Staying ahead of the game: How to prepare for an internship in these competitive times

As the competition for worthy jobs increases, so does the competition for worthy internships. In today’s economy it is absolutely essential to have internship experience before receiving a lucrative job opportunity. College students are now seeing extra internship competition from high school students, graduate students, graduates, and international students.

Internships give you an advantage over the competition. You have a better chance of landing a full-time position because you have relevant experience in the field of your choice. In addition, there is the possibility of the internship turning into a full-time job. However, if a full-time position does not arise from the internship, the intern can make valuable contacts and build their resume. Companies are now giving interns increasingly important roles and tasks, so interns can now contribute in more significant ways.

The importance of preparing for internships is critical due to the added competition for and increased significance of internships. Make sure to thoroughly read and review the job description and tasks required for the internship. You need to fully understand what the employers are expecting you to accomplish over the course of the internship. When you submit your resume and cover letter, identify applicable courses, previous internships, and jobs that you have held that are relevant to the internship. This strengthens your application and increases the likelihood of you being interviewed and selected.

Like any competition, you can stay ahead of the game by taking the right steps: research the company, be specific in your cover letter, practice mock interviewing, and dress for success! With the correct preparation, the internships and job of your dreams are within your reach no matter what type of competition you face.


ICC’s Upcoming Career Fairs

ICC's Upcoming Career Fairs

ICC seeks to find talented young professionals to jump start bright futures. A major avenue is career and internship fairs. Below is a list of dates and times that ICC will be at these career fairs.

Thursday, October 10, Columbia College 11 AM – 2 PM
Monday, October 14, National Louis University 3 PM – 6 PM
Wednesday, October 16, International Academy of Design and Technology 12 PM – 2 PM
Thursday, October 24, DeVry University (Chicago) 10 AM – 12 PM

Friendly reminders will be posted via twitter and Facebook. Attendance is crucial for your benefit. ICC connects qualified emerging professionals to strategic companies.

Northeastern Illinois University Career Fair

Northeastern Illinois University Career Fair

Yesterday, ICC had the pleasure of participating in Northeastern University Illinois’ Career Fair. CEO and Founder Nancye Rivera was accompanied by two other Corporate Recruiters, Diane Wolfe and Maurice Johnson. The fair was filled with great candidates, good food, and overall pleasant hospitality. ICC has a zealous outlook on upcoming career fairs, blog post to follow. The team is always ready to meet talent and share bright futures.

Tips of The Trade: Networking

Tips of The Trade: Networking

Professional, intern, or student, any one of these individuals will be doing their fair share of networking. Whether it is the professional going to a networking event finding valuable contacts or the student trying to land their first internship, the construction of your network is an important art to develop. Below are some great tips of the trade that are crucial to benefiting your networking skills.

1. A person that knows the most, gains the most.

Knowledge is power. While that sounds extremely cliché it is without a doubt true. Being able to know who is in the room makes networking more socially constructive. Goals are able to be made which in turn, makes solid opportunities.

2. Set goals.

Being able to answer the question, “What are my networking objectives?” is very crucial to what a networking event can offer. The first statement goes hand in hand with setting goals because a goal will pinpoint intentions and make you understand what you must know going into the event.

3. Know who you are.

Networking gives a great opportunity to connect with people in a given industry. However, like everything else in life, time is a constricting factor. There is a limit to how long a person should take to network with another to make sure both parties get the chance to connect with others. Trying to balance your time and quality of conversation can be challenging but knowing who you are to the extent of a sale pitch is effective. For networking, professional introductions, and interviews a good exercise to do prior to the event is brainstorming three to five words that best describe you.

4. Open doors and hidden treasures.

While it is great to set goals and know the most in the room to make networking more effective, don’t be afraid to connect with other people you aren’t so familiar with. Also remember that opportunities are everywhere, some more obvious than others. Train yourself to develop a mindset to evaluate what a contact can offer you.

5. Reciprocity.

Oppositely and most importantly, evaluate what you can do to benefit the person you are networking with. Networking is all about building a web of valuable contacts. Remember that you want be an asset to someone else. You are a window of opportunities for a fellow networker. Even if you can’t directly help that person out, maybe you have a contact to do the job. To put reciprocity into perspective, always think, “I know that if you were in my shoes, you would do the same for me.”

Illinois Institute Of Technology Internship and Career Fair

Illinois Institute Of Technology Internship and Career Fair

ICC has recently participated in Illinois Institute Of Technology Internship and Career Fair. This was a great opportunity for ICC with approximately 200 employers and 2000 students that could benefit from our consultation. IIT put together a beautiful reception for employers and coordinated a smooth flowing career fair. ICC will be participating at career fairs taking place at Northeastern Illinois University, Columbia College, and Illinois Academy of Design and Technology in forthcoming months. Attendance is critical, we connect qualified interns with strategic companies.

FREE WEBINAR — Develop an Effective Internship Program

FREE WEBINAR --- Develop an Effective Internship Program

Effective and successful internship programs offer a plethora of possibilities to any kind of business. Internships have replaced the traditional entry level positions. Likewise, internships give companies the opportunity to engage and retain some of the best talent at little to no initial cost.

Internship and Career Consulting (ICC) can help you custom design a flagship internship program as well as match the right intern with your company. A successful internship program requires time, management, and much more. The start-up can be daunting but the payoff of setting up a quality internship program is well worth the resources you invest.

ICC CEO Nancye Rivera has over 8 years of recruiting, interviewing, selecting, managing, and evaluating interns. To view FREE webinar where Nancye shares insightful ways to make your internship program a competitive, hands-on experience for your interns, click the picture above!

ICC Joins After School Matters for Interview Blitz!

ICC was proud to be a part of the After School Matters Interview Blitz! R.A.M.P is running a summer program at Roosevelt University Chicago in conjunction with After School Matters for high schools students about college readiness. ICC was able to use our Human Resources expertise to enhance the students’ interview skills. We provided relevant and beneficial feedback, demonstrated how engaging and professional interviews take place and allowed the students, as well as Human Resource interns, the opportunity to gain face-to-face interviewing experience. There was an allotted 15 minutes per interview (11 interviews total) where the ICC interview team used our “warm” interview techniques to discuss with the students opportunities to improve their current work experience and encourage their future career goals. Nancye was even able to provide one rising sophomore, who owns his own lawn care business, a complete income statement on the spot! Other students were invited to shadow current ICC interns in order to develop their work life skills. ICC was certainly impressed with the portfolios presented by each individual. At the end of each interview, we offered each student a detailed critique of how the interview went, commenting on aspects such as manners, posture, voice projection and basic interview etiquette. This was an extremely valuable experience for ICC and we believe that it has ripened our Human Resources capabilities to the fullest extent.Image




Did you know…
  • Any size company can have a thriving and successful internship program?
  • Internships have replaced traditional entry level positions?
  • Internships give companies the opportunity to engage and retain some of the best talent at low to no initial cost?
Internship and Career Consulting (ICC) can help you custom design a flagship internship program as well as match the right intern with your company. A successful internship program requires time, management and much more. The start-up can be daunting but the payoff of setting up a quality internship program is well worth the resources you invest.
ICC has over 8 years of recruiting, interviewing, selecting, managing and evaluating interns. In this webinar, Nancye Rivera will be sharing insightful ways to make your internship program a competitive, hands-on experience for your interns. Who knows, you could be grooming your future employees!
In this webinar, you will learn:
  • How an internship can help grow your business
  • How to design and implement an effective internship program
  • How to engage and manage an intern from entry to exit
  • Department of Labor Guidelines for internship programs
  • Finding the perfect intern for your company
All participants will receive a copy of our E-Book…Free!

9 Questions with Nancye

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 What made you choose this particular avenue as a career path?

Nancye: “Given my own experience, I understand the importance of an education and mentoring as the foundation to accomplishing ones goals. I see my life today and think back to the mentoring and guidance I was given. Not everyone is as fortunate as me, especially diverse students who do not inherit a foundation of networks and opportunities. I feel a true calling to help diverse students learn, establish, and seek opportunities that will place them on the path to become the emerging professionals they wish to be.”

Why are internships important?

Nancye: “Internships serve as the bridge to obtain the skill sets and experiences to make you job ready. In today’s job market, the traditional entry-level positions have been replaced with internships, and college graduates who have not had internships, will have a challenging time finding a job.”

What important factors should employers take into consideration when hiring interns?

Nancye: “Grade point averages, previous internships, areas of study, and references.”

What factors should potential interns look for in the companies they apply to?

Nancye: “Training, growth, and potential for hire.”

When hiring for interns, what are qualities that you look for?

Nancye: “Whether or not they have had previous internships, what their major is, and what references they have.”

How successful has ICC been thus far in terms of matching qualified interns with strategic companies?

Nancye: “I am very proud to announce that ICC has been selected as a 2013 participant in Chicago’s Roosevelt University Heller College of Business Incubator Program. This is a most prestigious award providing the innovative opportunity for ICC to get established and expand its business. The program provides operational support in exchange for collaboration with the university’s mission. Surrounded by such wisdom and support, ICC is destined to succeed.”

What is the current state of internships?

Nancye: “The dynamics of the job market have changed dramatically in the last ten years in more ways than one. Gone are the days where a college graduate can get an entry level position based on their bachelor’s degree. In fact, internships have replaced entry level positions. Without two to four internships under their belt, the emerging professionals of today will have a challenge getting a good job.”

Why ICC? What services does does ICC offer that makes it stand out from other companies within the same field?

Nancye: “ICC personally screens and pre-qualifies interns. ICC also provides personal supervision to both interns and companies throughout the application and recruitment process. We also use the RISME  approach (Recruiting, Interviewing, Selecting, Managing and Evaluating) which saves companies time and money. Lastly, ICC provides services to interns for free.”

What is your ultimate vision for ICC? Where do you see the company in five years? 

Nancye: “An internship placement company that is a leader in the industry because of its experience and international diverse positioning.”

About Our Founder

Nancye F. Rivera

Internship and Career Consultant


A risk-taker from her youth and the first in her family to achieve higher education, Nancye earned her Bachelor’s of Art in Spanish and Sociology from DePaul University where she was accepted at the age of 16.  She also received her Masters of Arts from Columbia College Chicago in Arts, Entertainment and Media Management.

Nancye was determined not to wake up one day and wonder “what would have happened if I had …” therefore she has engaged in three career changes; accounting, arts management and media communications.

Nancye is very happy with her stance in life and remains a diligent student, especially of self-improvement and entrepreneurship.

After having created a flagship Internship Program at an advertising agency in Chicago, she discovered that she has a genuine concern and joy working with today’s college students.  Nancye used her unique talent of identifying and placing the right intern in the right internship to establish her own company: Internship and Career Consulting (ICC).  In October 2012, ICC was accepted into Chicago’s Roosevelt University Heller College of Business Incubator Program.

Nancye is a strong believer of coaching and mentorship; and that which she has received she is eager to share.  She is a valuable resource by providing career advice, resume review and development.  Students attest (1) “your kindness and abundant joy was a sight I cannot forget.  Your prayer and conversation was a tipping point in my life to not ignore or fear the sight of God in His plans.”  (2) “Nancye has provided me with invaluable career advice that has placed me on a path of success and happiness. Not only is she a great colleague, but an excellent mentor and friend.”

Nancye is a motivational public speaker emphasizing the power of thinking and the power within all of us to achieve the dreams we have.  She is a living testimony of a courageous over comer and one who continues to strive to achieve her fullest potential as a cancer survivor; and the principal of three businesses.

Nancye lives in Chicago, Illinois and may be contacted at (773) 230-3514 or