Cindy Brugge

A Public Relations Student

Month: February, 2013

Moving On Without Walking Out

Believe it or not, spring semester is coming to a close and those internships will be ending before you know it. For some poor unfortunate souls, who dread their internship daily, leaving this experience behind may not be the worst news. Others may be hoping that their internship could result in a summer job offer. Either way, it’s always best to end an internship gracefully, by following a few simple steps.

  1. Do your research: As college students in a failing economy, sitting still and hoping for the best is not enough in the job market. Even if you have the perfect job, you must always be looking for something better; always be searching for the next job and creating a back-up plan. So, start digging into different internship options that will expand your knowledge base and fill out your resume. You can’t stay where you are just because it is fun. You have to do what’s best for your career.
  2. Decide what you want: After you’ve looked at all the other options and scribbled a few pro-con lists, make some choices. If the connections you’ve made at your current internship could be useful in the future, then staying with your present employment might be best. However, are there other options? If so, pick your first, second and third choice and act accordingly.
  3. Meet with the Big Guy: You can’t expect your boss to be a mind reader, so let him/her know how you feel. One month from the end of your internship, ask for a performance evaluation meeting with your supervisor. Give your boss the opportunity to tell you what you did well and what you should work on. Take notes because he/she could help you grow in the next step of your career. Towards the end of your meeting, tell your boss your plans. You can either ask if there might be an opening for you in the future at that company or take the other route and gracefully bow out. Remember to show gratitude for the opportunity and explain your choice to pursue other employment.
  4. Move forward: Before you take your next step, make sure to arrange a few details with your current internship. First, make a list of all of your duties and projects that you completed. It will come in handy when you’re trying to write a cover letter and resume later. Second, ask for a reference letter from your boss. If you ask for it while your hard work is fresh on their mind, it will be much more personal and detailed then if they are trying to think back years from now. Third, update your LinkedIn page, with your job, duties and gained proficiencies.

Always remember that these final interactions with your co-workers and boss will be the last thing they remember of you. Don’t leave a bad taste in their mouth, by leaving with condescension or bad attitude. Always leave that door open because you might need it to get into another room later.

Best of Luck,

Cindy | Former Bookkeeper Girl Intern

 

This is a piece from my monthly column in the Campus Pages, called Intern-al Affairs.

See the published copy by clicking here.

Using Crowd-Sourced Information to Track Sexualized Violence in Syria

With various sexual crimes happening around the globe, it can be very difficult to get a grasp on the sheer size and reality of the problem at hand, but a group of researchers have started to use social media to track sexualized violence in Syria.

Women Under Siege is an organization aimed at providing proof that rape is a tool of war, “not only a crime of war but a tool.” By connecting the numbers of rape with the numbers of other common war violence, they hope to prove this theory and give groups, like the United Nations, the authority to act against “gender-based genocide.”

Screen-Shot Taken from the Women Under Siege Crowd Map

Screen-Shot Taken from the Women Under Siege Crowd Map
This screenshot shows some of the elevated rape crime numbers in Syria and Lebanon. The interesting part of these statistics is that Women Under Siege collected these numbers from social media testimonies and confessions.

“Every report is coded by perpetrator and date, and mapped by location,” said an NPR report by Deborah Amos.

Director, Lauren Wolfe, is pushing many research standards because many people believe that crowd-sourced information is untrustworthy. These opinions are absolutely taken into consideration, especially in reference to the social stigma associated with rape in Arab countries and the unlikelihood of a true representative sample.

However, this is the first time in history for such research and statistics to be gathered in real time. For this reason, the project is breaking many standards for acceptable research and trying to initiate crowd-sourced information into the research world.

“This is what is really new in terms of the story that can be told by crowd-sourcing,” said Lucas Dixon, social media research fellow at University of Edinburgh. “It can give you the overview picture, it can connect the dots, it can then inform you in ways that weren’t possible before.”