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How Can StudentAdvisor.com Help You?

Interview with StudentAdvisor.com Product Manager

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By Laura LaPerriere

1. What is StudentAdvisor.com and what is its mission?

StudentAdvisor.com empowers college students of all ages to confidently determine which college is the right fit for their personality, academics, budget, career path, and future. We value innovation, excellence, honesty, and equality. We understand that going to college is an important and often difficult process to navigate, and are dedicated to providing genuinely useful and accessible information for students of any age, background, or aspiration.

In creating a community of students, parents, alumni, professors, and employers, we constantly seek to open the lines of communication and provide our users with a resource like no other. We¹re here to help.

2. How can StudentAdvisor.com help students?

Education options are overwhelming, expensive, and evolving. StudentAdvisor.com helps you compare, review, and rate your education options such as colleges or degree programs. The side-by-side comparison simplifies the process while the user insight keeps it honest.

3. What do you believe are the most important benefits of internships?

How many students do you know who went to college with a declared major, but after taking several classes and diving into the actual material, they realized that it wasn¹t for them and they wanted to change their major? Well internships can save a student from making the same mistake when it comes to their careers. Internships give students a realistic preview of what a potential career might be like. Students can take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it to the job, and learn more from their managers and coworkers about the job, the company and the industry itself. Internships also look great on a student¹s resume and internships provide the students with a chance to practice their networking skills and to expand their circle of contacts.

4. What do you believe are the best ways for students to find a good internship?

Students can look for internships in all of the traditional ways; job boards, career services, etc. But in this economy, students need to be more proactive and creative! With that being said, students can reach out to hiring mangers/recruiters directly and basically "sell themselves", explain why they would be a good fit and why they would be an asset to the company. Students can use their networking skills, by asking neighbors, friends, family & classmates if they know of any opportunities. Students can also use social networking sites such as Twitter or LinkedIn to look for internship opportunities.

5. How has the current economy affected internships and ultimately the job search for new graduates?

It actually appears that the economy has increased the number of internships. However, the trend has been towards unpaid internships/ internships for college credit. The ideal situation would obviously be to find a paid internship, but in this economy, it is very important to get your foot in the door at a company. If you can acquire an internship for credit, take advantage of this opportunity, work hard and prove yourself to your managers, coworkers, etc. You never know, that internship could turn into a full-time job.

6. What tips can you offer students on social networking and finding ways to increase their number of networking contacts?

LinkedIn: If students want to use LinkedIn to network with professionals, I highly suggest that they take the time to craft a personalized message to send to the person. Don¹t simply request to add them to your list of contacts and simply hope that they will reach out to you. Take the initiative into your own hands, sell yourself and explain why you chose to message that person directly.

Facebook: If you have a particular company in mind that you are interested in working for, then go ahead and follow that company on FB. I don¹t necessarily recommend friending the executives on Facebook, unless you are 100% certain that your Facebook account is being used for only professional purposes (i.e., no incriminating photos, wall comments, status updates, etc.). But if you ³like² a company, you can learn more about its initiatives and comment on wall posts, etc.

Twitter: This site is great for following companies of interest as well as people of interest. Build up your following on this site and you can really make a name for yourself in your field of expertise.

7. Do you have any additional tips you'd like to offer to students?

Be positive! I know that finding an internship can be a long, stressful process, but just know that it will truly pay off in the end. Invest the time and effort into finding an internship now, work incredibly hard once you are on the job, and maybe later on you will be offered a full-time job. Then, when all of your classmates are stressed out looking for employment opportunities, you will be able to relax and feel good about the time & effort and hard work you had invested earlier on. Good luck!

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