I know I will be walking away from these 10 weeks with an unforgettable experience and a new, truly unique point of view from one of the worlds’ most creative and diverse companies.

One of Unilever’s most storied and truly exciting brands is Dove, and this summer I have been  fortunate enough to be placed on their Global Skin Cleansing team. I was instantly ecstatic to be able to work for such an iconic brand, and after four short weeks I can already say the experience has far surpassed my high expectations. Having a meaningful project that can impose an impact on the business is such a marvelous opportunity for me to put the skills I have learned at Fisher into a real and practical use while learning from the truly brightest minds that marketing has to offer. Hopefully by following the two tips below, the transition into your working experience can be as seamless and fun as mine was!

Have an Open Mind

Being that we students are new to the working world, I think this is a really important mindset to carry into your first internship. Getting the chance to take on new experiences, try new things,  meet new people, and explore different cities is a wonderful opportunity to learn something about yourself. For example, there was this one time where I spent 20 years of my life not drinking coffee, then after being highly encouraged to try it, found out that it is actually delicious. Now I am probably caught in the caffeine trap forever. Opening yourself up to new opportunities reveals paths that you might not have even noticed were there, and to me that is really exciting! When getting started off with your job, I found that an open mind can go a long way. It made my onboarding process much easier to take in and assess instead of feeling overwhelmed with information right off the bat. While being constantly receptive to new work ethics and ideas is essential at the start, an open mind is something that you should be evolving in the duration of your internship and beyond. In the four weeks at Unilever, I can already identify new ways I have gone about thinking just by being open to learning and welcoming guidance from those with the experience I am seeking to gain. We are all eager to show what we know, and we must also be willing to learn and be open to new opportunities as they come!

Meet as many people as you can

Sounds cliche? Good.

Being personable is an essential skill required to flourish in the business world, and at a company like Unilever, it is the driver of success. The leaders of the company understand the power of people and emphasize the value of teamwork to win with consumers. Once I got a taste of the company culture by meeting my team, interns, and other coworkers, it became apparent that having a strong social connection with everyone will play a large part of my summer. This has allowed me to not only to connect with people on a personal level, but also opened up opportunities for them to share their experiences with me and contribute their ideas to my project. As an intern, these two aspects are extremely valuable to me and will be used to guide my decision making going forward. Whether it is talking about the World Cup with Pedro at the cash register or the mentor-ship from my UFLP buddy Katie (fellow Buckeye), networking and forming relationships is a key tool to unlocking new perspectives and having fun in the workplace. Getting to know your coworkers and interns essentially yields no risks. The absolute worst thing that can happen is that they may not be able to assist you in your project. However, the relationship you form is still valuable and well worth the effort to create.

Your Favorite Intern,

Austin