An Internship Revolution

Spring is a time for many wonderful things, such as sunny greek-life formals, the quiet blossoming of flowers and grass underneath our toes, breaking out your favorite pastel colors, and internship offers, right? As all too many college students know springtime can determine how they will be spending their summer, for some, this is an exciting time and an opportunity to engage and connect with professionals in their dream fields. While for others they will be returning to the same summer job they held previously and are given looks of pity and condolences. As college students, we are pushed to want to further our LinkedIns and find new ways we can flex our resumes onto others and it is about time we stopped doing this and acknowledge the hard work of our peers and recognize that any experience is good experience.

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I know this concept is a crazy one but I am asking you to bear with me for a second here.  There are many reasons a fancy internship might not actually be the most practical or best way for you to live your best life, and I am going to blow your mind with these facts.

1. Many internships outside of business and stem are unpaid, so this means students looking into government, teaching, writing, and the arts go without pay and for many qualified students, this makes internships an unrealistic part of their lives. Toxic and competitive academic environments put pressure on every student no matter their financial background to get a fancy internship and do not recognize the students who instead of Goldman Sachs pick a 7/11.

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2. You may not really be passionate about the program you received an internship for and this would make for a dull and lifeless summer. Yes, most people will say internships are a time for you to learn what you are passionate about but I argue that if you simply applied for an internship as a resume place holder or a way to flex on your fellow business-school snakes, you should not take the job. Without some form on intrinsic motivation, the time you spent at your internship will have been wasted because you will not be putting in your best effort and proving to employers that you want to take advantage of the opportunity in front of you.  

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3. Any experience is good experience! The focal point of this article has been to convince you that internships are not always everything and do not correlate with better qualifications, work ethic, intelligence, or any fancier word one would use to describe themselves in a job interview. No matter how you spend your summer if you are doing something that you feel is worth your time and brings you happiness at that moment you will be able to transfer that excitement into your professional life just as much as any internship. This is because you will be able to talk about your excitement for your experience authentically and employers see this! You will also most likely develop many transferable skills that you could bring into graduate school, a job, or into your academic career.

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Don’t let these junior Jordan Belforts in salmon shorts bring you down because you choose to spend your time doing something a little unconventional. Whatever you decide to with your summer is an amazing choice and should be respected by those around you, since you will probably have a better time than they will anyway. Stay calm! Don’t worry! And remember it is almost summer 2019!!