What is an internship? Opportunity!
A temporary job position where a student or a trainee works, sometimes without pay, in order to gain work experience or satisfy requirements for an academic and/or job qualification.
While working as an intern, you’ll encounter a variety of work experiences. So you should have a flexible mindset and attitude.
Freshmen should begin exploring opportunities once they’ve settled into their new environment.
Upperclassmen should be well on their way to making all types of internship discoveries.
Key Factors When Searching for Internships:
1. Internships usually come in 4 types: paid, unpaid, academic and/or a combination thereof;
2. All internship experiences are not the same. Companies have different corporate cultures, so they may have different perspectives.
For example, at one company, you may be asked to perform what you may perceive as menial tasks such as data entry and/or answering the telephone.
At another, you may actively participate on a design team in crafting the next corporate social media strategy.
Again, it depends on the corporate culture. Buyer Beware…be mindful…the U.S. Dept of Labor has regulations governing the quality of internship placements.
3. During the course of your search process, make sure you investigate each internship placement opportunity thoroughly. Make a list of your questions and concerns. Be diplomatic with your inquiry style.
4. Also, create a “benefits” list…how will this experience enhance your personal growth as well as your professional/skill development?
5. Then, have a fact finding conversation with your campus’ internship coordinator about potential placements.
6. Afterwards, do your own follow-up by corroborating information learned with your peers, faculty, reference librarian, and your other campus advisors.
7. The night before any potential interview, review your research, update your list of questions, and get a good night’s sleep.
8. Always, always dress appropriately. It only takes 60 seconds to make a lasting impression!
9. After every interview, use the Jimmy Fallon approach and send a hand written ” Thank You ” note…of course, minus the benefit of Fallon humor.
10. Although we live in an electronic universe, the human touch such as a written thank you note and/or telephone call can evolve into another, potential networking connection.
An internship experience is a platform for you to learn, observe, refine, and enhance your professional work experience.
And sometimes, but not always, that may include doing what you consider as menial work. You can also learn while doing menial tasks as well.
An internship interview is a mutual experience…they interview you and you interview them, so be prepared!
Keep in mind that internship experiences not only provide you with work experience, but also the opportunity to enhance your interpersonal and interpersonal skill sets.
Ultimately, the internship experience is what you make it and putting in the extra effort can pay off big time in the long run.
What are the actual secrets for being super successful in the internship placement you choose?
Ask, ask, ask questions and be diplomatic in doing so; validate your information, no legitimate work assignment is too menial; build your professional network; and, commit to lifelong learning!
An internship experience is a major opportunity in defining and pursuing your career goals!