Archive | August 2011

The True Value of an Intern

Summertime is ending and college students across the country are returning to school… some of them having just completed an internship  in their field of interest.

So what is the value of a summer internship for a company?
For the student?

Other than getting someone to work for free or limited pay… the company has a chance to directly impact the next generation of their workforce. They get to see the quality of students being cranked out of higher educational institutions and help groom them into potential employees.

The company should provide experiences that will show the student what to expect on the job, set deadlines for assignments, teach them billing and the importance of using their time effectively, allow them to do real work that will benefit the company and its clients, encourage them to ask questions and allow them to sit in on meeting with clients – learn the business from the inside-out.

As for the student, they gain invaluable real world experience in their field. Before graduation, the student has the opportunity to apply their knowledge and test themselves in the business world. They see first-hand what their future will hold in daily activities and projects at work. Yes this will include some mundane but necessary tasks such as making copies, answering phones and updating lists but it should also include real projects that make an impact on client work. Hopefully the student will then take this experience  and try to position themselves as valuable to the company in hopes of landing that first job.

If you want to develop an internship program or re-evealuate an exisitng one, here are a few things to consider…
1. Create a job decription – Set objectives, goals end expectations
2. Proactively contact area schools – Make an effort to raise awareness of your internship program among counselors to gain interest from top students
3. Interview many  – Seek out quality students that realize the opporutnity in front of them, then use your resource to help educate them. Don’t take on so many students that each one will not get a quality experience or have nothing to do.
4. Evaluate your program – Evaluate the student, ask their input for what they found most beneficial then use their input to continuously improve your internship program.

Ultimately the end result shoud be a positive and rewarding experience, not only for the student, but also the company.

Dedicated to our outstanding summer interns – Best Wishes to All of You!


Quick and dirty Twitter tips

To prove that effectively getting your point across in minimal characters is possible, we’ve compiled this mini post with the following 140 or fewer characters quick and dirty tips to increase and retain Twitter followers:

1. Tweet something useful. Give me a benefit to following you.

2. Link to secondary news sources. Opinions are good (on occasion). Facts are best.

3. Utilize hashtags in tweets. Hashtags provide a common thread between tweeters.

4. Use appropriate language at all times.

5. Don’t spam. Twitter users don’t care to read your every thought. Calm down.

6. Tweet @ other Twitter users, especially if they asked a question or made a comment.

7. Retweet interesting tweets from people you follow.

All 140 or fewer characters, and we bet you understood each direction clearly. Now get tweeting (effectively).

Are correct grammar, precise punctuation, and legible penmanship a thing of the past?

Yesterday, Katia Hetter posted her article “Nation of adults who write like children?” on The article pictured letters teen stars Miley Cyrus and Justin Beiber recently wrote themselves as part of the Habbo Celebrity “Advice to My Teenage Self” book. We’re in the writing business here at McKinney-Cerne Inc., so, naturally, several of us allocated the five minutes it took to read her article over.

Our generally agreed upon opinion of Hetter’s post was that it’s nothing new. We all know that a child’s ability to masterfully type an essay is quickly surpassing the importance of shorthand; we know that more and more school districts are eliminating their cursive handwriting requirements; and we know that sloppily handwritten works are practically the norm. So we asked ourselves, why bother beating the dead handwriting horse?

And then we got to thinking: What if cursive handwriting is just the beginning? What if text words like “u” for “you” and “2” for “to” or “too” are one day widely accepted in college term papers? What if we forgo grammar lessons next? What if handwriting becomes a thing of the past altogether?

As you can see by some of the Hetter’s commenters, the slippery slope theory is a highly criticized. But we’re already seeing the warning signs. Young adults utilize text words outside of school in social media like it’s going out of style. Now, more and more schools are eliminating cursive writing. And don’t even get us started on grammar and punctuation. (“Your” does not mean “you’re.” We can’t tell you how often we see college students applying for internships make this mistake!)

What it all comes down to is that necessary skills and subjects we learned at a young age are suffering because today’s schools focus too heavily on improving test scores, and they don’t dedicate the necessary time to keep beloved traditional skills like cursive handwriting alive. (Not to mention, they probably don’t show beloved “School House Rock” episodes anymore!) We hope that school districts will learn the error of their ways soon and begin to re-emphasize the importance of handwriting, punctuation, grammar, literature, and history. Who’s with us?

(Just a fun side note: Lisa spent a bit of yesterday afternoon practicing her cursive alphabet. It took her a minute to get back in the swing of it, but her letters and style were nearly perfect once she did. She first learned cursive handwriting in her 3rd grade classroom in 1998.)

$25,000 for your wedding or divorce from Miracle Whip

Miracle Whip recently whipped up a new campaign that’s garnered a lot of positive attention from ad folks like us, and for good reason!

The Miracle Whip “Not For Every Relationship” contest asks couples to submit a 60 or fewer second video answering the question, “How has Miracle Whip affected your relationship?” before 11:59 p.m. August 23.

The videos should detail how Miracle Whip adds to or detracts from their relationship. The videos may only contain two consenting individuals (AKA- one couple), they must be family friendly, they can’t contain any copy written music, etc., etc. Full rules are available here.

Video judging occurs August 24- September 12, and the winner will be announced September 13. The winning couple receives $25,000 for their upcoming wedding or imminent divorce.

Contest entrants still have 20 days to create and submit their videos, but a handful of bold couples have already submitted their video answers. As of now, our favorite is caseybabe21’s “The Checklist for LOVE.” Her video production may not be high-quality, but Jack the Aussie sure is a looker!

Miracle Whip created buzz for the campaign by releasing a few quirky examples of real couple responses to Miracle Whip questions. Before that, they released commercials of celebs and real people answering whether they were friend or foe of the condiment. (At least, we think they were real people and not actors.) All of the videos are very real, well-written, and engaging. We suggest taking the ten minutes to watch them all. See them on Miracle Whip’s youtube channel.

We don’t plan on submitting any videos to the contest, but you can bet that we’ll continue to watch the submitted videos.

You can also bet that several of us at McKinney-Cerne will continue to spread Miracle Whip on our sandwiches at lunchtime…while the rest of us look on in utter disgust.