Why everyone ever should experience an internship
Over the summer I was waiting to hear from an internship that would occur in the fall. I knew I was accepted, but I didn’t know my hours or the days I would be working. I was telling my friend about my anxiety and he asked “Leigh, how many internships have you done?” And when I thought about it, I’ve done four (I’ve done one on campus twice), and this one coming up would be my fifth.
Now, while I don’t claim to be an intern queen (there is a real intern queen and she was here last semester, and I had class; so I totally kick myself for it) I do claim to have some tips and tricks for getting your first (or next) internship. Ok, maybe I’ll accept intern duchess…
Internships give you experience for the real world. Now, I know you’ve already heard that 100 times, but let me explain. Once you get started in your internship, it’ll probably suck. I’m not going to lie. My first week of one of my internships was spent watching my boss check emails and bid on things on eBay. It was as thrilling as it sounds. But as things progress, it gets so much better (usually).
As you start your internship, you get the odds and ends of what your employer does, and he or she begins to trust you more, let you do things on your own and have fun. Your employer can hopefully help you out with getting a job in the future, as well. You get an idea for places to work, too.
For example, I’m broadcasting major and I was thinking, “Well, if I need to do an internship, I should work at a production company or a news station.” Where did I end up interning? I interned at this little language training company that had their own in-house production studio as part of their sales and marketing department. So there are surprises around every corner.
While you may not learn something new at every internship, (although, you do learn a lot more than in classrooms, I can tell you that much) you will make your resume fluffier with every experience. So if you want those potential employers to be surprised by your resume, interning is totally the way to go.
No place around here has what I want to do!
Are you willing to travel for an internship? I almost went to California this summer for an internship. I’ve had a few friends who have spent the summers penniless in New York City and Los Angeles. But those internships are hard to get, and might involve an in-person interview.
I’m completely in the same boat right now. I want to go to New York or California so I can make original productions for television. But I can’t really afford that right now. So, I intern where I can.
I’ve interned at a news station and realized that news was not my thing. But I picked up some great skills along the way. At my latest internship, I showed the other interns how to use the rundown program the station uses because I used it at a previous internship.
Picking up skills is a great way to fluff up that resume too. Maybe a job you’re looking for needs a skill that you don’t have because you haven’t interned anywhere else. Learning new skills that may not be involved with your ideal career in case you don’t get that ideal career right away, or you change career paths. You might be able to proclaim, “Hey, I’ve used this before.” And I’m sure your employer will be pleased as punch.
Also, look again in small places. Maybe what you want is available on a smaller scale near you. Don’t be afraid to try a place you’ve never heard of.
I’m too busy with school right now to intern!
Some people have a full agenda, and all the power to you, but interning is something you should make time for at least once in your college career. The most popular time to hire interns is in the summer. For three credits, you work 120 hours for the whole summer, which is usually 2-3 days a week. That leaves the rest of the summer for a part-time job if you need one.
If interning during the semester tickles your fancy, look for places on campus that offer internships. Ask a professor if they have a business and are looking for interns, or if they know of any places on campus or close by that you can intern at. If your schedule is full to the brim with classes, maybe take one less. If you’re normally a five-class-kind-of-student, take four instead and your fifth will count as your internship.
If you find yourself too busy during college, and afterwards find yourself without a job, doing an internship after college is a great way to fluff that resume, too. It gives you a chance to start someplace new, if only temporarily.
SOLD! Where do I start?
Looking for an internship? I totally recommend starting at the Compass. Although it is run by students, they know a lot and there are plenty of other people there to help you. They’ll set you into the database that is able to connect you to all internships that other students have done, places where alumni work, and other internships. They’ll also help you make that resume look super professional.
Also, look at companies you know of. Check out their websites. See if there’s a hiring section, and look for internships. Big companies, small companies, who knows; you could be their next intern.
As I said before, professors can be a wealth of knowledge. They can connect you with someone they know. On that note, friends of family can help too. I found out about the internship I just started because my dad met some guy at a bar who happened to work where I wanted to intern. Small world.
So, be sure to try an internship (or two, or three) because the real world will be here before you know it!