The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
The internship is one of the most awaited moments when we start college. It allows you to work in your graduation area, even before you finish college so that you can have a little taste of your future profession. In this article, I will tell you about my experiences in journalism internships.
Inside journalism, there is a stigma that it is a glamorous profession. In fact, it can be. But what situations do I have to go through to achieve that glamour?
I have been through three different internships and at the moment, I’m in my fourth. I went through uncomfortable situations, but many of them got me this far, stronger, and more prepared to follow the journalist career.
However, how can you know it’s time to change your internship? Regardless of your graduation course, see below some important points that can help you decide.
1. doing your job becomes a burden
When we start an internship, it’s all wonderful. We are very enchanted with all that the job offers, especially if you are well paid. This happened with my third internship.
As the months went by I saw that the job I was doing, being a communication intern, but working as a marketing intern, was tearing me apart. I was completely unmotivated, and far from journalism. I was hired during the pandemic, so I worked most of the time in home office.
Working is tiring and it will always be, but for me, it looked like I was carrying a weight on my back. Everything was getting unsustainable and I couldn’t keep going.
The job definitely opened some doors for me. It made me move from São Paulo’s countryside to the capital – which was my desire – and meet nice people. Although, what was the weight of both sides on the scale?
2. anxiety and stress become a routine
It’s not news that the internship turns our life upside down. We have to organize our routine, which needs to be aligned with our study.
Consequently, our mental health is affected. My second and third internships were in two different areas: one in Radio and the other in an Agribusiness company.
Both the jobs, their routines, and the way I had to work, destroyed my mental health for months. I had lots of anxiety crises and stress. Even though I loved working in Radio, was it worth it?
According to Brazil’s Ministry of Work and Previdency, a quarter of the young people between 18 and 24 years old remain less than three months in the same job. This movement isn’t exclusive to Brazil, as stated by CareerBuilder. In the USA the average time of Gen Z in the same company is two years and three months. The reasons for these changes in jobs might be different, however, one thing is clear: our generation seeks life quality.
Now I can see that our mental health must be in the first place, if your levels of stress and anxiety are far from being normal, this is the opportunity for you to rethink if this internship is good for you.
3. you´re not learning new things
My second internship – on the Radio – taught me the most about the journalistic career. However, as time went by, I wasn’t learning anything new. And that goes for any area, whether communication or not.
An internship presupposes that we can take advantage of this time, always learning new stuff with routine situations. Many times I felt that I was doing other functions and not the ones that I was hired for. Which was decisive for me at some point, when I decided to quit my last internship.
It is unfair in our future profession when you’re hired for one job and you end up doing a different one. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to these details, they can be an indicator that it’s time to change your internship.
4. you do a pros & cons list
If you reached the point of making a pros and cons list, probably something is wrong. This topic is the most important of all, it’s time to think about what you’re liking or not in your job. Remembering that this is an extremely personal question. In general, here are some tips:
- Talk to your relatives, friends, or partner
- Think about the things you like in your internship
- Think about the things you don’t like in your internship
- What would you like to change?
- Is this change possible?
- Do you have the financial conditions to quit your current job?
- Do you already have another job in mind?
- Do you have a good quality of life in your current job?
These are critical questions that helped me to make a decision. After all the steps, do your pros and cons list, see which side of the scale weighs more for you and what your priorities are.
I recognize that every job I had until now, helped me in my profession and to build my career. But, it is worth rethinking how our internship is affecting our life and always prioritizing the most important things to ourselves.