Best Foot Forward: A College Student’s Guide to Starting Right: Step Two: Research

As I came upon my senior year in college, I began to wonder when or if I would do an internship.  I bet you are thinking, “a little late,” and believe me, I know.  I am embarrassed to divulge that unlike most students, I actually worked at the LAS Cooperative Education and Internship Program for two years at UIC, and knew the importance of addressing these things early.  I sat through countless interviews with graduating seniors who were dumbfounded as they found out how unprepared they were to tackle the real world job market.  Seemingly simple tasks, such as creating a résumé, writing a cover letter or having the remotest idea of what specifically they wanted to do with their degrees were questions many could not answer. So despite the advantage of being warned early, I had still not had an internship, nor taken much time to research one. Like most college students charging down the home stretch of their college career, I too just wanted to be done.  Similar to a horse with blinders, all I could see was that diploma and the freedom I assumed it bought me. Unfortunately, my naïve dream that my hard- earned diploma would be my meal ticket to a top notch job would soon be shattered.

With foreboding news headlines proclaiming economic failure and the unemployment rate skyrocketing, I began to ponder what exactly I could do to secure one of the few jobs that would be available.  I saw college graduates complain about the lack of jobs everywhere and how they felt like they were not competitive enough to attain the few jobs existing. Certainly unemployment and moving back in with mom and dad was not the type of freedom I sought.  It was then that the importance of an internship dawned on me.

With this realization, I began my research with fervor.  Research is an essential step to acquiring an internship.  From my experience working at the internship program, I learned that the most important thing students can know is what specifically they want to do and research it.  Being uninformed about your career of choice is a recipe for failure. Not to mention how unlikely an employer is to hire someone without a clue about the industry they want to go into.  Use magazines, books, and the Internet.  Ask questions of those you meet who work where you may want to some day.  Check out company websites and their work and see if you like what they do, better yet, do they have intern testimonials? And do not be afraid to call and ask questions about what they look for in a potential internee. The better idea you have, the easier it is to narrow down a company, and tailor a resume and cover letter.  Now, can you spin it?

Blogger: Amanda Martin

Media Relations and Advertising Intern

Healing Pathways Introduces the Inaugural “Bow Tie March”









CONTACT: Julie Alsup, 815-670-4798

 ROCKFORD – Healing Pathways-Cancer Resource Center is holding a weekend event to celebrate men who are cancer survivors and to recognize those touched by cancer.

The three-day “Tri-Pathalon” kicks off with a socializing event at Stone Eagle Tavern in Rockford, featuring local celebrities as bartenders on Thursday, June 23. On Friday, June 25, the third annual WXRX 104.9 “Go Nuts” Golf Play Day will be held at Swan Hills Golf Club in Belvidere. The shotgun start begins at 2 p.m.

The weekend concludes with the first Bow Tie March – a 1.5 mile walk for men’s cancer awareness, which will be held on Saturday, June 25 at Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza, starting at 9 a.m. Walkers who raise $25 or more will receive an event t-shirt. Registration will take place online at

 The co-chairs of the Bow Tie March are Joe Arco, president of Comtech Corporation, and Paul Anthony Arco, writer and cancer survivor. The honorary chairperson is Paul Logli, president and CEO of United Way of Rock River Valley, and also a cancer survivor. “Regular checkups and early detection are the keys for men dealing with all types of cancer,” Logli said. “My hope for this event is that it will raise awareness for men, so that they can catch every cancer early in the process. That was the situation in my case and I’m pleased it worked out that way.”

The sponsors of the Bow Tie March include Rockford Health System, SwedishAmerican Health System, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Four Seasons, Comtech Corporation and Rockford Gastroenterology Associates.

Healing Pathways Cancer Resource Center provides free services through cancer-related counseling, education, and support programs. For more event information or registration, visit or call 815-395-5649.

Healing Pathways “Tri-Pathalon” Line-up

Thursday, June 23, 2011- Socializing Event at Stone Eagle Tavern

6445 East State Street, Rockford, IL 61108

5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Featuring local celebrities as bartenders

Friday, June 24, 2011- Go Nuts Golf Outing

Swan Hills Golf Club

2600 Gustafson Rd, Belvidere

1:00 pm – Registration

2:00 pm – Shot gun start

$75 per person includes: green fee, cart , beverages, dinner, Go Nuts t-shirt and opportunity to win prizes. Men and women golfers welcome.

 Saturday, June 25, 2011 – Bow Tie March “For Men’s Cancer Awareness”

Registration opens 8:00 AM

Opening Ceremonies 9:00 AM

Step Off 9:15 AM

Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza

Riverside & Perryville Rd

Rockford, IL 61114

For more event information or registration, visit, email or call 815-395-5649.


Best Foot Forward: A College Student’s Guide to Starting Right: Step One: Realization


Every college student knows in this economy you have to have an extra edge to get hired. With the unemployment rate rising, and the large number of graduates with their degrees in hand ending up back at home with their parents or working at the local fast food joint, this fact is all too apparent. The question of exactly how to distinguish yourself in a market as dead as our current one sometimes stumps the best of us.

 When shuffling through the list of ways to pump up a resume, we stumble upon the need for leadership roles, volunteer positions, awards, high GPA’s, membership in Greek life, and a whole host of other activities besides our academic work. Yet when looking for a job, the most common question an employer will ask is, “What set of skills do you bring to the table or do you have any other professional job experience?” As a college student myself, I, too, find myself asking, with what time do employers expect students, with all their studies, to find part-time jobs and other extracurricular activities to learn a set of skills and to actually have time or the opportunity to acquire some professional experience? These questions become frustrating, overwhelming, and often get overlooked as students simply push towards their graduation date, thinking a degree in hand will be enough.

Yet as many of us have discovered, possessing a degree is no longer a guarantee to get into the professional world. As a matter of fact, if that is your only selling point, you may only get as far as being a barista at your corner coffee shop. Not to minimize such jobs, but those individuals who are looking to succeed in their field of choice will attest that this extra edge can be gained in only one place and setting. The answer: to be an intern at a company that will let you get hands-on and up close and personal experience in the field you seek a professional career in. Once students come to this realization, they have taken the first step towards acquiring an internship that will offer them the experience they need. In an economy where most graduates are unemployed, this extra edge will give you much better odds at getting that job that so many will be vying for.

Blogger: Amanda Martin

Comtech Media Relations and Advertising Intern

Monica Smith joins Comtech Corporation



ROCKFORD, IL- Comtech Corporation, an innovative multi-media marketing firm announced that Monica Smith has joined the organization as part of their Project Development Team. Comtech Corporation is proud to expand their team to include Smith, a dynamic professional who brings experience and expertise to the firm.

Smith will be responsible for developing new business opportunities, serving the needs of existing clients, as well as providing internal and external public relations and marketing support.

“As a life long resident of Rockford, I look forward to blending my work experience in the community with the diverse multi-media services offered by Comtech Corporation,” Smith said.

Smith joins Comtech with an vast amount of experience in sales and insurance.  For several years Smith worked with AFLAC Insurance company and Williams-Manny Agency in Rockford. A graduate of Rockford College, she received a Bachelor’s of Arts, majoring in History and also earned an Associates Degree concentrated in Pre-Legal Studies from Rock Valley College. Smith is also an active member in philanthropic activities around the community, including the University Club of Rockford which provides collegiate scholarships to local students.

“We are thrilled to have Monica join our team,” said Shelli Banes, Director of Project Development at Comtech Corporation. “Monica brings with her an excellent amount of experience and expertise, which will help Comtech better serve our customers and help continue our success.”

Comtech Corporation is an award-winning multi-media marketing firm that provides marketing, public relations and communications solutions for its customers.  For more information visit, or call 815-332-9494.