4960 William Flynn Hwy., Suite 6 PMB #173

Allison Park, PA 15101

724.612.0755

724.444.6176 Fax

autumn@edmistongroup.com

Planning for an Intern or Apprentice

 

Plan ahead for a positive internship experience!

Plan ahead for a positive internship experience!

August winds down, it’s that time of year when kids and college students go back to school. An important part of post-secondary education is about getting that experience to get your foot in the door for full time employment.

Internships and apprentice programs take that next step out of the classroom and into real world business applications. As you look at your upcoming business growth for the next six months, do you see that in your future?

Often businesses will utilize these types of positions to see if an individual will be a fit both socially and/or culturally with their environment. There may be multiple individuals applying for a single position. That’s where that social media thing may come into play and for would be applicants, employers do check. More often than not, employers are checking out social media channels before choosing their candidate.

For a business owner, like anything else, having an intern starts with a plan. There is nothing more frustrating than having an eager person show up for work and not have a place for them to sit, nor meaningful work for them to do. Consider these guidelines:

  • Establish a workspace
  • Inform staff of the internship. If possible when choosing an intern for a particular department, involve others in the selection process.
  • Find meaningful projects with deliverables and timelines.
  • Create stepping stones of responsibility with the trades – increasing responsibility as knowledge grows.

For the intern or apprentice, be humble. Don’t walk through the door thinking you know everything. You may be trained on the most up to date technology in the classroom, but you will find real world experiences very different. Remember to:

  • Show up early for work.
  • Listen to what is asked of you and participate as part of a team unless you’re working on a project totally independent of others.
  • Be grateful for the opportunity to learn for this could lead to a full time position offer.
  • Stay off your phone – be present in meetings and at work.

This is an opportunity for both employer and intern/apprentice to see if they are a fit for each other and may often lead to a job offer following the internship or graduation.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

Changing the Game with LinkedIn

If you’re an active member of the business community or chamber of commerce, chances are you have attended a social outing. The idea of these events is to allow business professionals to meet and network, creating business connections that can be beneficial to all parties involved.

linkedin

As technology has grown and social media platforms such as Facebook have taken hold, business professionals have looked for a platform to interact on a professional, business level. A level where personal life is left to the side so that others can focus on what your qualifications are, where your expertise is, and what you specialize in. LinkedIn has become the go to platform to accomplish these things, matching business professionals up with each other to create connections that might otherwise have gone overlooked.

I cannot begin to stress to entrepreneurs and business professionals enough how important it is to keep your social media clean. Clean meaning, free of thought or stances that could lead others to look at you in an unfavorable manner. LinkedIn has helped to remove that personal aspect of social media as seen on a personal Facebook page and focuses on you, the professional. There are a few things you can do to help make your LinkedIn account more effective.

  • Have a professional profile picture that depicts you in a professional setting.
  • Keep your profile up to date with all of your current and past employment relevant to your career path.
  • Respond quickly to messages and inquiries.
  • Don’t be afraid to use the platform for networking, after all that’s what it’s there for.
  • Be thorough in expanding your profile to include organizations you belong to, volunteer positions, projects and certifications obtained.

Keep up to date and include details about your professional career. This will help to connect you with people through LinkedIn you might have otherwise have overlooked. As you make connections on social media platforms don’t forget the importance of a face-to-face meeting. Too often people hide behind social media and forget personal interaction.

Join LinkedIn groups where your clients are and listen to discussions. It may lead to new product offerings. By participating in groups where your fields of discipline are, you may learn new things or seek advice from other professionals across the country.

Following up with new connections and being able to expand your connections beyond social media will help you to grow your professional network. Utilizing a systematic process to add the face-to-face meeting connections to your newsletter will help keep your name and your business name in the forefront of their minds as you release your monthly newsletter.

Don’t be overwhelmed by all the social media channels, know where your audience hangs out. Pick one or two channels to be active and be excellent where you are.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

Do You Have the Right Support?

Hire the Right Support, Edmiston Group

Most of us can remember a time where our parents questioned our friends as we grew up. While at the time it was an annoyance, it taught us the important lesson of making sure that we surround ourselves with the right people. By selecting a strong group of friends you have created a circle of people that are there to support you, cheer your big accomplishments and help to pull you up when you fall down. That same mindset of surrounding yourself with the “right” people is extremely important as a business owner.

When it comes time to grow the company, or maybe replace an employee that has moved on, don’t just hire the first applicant that comes through the door. It is important to have a process for selecting the right applicant. As you build your staff, these employees will help to make you successful, become part of your team, and help to piece things back together when they fall apart, because every now and then we all make mistakes.

Small business is a fast paced environment. You are fighting to get the upper hand on your competition all while striving to be the best at what you do. With the onslaught of social media and other changes in technology, it’s a never ending quest to stay abreast of new trends.

When your company moves from its infancy into its adolescence, you are sure to feel growing pains. One of the hurdles to overcome is when it becomes clear that you can no longer handle the work load on your own. Or, you’ve reached a growth plateau where your employees can no longer handle the workload and it’s time to bring on a new staff member.

As you reach the point of hiring your first employee, or maybe even your 15th employee, it’s important to do your research so that you hire the right person and not the first body that walks through the door. While this decision is often made while you are struggling to keep up with work, and you are already swamped, be sure to do yourself a favor and properly vet your possible candidates. Hiring the wrong person or a non-team player may take your already overwhelming workload and increase it, causing more pain than relief.

Some important steps to hiring the right person.

  • References. It is amazing how many companies ask for references and never even look into them. References are an important part of finding out who the person is that you are looking to hire. It’s also important to check out the person’s social media platforms. Find out who they are outside of the workplace. This will help to determine if they are right for your company’s culture.
  • Proper interview. As you interview your prospective employees, take the time to find out who they are. Questions like: What are you passionate about? What is your greatest accomplishment? How do you handle conflict or challenge? Why should I hire you over someone else?
  • Trust your gut. While the prospective employee may seem “nice”, what does your gut tell you? As a business owner you have followed your gut on many occasions and it has led you to this point in your business career, so don’t stop listening to it now.
  • Multiple rounds of interviews. Be sure to have more than one interview with the person. Include other people in the interviews such as other employees, partners, or mentors. This will help you to get a better prospective on the person being interviewed. Remember that your employees are the ones who will be working with the new recruit every day, and valuing their opinion can help to make a more cohesive workplace.

Owning a business can often times be a roller-coaster – dragging you up the hills and slinging you off the top to freefall to the bottom. While being a business owner is a rewarding experience, having the right team of people around you can help to make that climb uphill a more pleasant one. Take the time to properly vet your prospective employees. The right employees and a strong team can help make your business a success.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth

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TESTIMONIALS

“I hired Autumn to help me market my business, and she has produced incredible results. She has helped me take my business to the next level in a shorter time than I could have imagined, and is as dedicated to helping my business succeed as I am. I would recommend Autumn to any business that is looking to step up their marketing efforts – you won’t be disappointed.” January 18, 2012

Top qualities: Great Results, High Integrity, Creative

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