National News

Nereus, 1 Of 4 Submersibles To Reach Depths Of Mariana, Is Lost

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-12 07:11

The unmanned vehicle was 30 days into a 40-day expedition when it imploded under pressure as great as 16,000 pounds per square inch. Nereus was exploring the Kermadec Trench northeast of New Zealand.

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When you talk about a 'first job,' what do you mean?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-05-12 07:08

Graduation season is upon us and many college graduates are relentlessly sending out monotonous cover letters to any and every employer out there -- everyone hoping to land their first “real job.”

But what exactly is a first “real job?” Is it an internship? Is it working as a barista to pay the bills? Is it your first entry-level position on your prospective career path?

The concept of a first “real job” can mean a lot of things nowadays, considering the fact that many new grads are starting out by applying to internships.

And that's probably because you need more than just a college education to get your first "real job”.

A survey conducted by Marketplace and The Chronicle for Higher Education revealed that employers who hire recent graduates prefer on-the-job experience to academic credentials. Marketplace's Amy Scott recently attended an event sponsored by the Student Intern Network to get an insight into the minds of unpaid interns. There, she spoke with its founder, Zachary Huhn, who said, "over 60 percent of employers say that graduates are not prepared for the workforce when they graduate."

Is that true?

Take me, for example. I am an intern at Marketplace today, and when I graduated in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in political science, my big resume bullet points included: two unpaid internships, one in Los Angeles and one in D.C., experience abroad -- living in Germany, to be exact -- and some work experience as a lifeguard.

I felt I was ahead of the game. I felt I was ready for my first career-starting job.

But was I? After applying online to various entry-level positions, I quickly realized I didn't have the qualifications hiring managers believed I needed to secure a full-time position.

Most jobs I applied to required at least one or two years of experience, as opposed to my six months' worth. So I sought out another internship after graduation, and now I am working on my fourth, as a digital intern here at Marketplace. The one-year anniversary of my graduation looms ahead.

How will internship expectations pan out for the class of 2013 graduates, like myself, who have been getting on-the-job experience  in order to get their first "real jobs"? We’re beginning a series of reports asking people: What did it take to get your first “real job”? And what exactly is a “real job” anyway?

As I tried to answer these questions for myself, I realized it's a bigger story. So I went to someone with expertise on the internship process: ProPublica's Project Intern intern, Casey McDermott.

“I don’t think it indicates something wrong with the hiring process. I would hope that hiring managers would be able to look at a student holistically, instead of just looking at the lines on a person's resume," says Casey McDermott. McDermott just got her first "real job" as a reporter for the New Hampshire newspaper, the Concord Monitor.

Prior to getting this latest job, McDermott traveled across the country with ProPublica, taking a closer look at the human impact of internships.

"The project we did was focused on highlighting student voices: How can we spotlight students’ stories who have been interns and how has that either helped them or hurt them or changed their view on the work force?" says McDermott.

In contrast to the survey, however, Casey attributes her success to more than just her internship experiences.

"I think it was a combination of what I learned and what I was able to communicate about my learning experiences in my internships during the application process," she says. "But it was also my experience in college. Working at my college newspaper the Daily Collegian at Penn State was also instrumental in getting me employment."

Lucky for current graduating seniors, the National Association of Colleges and Employers' Job Outlook 2014 Spring Update survey is reporting that employers plan to hire 8.6 percent more class of 2014 graduates than they hired from the Class of 2013.

How will this vary among industries? Will this benefit the computer science major more than the liberal arts major?

This series is driven by viewer response, so we want to hear from you. Tweet us, tell us on Facebook or answer in the comments section below.

'I Was Baited,' Donald Sterling Tells CNN In (Mostly) Apologetic Interview

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-12 06:15

"I mean, that's not the way I talk," Clippers owner Donald Sterling tells CNN. He also said he doesn't see Magic Johnson as "a good example for the children of Los Angeles."

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Our Sympathies: Winter Hangs On In Colorado And Wyoming

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-12 04:46

More than a foot of heavy, wet snow blanketed parts of Colorado and Wyoming. The same system spun tornadoes in Nebraska.

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Separatists Vote To Split From Ukraine; Russia 'Respects' Decision

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-12 03:50

The vote is illegitimate, Ukraine's leaders in Kiev and Western governments say. Separatist leaders say Sunday's referendum shows strong support for secession; recent surveys tell a different story.

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Boko Haram Says Video Shows Missing Nigerian Girls

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-12 03:13

The group that took more than 200 girls from a Nigerian school last month released what it says is a video of the girls, along with demands that the government release militants from prison.

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Why Etsy is against internet 'fast lanes'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-05-12 02:38

This week, the FCC is scheduled to vote on the issue of net neutrality and technology and venture capital firms are asking FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to reconsider a proposal that would let broadband companies charge content providers for access to internet "fast lanes." 

Etsy, the online marketplace with over 1 million sellers, says someday its vendors might be able to use video clips to introduce themselves and their handmade goods. If the company had to pay a premium to ensure rapid streaming of that video, it could spell trouble. 

"There's no way that we could afford to pay for priority access," said Althea Erickson, a policy director with Etsy. "And that would really hurt the sellers who depend on our platform."

Others predict new rules could kill future tech giants in the cradle.

"I'm concerned that the Kickstarters of tomorrow will be stifled by this telecom tax," said Yancey Strickler, the CEO and co-founder of the crowd-funding platform, Kickstarter. "I'm worried about the entrepreneurs of tomorrow." 

Net neutrality opponents, however, say internet access should, and will, operate like any other marketplace, with competition determing what succeeds and what fails. Jeff Eisenach, who directs the Center for Internet, Communications and Technology at the American Enterprise Institute, says broadband providers will in no way want to strangle content providers. 

"I think for the small companies, what they need to understand, is the last thing in the world that a big company like a broadband ISP wants to do, is discriminate against somebody who's coming up and might be competing," Eisenach said.

Because what they'll be competing for is access to broadband, and that could be a big win for service providers. 

Rethinking the unpaid internship

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-05-12 02:03

At General Assembly, an education/event space in New York, 20-somethings line up to sample gourmet oatmeal with truffle oil and bacon. Representatives from the Food Network and New York Magazine’s Grub Street are on hand. The event is sponsored by the Student Intern Network, to connect college students and recent grads with people in the food media business.

Zachary Huhn, 24, founded the network to help students find those all-important internships.

“Over 60 percent of employers say that graduates are not prepared for the workforce when they graduate,” he says. “I think that students do themselves a huge disservice if they don’t go out of their way to track down and take advantage of their own internships and opportunities, because you just have to do it.”

Skyler Bouchard, a junior at New York University, has done her part. She’s racked up an impressive list of internships, at Bullett Magazine, a food website called the Daily Meal, Hearst Magazines and Entertainment Tonight.

“And now I’m at CNN,” she says.

This summer she’ll add yet another stint, at the local news channel NY1. With the exception of CNN, all of her internships have been unpaid.

Bouchard says what she learned about the business was worth it.

“If I didn’t learn any of that I wouldn’t even be able to get a paying job, so I think it all is a stepping stone to helping you get somewhere bigger,” she says.

The media business has long been a bastion of the unpaid internship, but thanks to a wave of lawsuits, maybe not for much longer. Magazine company Condé Nast—home of Vogue and the New Yorker—just settled a case. Rather than pay its interns minimum wage, the company shut the program down. Other companies have started paying, or even given their interns raises.

“I thought that it was always a little bit unfair that the media businesses or some of the higher profile internship opportunities were only available to folks whose parents could support them over the summer,” says Geoff Bartakovics, CEO of TastingTable.com, an email magazine about food and wine.

Bartakovics, who moved out of his parents’ home at the age of 16, says he could not have afforded to live in New York City and work for free. That’s one reason he’s always paid his interns at least minimum wage. But there’s a more pragmatic reason.

“We just thought that it made more sense to pay people something upfront rather than deal with the possibility that we’d have legal issues later,” Bartakovics says.

Still, the Student Intern Network’s Zachary Huhn says an unpaid opportunity is better than no opportunity. Students may just have to get creative.

“I’ve seen students crowd-fund their internships, collect donations from family and friends, work a part time job,” he says.

Plenty of college students might be considering those options this summer. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers almost two-thirds of last year’s graduating class did some kind of internship while in school. About half of them were unpaid.

Rocket Wars: Will A Suit By SpaceX Get Off The Ground?

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-12 01:03

The California-based maker of the Falcon 9 is hoping to break up a monopoly on the launch market for national security satellites.

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The other iPhone contract

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-05-12 01:00

You may have heard of author Janell Burley Hofmann and her iPhone contract. Last year, on Christmas morning, she gave her then 13-year-old son a smartphone, which he quickly used to snap photos, text his friends and generally disappear into the internet.

Taken aback by his response, Hofmann sat down that night and wrote out a contract outlining rules for her son. He was restricted to using the phone during certain hours, was not allowed to bring it to school, and was required to use proper phone etiquette (among other things).

What followed was a media storm, sparking a conversation on technology and how teenagers and adults use it.

With her experience in writing about technology and how it relates to the modern family, Hofmann has published a book, entitled "iRules: What Every Tech-Healthy Family Needs to Know About Selfies, Sexting, Gaming and Growing Up." In it, she shares anecdotes about her families' experiences, as well as how restricing her son caused her to reflect on her own use of smart phones and devices.

Hofmann says that now her entire family enjoys limiting their use of technology.

"We have device free day. We’ll go to the beach, and all devices have to stay at home. And that includes the adults."

Though, opening up about her kids' relationship to the internet can be dangerous territory.

Hofmann says that the general agreement in selecting material for the book was that if her kids were old enough to feel the story reflected only on their younger selves, then it was alright to include. Still, it can be difficult to share personal stories, especially those that are embarrassing.

Hofmann points out, though, that her knowledge comes from being honest about her experiences.

"In no way do I think that I have all the answers for everybody else or my own family. I had to make myself look human, which I was happy to do, but you have to share some of those struggles."

 

 

 

Iran's President Gets Tepid Reception In First Year On The Job

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-12 00:31

The wave of expectations that marked Hassan Rouhani's rise to power has given way to impatience from his supporters and attacks from his critics.

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For Two Ozarks Communities, A Stark Contrast In Culture

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-12 00:21

The hilly, rural Ozarks have a history of attracting white supremacists, but the area's strong live-and-let-live ethic has taken a modern turn in an Arkansas town where a large gay community thrives.

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Why Take-And-Bake Pizza Is Giving The Tax Guys A Headache

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-12 00:06

These days more and more foods are straddling the line between prepared and unprepared, taxable and nontaxable. And that leaves policymakers with a strange conundrum: what to do about pizza.

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Sriracha Maker Says Factory Will Remain In California

NPR News - Sun, 2014-05-11 23:46

After months of tussling with the city council over the smells emitted by his factory, Sriracha maker David Tran says he might expand his business, but the main operation will not relocate.

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Medicare Won't Always Pay For Boomers' Pricey Hepatitis C Drugs

NPR News - Sun, 2014-05-11 23:25

As many as 5 million Americans have hepatitis C, and new drugs can cure almost all of them. But patients worry they won't get these expensive treatments in time.

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That Prescription Might Not have Been Tested For Your Ailment

NPR News - Sun, 2014-05-11 23:24

Once a drug is approved by the FDA, doctors can use it as they see fit. That can be brilliant or risky, depending on the medication and the patient.

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How I got smarter this week (in just 105 minutes)

Marketplace - American Public Media - Sun, 2014-05-11 22:55

I am on a diet to make me smarter. A media diet. I'm trying to add at least one moment of depth per week to a movie habit that tends to play in the shallow end of the pool. This week my diet included "The Lunchbox," a film that I thought was going to be about relationships and sumptuous Indian food. Embedded therein was a fascinating lesson in business and logistics.

Yes, I know that to a fellow with a hammer, every problem is a nail. To a fellow with a business show, every movie has a lesson in business. "The Lunchbox" is a bittersweet comedy with a plot that pivots on an amazing delivery system in Mumbai, India that has been studied by Harvard researchers.

First of all, the movie: I promise, you will walk out of a viewing ravenous for South Asian food.

"The Lunchbox" is about a woman (Nimrat Kaur) who is trying to recapture the attentions of her husband by cooking and sending him fabulous lunches. The lunch gets delivered to the wrong man. The man, who starts getting the food by mistake and becomes entranced by the aromas, is played with subtle elegance by Irrfan Khan, the veteran actor who played the lead character as an older man in the Oscar-winning movie "Life of Pi."

Let's talk about that delivery service. A messenger known as a dabbawala picks up the lunch box, usually contained in a tiffen, an interlocking column of stainless steel bowls, and is surrounded by an insulating pouch. The 124-year old system for delivering the food that's grown up in Mumbai has long fascinated logistics experts. Messengers move the meals tied to bicycles. They are often stacked onto gurneys for insertion into railway carriages to be picked up by porters at the other end of the line. Many of the porters are semi-literate, yet they do interpret an alphanumeric code.

When the wife complains to the dabbawala at the door that her lunch is going to the wrong man, the deliveryman claims that is impossible because "Harvard says" their system never fails. Real-life studies show the system gets it right, on-time, with an astonishing 99.9 percent success rate. In fact, here is a 2010 case study in the Harvard Business Review.

A great meal like "The Lunchbox" in my media diet deserves a fine dessert. I was able to track down some additional short documentaries on the dabbawala delivery system and I commend one of them to you here:

It is a delivery system with a precision that would make the Post Office, FedEx, UPS and your pizza delivery professional blush with embarrassment.

Washington Monument To Reopen After 3 Years Of Quake Repairs

NPR News - Sun, 2014-05-11 22:09

With more than 150 cracks patched and repaired in its white marble, the Washington Monument is set to reopen for the first time since a 2011 earthquake caused widespread damage.

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Why Aren't Teens Reading Like They Used To?

NPR News - Sun, 2014-05-11 21:17

A survey of data shows a marked drop in teenagers reading for pleasure. Researchers are trying to figure out whether the explosion of e-reading and digital diversions is behind the decline.

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Glenn Greenwald: NSA Believes It Should Be Able To Monitor All Communication

NPR News - Sun, 2014-05-11 20:03

The journalist, who received a cache of highly classified documents, says no one disputes that the security agency should be reading emails from al-Qaida, but the system has become too powerful.

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