If you are reading this article one of the following is probably true:
- You are required to do an internship to graduate.
- Someone told you that doing an internship is a good idea.
- You found out that you can escape from doing some classes if you do an internship
- You can earn some money doing an internship.
So, what would the ideal internship be like?
- The company, organization or manager hiring would come looking for you rather than your having to find them.
- You would be offered opportunities to do exciting work in your chosen area of specialization.
- You would learn a great deal.
- You would work with great people.
- Your input would be requested and included in major decisions your management would be making.
- You would be paid a competitive, market based salary based upon your accomplishments to date.
- You would receive a great evaluation at the end of your internship accompanied by an offer of employment to do exciting work at a great salary no later than the beginning of your starting your final year of college.
And, what would a terrible internship be like?
- The company waits until the last minute to offer you the internship.
- Your job assignment is all make-work or doing work nobody else wants to do.
- You don’t learn anything.
- The people you are working with are difficult to get along with.
- The sponsoring organization has no intention of hiring any of their interns.
- You do not get paid.
There are many internship opportunities somewhere in between the ideal and the terrible. The terrible internship may even be in violation of labor laws, depending upon where you would be working, but one experience you don’t need is filing a government complaint, so be sure you don’t get into the terrible internship experience. The ideal internship does exist, but not everyone will be fortunate enough to be offered that opportunity. So, what can you do to increase the chances of your being offered the ideal internship?
- Build the relationships with people who will help you find a great internship (or offer you one) years before you want the internship.
- Assemble a resume which ROARs (is Results Oriented And Relevant) showing all of the work which you have done to prepare you to be one of the best interns ever.
- Perform well in your academic classes.
- Build an awesome working relationship with your faculty so that they can write you very meaningful letters of recommendation.
- Assume a major leadership role in student organizations related to your chosen profession. Go beyond being elected to office in those organizations, and demonstrate that you have really improved the organizations.
- Send your questions on internships to Master The Event here. We will address them in future blog postings in the Master The Event forums.
- Check the Master The Event blogs over the next few weeks for more thoughts about internships. The next career related posting will be about building effective relationships and networking.