How to Find Internships

Internships can be a great way to get your foot in the door, gaining valuable work experience in a position that would not normally be open to someone with your skills. Finding one and getting it can be hard though. Follow these strategies to land great internships.

  • Look for internship listings

    Visit career services office of your school or regularly browse their website to check internship listings. Many companies also post internship positions on their ‘career’ web page. Select a number of different internships and be sure to follow the application instructions precisely. Many internships are very competitive and until you hear back from an employer – don’t assume that you will be accepted. Be proactive by continuing to apply to new internships as you find them.

  • Make a good resume

    You know what you are good at but the employer will need to see them in ink. Ready your resume, highlighting the skills that could be beneficial in that field and mention your achievements in previous internships or a project at college where you volunteered. Showcasing your skills, while keeping in the mind the requirements for the job, plays an important role in getting yourself the right internship.

  • Do your research

    Before going for an interview, research on not only the company and its products, but also on the business itself. Read about company’s stock market performance, its employees, their backgrounds, competitors, media coverage regarding news about the company etc. Potential interns who get noticed in an interview or on the job are the ones who have an opinion- they aren’t afraid to speak up, give input and contribute to brainstorming sessions. But in order to have effective and credible input, one has to put in the time and do the research.

  • Use and know the product

    Being unfamiliar with the product or web site of the company is fatal- because interviewers will get to know about your ignorance. Candidates, who have used the product or know it well, share insight and knowledge and they even have stories about how the product has helped them in their career etc.

  • Weigh benefits correctly

    Weigh the benefits of internship in terms of the value they add to your profile the knowledge that you gain from that role. Taking up just any internship is not good for your profile. Get the one that is relevant to the career you intend to pursue.

If you are looking for internship positions with renowned companies, log on to ThGongzuo.com to find the right internship and save your precious time.

Know Your Rights, Ladies!

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Women enjoy most freedoms today that men enjoy, and have joined the American work force in great numbers. But, discrimination against women still exists in the workplace in various forms. Women should know their rights as U.S. workers and take responsibility for helping to stop violations in the workplace.

Types of women’s rights:

  • Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964 – It is illegal for employers to exclude qualified women from any available position. Women can sue a potential employer, if they feel he has excluded them from a position based on gender.
  • Equal Pay Act of 1963 – It states that employers must pay women the same amount they would pay a man in the same position.Women can sue their employers if they can prove that a male in the same position earns higher wages.
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 – According to this Act, it’s illegal to discriminate against pregnant woman in the workplace. An employer cannot fire a woman or exclude her from a position due to pregnancy as long as she can perform satisfactorily.
  • Right against harassment – An employee of any company where a woman works may not sexually harass the woman in any way.Women should report offensive conduct such as jokes, name calling, physical assaults or threats, insults etc. to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or a supervisor.

Even though there are laws to protect the rights of working women, workplaces are far from equal.

  • Women make 75 to 90 cents to every man’s dollar.
  • Under FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act), women are eligible for 12 weeks of maternity leave. But, women working for a small company or those who have been employed for less than a year get only 8 weeks of maternity leave.
  • Harassment complaints are ignored many times, because taking action is not a priority.
  • There are approximately 50% women in the workforce, but women aren’t getting 50% of leadership roles.

Nevertheless, America has come a long way to having the rights we enjoy today in the workplace. But, there is still significant room for improvement.

Dealing with Workplace Harassment

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Workplace harassment and office bullying are unfortunately common incidents these days. It refers to any repeated, intentional behaviour directed at an employee that is intended to degrade, humiliate, embarrass, or otherwise undermine their performance. It can come from colleagues, supervisors, or management, and is a real problem for workers at all levels. It’s no joke. By learning to recognize and address workplace bullying behaviour, you can help to create a healthier, more productive environment for yourself and your colleagues.

What women can do

  • Communicate your disapproval – If you can avoid the colleague who makes you uncomfortable, do so. If you have to work in close proximity to him, avoid being alone with him and tell him to stop his specific behaviour. If the person has sent you a joke through an email or SMS, reply through email or SMS when asking him to stop.
  • Keep a record – If your colleague isn’t getting the message, prepare to report him. Gather evidence to substantiate your claims. ‘Note down the date, time and details of each incident. Save any emails or text messages that contain inappropriate language. Try to use your mobile phone recorder to discreetly record his remarks.
  • Find a friend to share this information – Share the situation with a colleague you trust in the office. She may be able to keep a watchful eye on the situation. But be picky about who you share this information with, and ensure that this person is trustworthy. A senior colleague or mentor who carries more weight in the organisation would be ideal.
  • Formal complaint – If the above doesn’t work, make a formal complaint to senior members of the organisation, with whatever evidence or notes you have. Make the complaint in writing and keep a copy. Remember an oral complaint can be hushed up. Often women don’t report sexual harassment for fear they might lose their jobs, but unless you are willing to take action, your problem will persist.
  • Contact EEOC – If your complaint does not result in your supervisor or senior manager taking action, you can file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which investigates sexual harassment incidents in the workplace. Inform the EEOC of your employer’s name, the name of the offender and the details surrounding the incidents.
  • File a lawsuit – After you file a complaint with the EEOC, you can possibly file a lawsuit. You can seek monetary damages, or try to get your job back if your employer fired you due to the incidents. If you plan to file a lawsuit, you should seek legal representation from an attorney who handles sexual harassment cases.

Tech Tools for Small Businesses

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Starting a new business can be tough, as obstructions you never imagined crop up. Limited time, manpower, and budgets can all be a factor as the workload starts to pile up and the bills come rolling in. With the right tools, small businesses can reach their potential. Below is a list of tools that small business owners can utilize.

1. For organization and productivity –

    • Google Drive – lets you store and access your files anywhere–on the web, on your hard drive, or on the go.
    • Trello – Visual project management system
    • Expensify – financial services startup that provides an online expense management service for customers worldwide.
    • Evernote – A suite of software and services that allow users to capture, organize, and find information across multiple platforms.

2. Cloud storage –

      • Dropbox – Provides a home for users’ most-important information.
      • Google Drive – lets you store and access your files anywhere — on the Web, on your hard drive, or on the go.
      • Apple’s iCloud – a mobile- and Web-based application that enables its users to store their information.
      • Microsoft OneDrive – A storage application that enables users to store and share photos, videos, documents, and more.

3. CRM tools –

  • Salesforce – A global cloud computing company that develops CRM solutions and provides business software on a subscription basis.
  • Act! – To organize customer details, increase productivity, and drive results.
  • SugarCRM – enables businesses to create extraordinary customer relationships with the most innovative CRM solution in the market.

4. Email marketing/marketing automation –

  • MailChimp – an email marketing service that helps businesses with newsletters, automated messages, and targeted campaigns.
  • Constant Contact – provides email, social media, and event marketing tools to help small businesses grow their customer base.
  • Emfluence – lets you create, deploy, and track multi-channel online marketing campaigns from one place.
  • InfusionSoft – provides sales and marketing automation software for small businesses that combines CRM, email marketing, and e-commerce.

5. Social media and content tools –

  • TweetDeck – A Twitter tool for real-time tracking, organizing, and engaging on Web and mobile devices.
  • Sprout Social – provides a platform for businesses to manage social media engagement, publishing, and analytics.
  • Buffer App – helps users share social media content by scheduling online posts throughout the day.

Turn Your Expertise into a Business

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Subject matter specialization is an important skill set to call someone an expert in something. If you are an expert in something and you want to convert it in to business, you need to be accepted for your expertise. People need to see you in action. They need to see results. And, people should decide to buy the product or service you are willing to create out of your expertise. You need to set a plan of action. And, as always it all starts with a well-planned business strategy.

Do you know enough?
You have an expertise and want to start a business. Do you know enough about the industry? With industry background and know-how, you’ll be ahead of the curve. If you have a great idea, but aren’t familiar enough with the field to get started, use your network, speak with people who’ve started businesses in your industry to help you get up to speed quickly.

Surround yourself with people who share your idea
Hire people who share similar interests, if not passion! You can expect long work hours and hard days in the beginning, so personal drive and similar values with your colleagues will take you through initial turbulence.

Business Funds
You need funds. Smart fund allocation and streamlined spending is crucial for any business process. In reality, any kind of skill set can be streamlined to produce regular profits. While quantity matters a great deal to produce regular profits in any business, quality is crucial to attract regular and loyal customers to your service. Successful businesses never compromise on quality.

Time
Quality is achieved by investing the required amount of time. You will never achieve anything by rushing. Consistent and scheduled work culture is crucial for the success of any business process. Overworking and under working are both harmful for any kind of business. Overworking can lead to attitude saturation and eventual productivity mess up. Under working can kill profits.

Easy ways to turn your expertise into a business:

  • Consultancy services – If you have vast know-how and skills in a particular field, you can be paid lucratively by sharing your expertise with others.
  • Start a blog – If you have specialized knowledge about a particular topic, you can start a blog or a website on that subject. You can join affiliate programs or use advertisements to earn money from your blog/ website.
  • Teach what you know – If you have vast knowledge about a particular topic, you can offer lessons at a fee. You can begin by teaching at seminars or hire yourself out as a tutor.

Turning your expertise into a successful business not only allows you to be profitable while doing something you love; it helps set you up for lasting success. Most importantly, passion is central to making decisions that are in the long-term interest of the customer and the company, which will help you, establish sustainability and longevity for your brand.

Should Start-ups Hire Interns?

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For some start-ups it is inevitable to hire interns at the initial stages of their company’s growth. While this may initially appear to be a good practice, especially with start-ups’ tight financial constraints, the grind of managing the interns could overshadow the benefits of having them in your office.

Internships are a “give and take” relationship because the commitment goes both ways – an intern works for your start-up, but you have to teach the intern the necessary skills and give him or her individual learning plan in return. The intern is working for you because he or she wants to learn and get experience in his or her field of expertise.

Pros and cons of hiring interns
There are mostly ‘pros’, but you need to be aware of one con: Interns are time consuming in the beginning of their internship. You need to take the time to teach them a new set of skills and integrate them into the workplace.

Here are the benefits of hiring interns:

  • The most important benefit to the start-ups is that they get cost effective dynamic workforce.
  • For most interns, it is their first job, so they give their best to the employer. They are motivated and have desire to learn and progress within their field.
  • Interns fill positions and assist employers with innovative ideas and technology.
  • Internships allow employers to connect with and build relationships with students early in their academic careers
  • Employers can test the candidates before offering him/her full time position within an organization.
  • Smaller, less important tasks could be given to interns, so that experienced workforce could devote their full attention to more productive work.

However, these benefits could come at a cost of your time and energy.

  • You spend more time teaching them how to work and what to work on
  • If you have more number of interns, your business activities may suffer when interns go back to school.
  • Most start-up founders will take the interns under their wing and teach them what they know. As an internship cycle usually repeats itself every 3/6 months, it can be quite taxing.
  • If handover is not done properly when an internship comes to an end, you could lose your business.

In a small start-up, interns can either make or break your company. However, if handled and planned correctly, internships can be meaningful to both you – the employer and your interns.

If you plan to hire interns for your start-up, register on TheGongzuo.com and advertise your open positions to get qualified interns.

What’s In a Name?

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Creativity is the essence of the tech world and it is evident even with the names of tech companies. There is a story behind the names of most of the companies.

Here’s a look how some of these well-known tech giants got their names:

  • Apple – Steve Jobs liked apples a lot. The other reason he named his company ‘Apple’ was that “Apple” was ahead of “Atari” in the phonebook and he used to work at Atari.
  • Amazon – Bezos wanted his book retail site to be so quick and easy that it seemed like magic. The site went online in 1995 with the name of Amazon, taken from the Amazon River for being the biggest river. Clearly, Bezos had big ambitions right from the start.
  • Google – Google took its name from a deliberate misspelling of Googol, the word that represents 10^100, or a 1 followed by 100 zeroes. Why this? Simply because founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page wanted to convey the huge amount of data they intended to make available.
  • Microsoft – The company was officially established in April 1975, with the name coming from a combination of “microprocessor” and “software” – which is fitting given that they were creating software for the Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems’s (MITS) Altair 8800.
  • Oracle – This name started as the code for a project that co-founders Larry Ellison and Bob Oats worked on for the CIA. It was a database that was supposed to be able to answer any question about anything.
  • Mozilla – In 1994, when a team at Netscape sat around to think of names for a new browser to take on NCSA’s Mosaic browser, what they were looking for was something that would crush the competition. What they looked to was Godzilla. Combining Mosaic with the movie monster brings you to the current day name of Mozilla.
  • Asus – The name is derived from the mythological Greek winged horse Pegasus. According to the company’s own explanation it embodies the strength, purity, and adventurous spirit of this fantastic creature, and soars to new heights with each new product it creates.
  • Lenovo – The word is a combination of Le and Novo, meaning new in Latin.
  • Skype – It’s a combination of “sky” and “peer-to-peer”, shortened to skyper. The name ‘Skyper’ was already in use, so the new name became ‘Skype’.
  • Twitter – Founders first thought of ‘twitch’. But ‘twitch’ was not a good product name because it doesn’t bring up the right imagery. So, they looked up dictionary and found ‘twitter’. The definition was ‘a short burst of inconsequential information,’ and ‘chirps from birds.’ And that’s exactly what the product was.
  • eBay – The website started out as “AuctionWeb,” a part of the personal website of former Apple software engineer Pierre Omidyar. The website took off, and Mr. Omidyar decided to spin it off into its own entity and name it afterhis consulting firm, Echo Bay Technology Group. When the domain name echobay.com was taken, he switched it to ebay.com.
  • Verizon – According to Verizon’s corporate history, the name is a combination of the Latin words “veritas” and “horizon.” Veritas refers to truth and reliability, while horizon signifies forward-looking and visionary.
  • Blackberry – This name was coined in 1999 because the keys on the device resembled the drupelets on the fruit.