Archive for Internship

HOW LEARNING ONE THING BETTER

Everybody knows there is a thousand ways to learn one thing, but very often either these ways are wrong or you don’t follow them properly.

In this article, I want to show you how you can do to meet your goal (which, in that case, consists in understanding a new thing).

The first step is to set your goal itself, so you can focus on what you want to achieve.

After, you have to work every day and be patient and diligent until you start to see results. The main trick is to practice every day by using your brain.

In fact, recent studies have showed that the only way you can have a positive outcome is if you are focusing. For example, usually after 15 minutes of a training section, you can improve your memory and cognitive process.

Another options is to meditate, take your time to know what you want to reach and then go ahead. The second step is to have a proper diet to improve your responsiveness and mental process.

The best way to fight dehydration is to drink water correctly, not only when you are thirsty because it is already too late. So you might want to consider carrying a bottle of water with you and bringing it everywhere.

Then, remember that some foods are good source of water, especially fruits.

Furthermore, there are a variety of foods that can help clear your brain.

For example blackcurrant has vitamin C, which increases mental agility and tomatoes have lycopene, which can help fight dementia in elder age.

To prevent a cognitive decline, a good intake of Vitamin E is suggested (nuts vegetables, asparagus, olives, seeds, eggs, brown rice and wholegrain).

The third step is to find a leisure, a relaxing activity that can keep you away from the stress of your daily life. Take up a hobby, because your brain needs, over work and study, extra activities that will contribute to make you smarter.

For example practising yoga is recommended to decrease errors of perception, memory and motor function. But don’t forget to keep time to sleep fairly every night since it is decisive for brain function and reaction time.

Finally you need to test yourself. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, rather these can help you on your personal and professional growth. At the end of every day, you can do a report about your daily work, perhaps by splitting your focal point and taking 1 hour to reviewing all that you’ve done.

The future of communication

The world of business depends on consumers’ way of thinking and feeling. In the last few years a new economics field called Neuromarketing has emerged. It consists in applying the techniques belonging to the field of neuroscience to marketing studying the effects that advertising and other forms of communication have on the human brain. The aim is to be able to foresee consumer’s behavior. In other words, it consists in navigating through the consumer’s emotions regarding what they want. Neuromarketing is an advanced discipline, whose goal is to investigate and study the brain processes that enlight the behavior and decisions of people in the field of action of traditional marketing (market intelligence, product design and services, communication, pricing, branding, positioning, targeting, sales and channel). In this way, one can read the consumers’ mind, understand their desires, which is what motivates them, in their view, to make the decision to do better deals or to consume a product or service, regardless of the size of the organization you work with, the product you want to sell or the type of consumer you appeal.

The old rules of the Marketing and Communication will soon be completely replaced. Indeed, the most innovative companies are already appliyng the new standards related to the concepts of Neuromarketing (Adidas, Nike, Ikea, Coca Cola, Google, Apple) are overcoming well the very difficult economic times.

Recent studies on Neuromarketing have showed that the brain, over the right hemisphere (the center of conceptual thought and metaphorical) and the left hemisphere (the center of logical and linear), is divided into three different parts, each of them having a specific function:

  • The Rational Brain (thinking), the cerebral cortex that processes rational data and shares its conclusions with the other two;

  • The Brain Intermediate (listening), process the emotions and deep feelings with the other two brains;

  • The Brain Primitive (deciding), takes into account the information coming from the other two and makes the decisions.

A positive communication needs to stimulate the 3 areas. The future is about Behavioral Economics, which is a branch of economics that explains how economic decisions are made regarding to the requirements of conventional economic theory, based on full and total rationality. Thus, these sciences will enable marketers, manager, consultants but even an average person to make wise and informed choices in the future.

Team Building

Team building is a technique used by companies in which the team work has a great relevance for the success. It aims to create a group between the people who work for the same project or tasks, and to develop partnership and communication, cohesion and sharing objectives. It can build a harmonious, efficient and productive work group.

According to Arnold Bateman of the University of Nebraska “Team building is an effort in which a team studies its own process of working together and acts to create a climate that encourages and values the contributions of team members. Their energies are directed toward problem solving, task effectiveness, and maximizing the use of all members’ resources to achieve the team’s purpose. Sound team building recognizes that it is not possible to fully separate one’s performance from those of others.” (1990, Team Building: Developing a Productive Team ).
In a company, the team building is used to reach the best performance as possible.

Team building can be categorized or as developmental if it works on weakness or particular needs well identified, such as workshops and professional team-building exercises with specific goals and issues, or as fun, to enjoy the group and create a group identity with, for example, sport and theatrical activities, camping trips or sailing boat. Some examples of team building can be: survival scenario (your plane has crushed in the ocean near a desert island, and there are 12 items you need to survive: which items you want to take and how you rank each item); ice breaking: each team’s member has to write in a piece of paper two real episodes of his life and one not true, and the others has to guess which is the lie; cooking class; rugby; a day in a farm and urban safari, a kind of treasure hunt in the city.

With these activities and games the team can define the roles, analyse the problems and find the solution through problem solving, manage the group’s communication, active listening, feedback and brainstorming. These elements could be examine patiently afterwards in the office.

Whether or not the type of activity, the purpose is making the group a real team, increasing the trust to the colleagues, releasing the creativity, developing a relaxed climate for communication and knowing each other.
Team building can work best if there is a high level of interdependence between members, if the leader has positive people skills, if the members are clear about goals and their roles in the team, if everyone wants to contribute and is prepared to take risks, and if the team has capacity to create new ideas, to examine the errors and weaknesses and to learn from the experience.

The simplest examples to understand the team building, and what it could reach, are represented by team sport activities: they are a perfect metaphor for the company life. As in the sport, in the business world there is competition, competence, faith in the team, loyalty to rivals, strategy and tactic plan. If you want to play, you have to respect the company and management’s rules: you should know them as well as possible to reach the team’s objectives.

If you play as a team, you will win as a team.

Better intern with a small or a large company?

When you come to the decision to do an internship, you have several possibilities. But one of the most important questions is whether you will be going to a small or a large company. Let us have a look at the pros and cons of the size of a company.

The first thing to say is that large companies are large for a reason. They were built up a long time ago, have a central position on the market and represent success, not only because of their size of enterprise. But often there is an established way of doing things, too. So on the one hand you cannot work freely or creatively. You have to be a cogwheel in the huge machine and must operate. But on the other hand this is what gives you a feeling of stability. Feeling safe and stable can be a form of motivation, too.
Speaking of motivation, when you did an internship in a large company it is nice to write on your CV. Some companies think that practical experience is more important than your marks. That is why they first look at your CV and not at your certificate.
Another advantage of a big company is that if you are not sure in which department you are interested, you can have a look at different departments of the company. Mostly the companies have experience with interns. Then they will offer a special schedule for interns. Nevertheless, it can happen that you end up making coffee and copying documents because nobody feels really responsible for you.

And here is the difference between an internship in a small and a large company. It is nearly impossible to learn nothing in a small company.
In a little company you will get to know the people more easily or at least get to know every employee, which is impossible in a company with hundreds or thousands of people. It is a completely different spirit to work for a company where everybody knows each other and calls you a friend. You will feel like having a second family, which you can ask for advice.
Moreover, the company can extend after you left them, especially when it is a start-up company. Then you killed two birds with one stone. You have the name of the company on your CV and learned a lot.

But you have to remember that there is no right or wrong answer to this question and it will widely depend on what you hope to accomplish and what your preferred way of working is.

How to prepare for a job interview

When you land an interview for a job you have been longing for a long time, it is therefore normal to be anxious. Here are some tips to help you get your dream job.

First, collect information about the company.
Many people do not bother researching information about their potential future company, which means that a simple way to stand out from the majority of the people is to search on the Internet for the company’s activity, its goals and achievements, its directors’ names, its market share as well as its news. Furthermore, with this information you can predict your employer’s expectations more efficiently and then proceed to the second step.

Prepare the questions
Once you are done with the first part, you can now try to prepare the famous strengths and weaknesses question; and this is why predicting your employer’s expectations can be quite important, as he will often be looking for a specific profile. Write down a few strengths and weaknesses you find relevant for the position and the company you apply and drill until you sound natural and convincing. Also, you should prepare at least one or two examples for each of your statement as the recruiter is likely to ask for more precision as well as examples from your previous jobs. Maybe you can ask one of your acquaintances to play the role of the recruiter.
Another important point is to prepare a few questions you will ask the employer. It shows that you have a certain knowledge of the company through researches and will make your employer think that you are self-motivated.
Obviously, an employer is looking for someone capable of improving the company, so it is important that you come up with a few additional qualities of yours which are likely to improve it, keeping in mind that it must suit the company’s profile and aims.

Salary
Your employer may or may not talk about your income. If he does not talk about it, then you NEED to do it, which means that you have to study the average wages for this job and prepare a spread to be sure you will not earn less than the minimum you expected.

Last heads-up
An important thing is to never ever ever criticise your previous companies, as it would reveal that you are not faithful nor involved in your enterprises.
Moreover, try to dress appropriately. This should be quite easy to find out.
Before going to the job interview, make sure you have a pouch containing some CVs, a jotter, some pens and a dose of relevant humour.

Do not forget to arrive 5-10 minutes in advance; try to appear serious, motivated and confident, and exercise your handshake if possible.
Good luck!

What our handshake reveals about us

During an interview, be it for an internship or a real job, the employer will employ many tactics to determine whether you are fit for the position – and the handshake is the very first of them. It can reveal more about your personality than you might think. There are several types of handshakes:

The Bone Crusher
The Bone Crusher squeezes your hand firmly – too firmly. There is a message of power and intimidation behind the grip. When you shake hands with the Bone Crusher, don’t feel tempted to start a hand-squeezing contest. However, present yourself with strength during the interview, because the Bone Crusher usually also expects self-confidence and determination in his applicants.

The Dead Fish
This is a limp and indifferent handshake that feels like shaking a dead fish rather than a hand. Persons with this handshake might have a passive or reserved personality and are generally not people-focused. What matters to them is the technical or mechanical aspect of something. With this handshake, you symbolically give the other person the “upper hand”. In business, you want to be considered an equal, so avoid this handshake if possible.

The Politician
The other person grabs your hand like in a normal handshake, but his other hand covers yours or is placed on your forearm or shoulder. This “double-hander” handshake tries to communicate that the two of you have a strong, trustworthy relationship. However, this close human contact can be inappropriate in many business situations. Think of the Politician as a mini-hug. Would it be appropriate to give the other person a short hug? If no, avoid giving them a “double-hander” handshake.

The Finger Vice
The Finger Vice grabs only your fingers instead of your whole hand. It is meant to keep you at a distance, be it out of insecurity or to demonstrate personal power. The Finger Vice is often looking for partners that are compliant and willing to look for compromises instead of people that seek open confrontation.

The perfect handshake is firm, not too hard and definitely not too soft. It lasts for 2-3 seconds and you should make eye contact the whole time. Sweaty hands are a normal body reaction when you are anxious or nervous but undesirable in a job interview, so make sure to wipe them dry before you shake hands with your future employer. Most importantly, however: do not forget to smile!

The transparent applicant – recruiting in the digital age

It is nothing new that recruiters trace their applicants’ activity on social networks in order to find out if they are suitable for a position or not. What is new, however, is that programmers have implemented an algorithm for calculating a social media popularity score that can easily be compared among applicants.

This score, called Klout-score, is a number between 0 (a digital no-name) and 100 (has a great deal of influential connections). The algorithm considers three factors:
1. quantity of digital relations, ie. how many friends, followers or subscribers you have
2. the power of mobilisation, meaning how many people share, like or comment on your posts
3. the quality of your network, ie. how influential your contacts are
Every user of social networks will be judged – whether they ask for it or not. The Klout-score of your Twitter account, for example, is accessible by anyone unless you oppose explicitly to this collection of data.

Why do companies care about what happens in the virtual world?
Criticism about a product or a company by an influential person will spread quickly and can undermine a company’s image. Praise from powerful people, on the other hand, is the most effective form of advertisement. If a company can determine who has the most influence, they will give them free samples or presents – and word of mouth will do the rest.

All these scores and calculations may seem intimidating, but they can teach us something: Choose wisely which information you share on social networks and with whom you want to be connected. Before you post a new picture or message, give it a thought: Would you be comfortable with your future boss or recruiter seeing this?

Does this mean that our personality is more important than our knowledge and skills? Another new trend suggests so: personality tests for choosing applicants. The main problem is that there is no standardised testing method and answers can often be interpreted in many ways, which results in a lack of objectiveness and comparability. Another criticism is that as soon as you have realised which personality traits a company expects from their applicants, it is not too difficult to manipulate your answers accordingly. Are there several questions regarding the readiness to take risks? This probably means that the company is looking for someone who is outgoing and daring.

Some people claim that being able to manipulate the test according to the recruiters’ expectations shows that you have the desired social skills to adapt to a situation. However, your boss will be disappointed if your real personality differs greatly from your allegedly honest answers. You will be unsatisfied with the position as well if you always need to pretend to be another person.

Present yourself in the best possible way, but never lie only to impress someone. Do not pretend to be a whole other person – it might get you the job but will backfire eventually.

Skills should always remain the deciding factor for who will be hired, but looking for certain personality traits in applicants – be it through social network analyses or personality tests – can bring several benefits. A team whose members think and work in the same way will collaborate better and be more efficient. Employees who identify with the company’s image will be more satisfied in their position and show more motivation to represent and advertise the company.

Internship: training before a marathon

No one gets up in the morning and runs an entire marathon without previous training. It takes a long period of constant exercise to reach this goal. The same holds true with regard to the job market: it is highly unlikely that your first job will be a leading position in a renowned company. You have to take small steps in order to reach this goal some day. The first step is your academic education: school or university give you the theoretical framework and knowledge you need in your job field. However, no one has ever won a marathon after having only read some books on the right running technique. Practical experience and training are essential, and this is what an internship can provide you with.

Whether you complete an internship or train for a marathon, you will pass through different stages.

At first, everything will be new and exciting. Both running and doing an internship are exhausting endeavours because you are not used to the physical and mental strain in the beginning, but the positive aspects outweigh the negative ones. You are curious to learn new things and eager to make progress, but maybe you are a little bit confused because you are not yet completely clear about what your tasks are. When it comes to running, you might not have found the right technique yet.

Sooner or later you will move on to the second phase. This is the critical period, when many people give up or believe that their goal is not worth fighting for any more. Running has now become a habit. Unlike in the first few days or weeks, you no longer make big progress , but at the same time you are still far away from being able to run a marathon. The same might happen in a work environment, when the initial excitement has worn out and a certain routine has developed. Now it is important not to forget how much progress you have already made. A few weeks ago you were not sporty at all or you had little practical experience in your field of study. It might help you to make a list of the small steps you are taking. For example, take notes whenever you manage to run a few metres more than the previous day, you find a new solution to a problem or you learn a new word or phrase. Soon you will realise that those small achievements accumulate and disprove your belief that you do not make progress. While you look back at your achievements, do not lose sight of your goal. Remind yourself why you began with the exercise or internship in the first place.

When you have overcome the difficult second phase, your goal seems much closer, but in order to reach it you still need to make an effort. This will boost your motivation and you will come to love your work or exercise again because you are now confident in what you are doing. You know how to handle your tasks and solve problems. There will still be bad days when things go wrong or you do not live up to your expectations, but they will not discourage you because you are not as quick to doubt your skills as in the beginning.

Now you are ready for the big day: the marathon, or the job interview.
Remember all the hard work or exercise you invested in these past weeks, and most importantly: be confident. In this way you will eventually cross the finish line, or in other words: manage to get your dream job.

How to find a job in the United States

Are you thinking about finding a job abroad?
If you want a different experience, choose America.
Maybe it sounds a little bit scary to drop everything and go to look for a job in such an huge country, but with these tips to help you start your search you will feel less disorientated.
First of all, you have to consider that bureaucracy in USA is very time-consuming and strict and that your paperwork in order to be allowed to work in the country will take a long time to completeand will be demanding, but this can be overcome if you are well-informed.

Visas
Owning a Visa, a document which entitles the holder to travel to the United States and apply for admission, is compulsory if you need to enter this country, even if you are travelling.
There are two kinds of Visas: the non-immigrant, required for anyone who is seeking temporary admission into the United States, and the immigrant which is required for anyone seeking to take up indefinite or permanent residence in the USA.
If you want to apply, you need to be aged 14-79, and you have to complete an online application, schedule an appointment for an interview with a U.S. consular officer, appear at the embassy and wait for your results and documents to arrive.

Job seeking

Many daily newspapers, such as the Washington Post and the New York times could help you in your search, especially if you look Saturday’s editions!
As far as internet is concerned, have a look at Monsters, which is very similar to Linkedin.
In this website you can upload your CV, choose your desired geographic area and select your working field.
Besides, there are others portals, called job banks,in which you can find interesting job offers and contact all the companies you are interested in.
The trustiest are Gorkana, career builder and Dice.
If you wish to work in finance, this is the perfect website to start from! http://www.efinancialcareers.com/.

How to find accomodation

Finding accomodation in the USA is not very difficult, especially in a city’s outskirts.
Also, if you are moving to be able to practice your language skills, make sure that you are aware of the slang and of the linguistic characteristics in your desired area.
Here are a few useful websites that you can visit to get an idea of prices and house-types..

www.apartmentguide.com, www.forrentmag.com, www.homes.com, www.rental-guide.com and www.aptforrent.com.
Now you have some starting points to make your American dream come true, what are you waiting for?

How to build PMA at work?

A good mood in a working environment is very important because your performance and success depends on how you feel towards the work, and this can ultimately affect your future career development . Therefore, to have and know HOW to create a PMA is a very important skill, but some people encounter difficulties when trying to develop it. So here are some tips to help you to build a PMA and make your life at work that much easier.
1. Remember that you are powerful.
We play roles and cover up our true selves by identifying with “things” that end up defining who we think we are. I’m a doctor, a salesperson, a secretary, a lawyer; I’m sad, happy, lonely, or miserable. I’m angry, jealous, afraid, and I can’t help it — it’s who I am.
The truth is, though, that we are none of those things. We are more important than any label. We are not our professions. We are not our feelings. We are not even our mind.
What we are is far greater, far superior, far more important, and far more mysterious than our conceptual mind tries to define. This is why we are much more powerful than we think we are.
2. Embrace and enjoy life.
Embrace every moment of your life no matter if it contains obstacles or opportunities, and stop fussing over trivial matters and focus on things that are really important to you. Life becomes hard and unfair when we decide to complain about things rather than trying to change them ourselves. Be bold and don’t be afraid of taking risks, because at the end of your life you will regret the things you haven’t done rather than the things you did.
3. Control your reactions.
We all have problems and we’re often tested by circumstances outside our control. Even if you cannot control what’s going on, you can definitely control your reaction to those situations. By reacting effectively and responsibly, your boss may reward you which could ultimately help your career progression. Therefore, try to distinguish the problems of your personal life from your work and stay as positive as possible.
4. Believe in yourself.
We put far too much emphasis on other peoples’ opinions about us. It doesn’t matter what others are saying about you unless you agree with them. Be aware of how you see yourself, because nobody knows you better than you know yourself. Always believe that you can do anything you want, and aim high. As Dr. Seuss once said: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” If you don’t believe in yourself then how can others believe in you?
5. Keep calm.
If someone makes negative remarks about your work or the way you do it, you may start reacting negatively, get uptight with other people’s actions and in the end punish yourself because of their bad behaviour. You should try not to lose your control, because it is you who is responsible for your actions and it’s you who will have to suffer the consequences. If it is hard to keep calm, you should always remember: in the end it’s you who loses if you don’t learn the lesson.
6. Live in the moment.
Be satisfied with where you are today and don’t delay your happiness just because you are waiting for the right moment to shine. Sometimes the journey is far more important than the goal itself.
Not everyone woke up this morning and not all of them will go to sleep. Life has no guarantees, therefore, you should try to immerse yourself in the moment and enjoy your journey through life. It is not always easy, actually it is more hard than easy, but it is you who makes the choices concerning your life.
As we can see all these tips are mainly about PMA in your life, but when you think that if you have equilibrium in your personal life it is so much easier to be PMA in the work place too. In other words, start creating balance in your personal life because in that way it will take less effort to do the same at work.