All Articles Tagged "internship"
As a college student or recent college graduate, the best you can expect from an internship is a decent boss and no more than two coffee runs per day; basic tasks that seem to revolve around the copy machine come with the territory. You spend most of your time just hoping to get one good assignment that will lead to a solid recommendation and a trip out of the internship world. But the world of internships is quickly changing. More and more, older (read 30 and over) men and women are applying for and receiving internships. Although some are saying this as the ultimate downgrade, those folks are wrong.
Interning in your thirties and forties is an incredibly smart career move. As a more seasoned employee you’ll be an asset to the company. Here are five pros of being an older intern, as well as a few tips to make your internship work for you, not the other way around.
1. You’re More Experienced
This isn’t your first time around. You know what to expect in an office setting and can avoid making some of the classic intern mistakes. (Can anyone say flip flops at work?) Your general know-how and inside knowledge of workplace culture will easily make you a go-to in the office.
2. You’re More Confident
This pro builds off of the previous one. Younger interns are generally afraid of making mistakes or being too assertive. Wisdom comes with years, and so does confidence. You don’t have time for games you know exactly what you want. Your confidence allows others to have confidence in you. Have an honest conversation with your supervisor and tell them want you’re looking to get out of this internship. They’ll respect your confidence and will keep you in mind for key projects that could help you get to that next step.
3. Internships Are Flexible
Internships tend to be more flexible. You can set your own hours and generally work at your own pace. Unfortunately, internships also tend to be unpaid so if that’s the case make sure you have your priorities straight. When you’re in the office give 100% but you can’t be in the office 100% of the time for little to no pay. If you are making the choice to do an unpaid internship pursue grants and other forms of funding. There are a lot of organizations out there that will pay for your living expenses while you work an unpaid internship provided that you write a good proposal.
4. Great For A New Career & Re-entering The Workforce After A Hiatus
If you’re starting a new career, an internship is a great way to get a feel for the work culture and type of work you’ll be doing. Internships, or this case, “returnships,” are also great for those returning to the workforce. If you choose to leave the workforce to raise your children, I would absolutely recommend pursuing a part-time internship just to stay in the loop.
5. Your Life/Career Experience Makes You More Valuable.
The final reason why older interns tend to be better interns is because they just know more. Previous work and life experience make older interns more versatile and useful. For those switching careers, your past skills are your biggest strength. No matter what the switch is. I recently met a woman that was switching from elementary education to accounting. Her experiences as an elementary school teacher, though not immediately obvious, were vital for her new career. She was incredibly vigilant, organized, and creative (you have to be when you’re responsible for 30 some-odd kids.) All of these skills made her wonderful accountant and miles ahead of the younger interns.
Don’t be ashamed to take what you may at first view as a step back to an internship. Yes, the money is not as good but the experience is invaluable. As long as you know you’re strengths, verbalize them, and don’t get stuck behind the copy machine, your internship experience will catapult you to your next big career at any age.
With a greater number of college students finishing up credits or gaining extra certifications in their fields of study at major colleges and universities, many expect to graduate in December instead of May. There are marked advantages of graduating during the winter months.
Graduates accepting their diploma after the Fall semester optimize their chances of landing a job, conducting their search during the off-season versus the busy summer job market that many May graduates can expect to experience. According to a Fox Business news article, the competition for jobs are less stiff for a December graduate, putting the market squarely in the job seeker’s favor.
“[It] can make them more attractive job candidates since they are available to start right away, while their peers may have to wait until after May,” says Christine Gaiser for Fox Business online.
Graduating during a time where there are few other graduates makes a prospective job candidate more noticeable. December may also be the best time for a job seeker to “reinvigorate” their hunt for a job. Graduating at the end of a calendar year puts your job search at the beginning of many companies’ fiscal year, where budgets make way for new positions. Of course, this is based on the prospective job field and their specific calendar. ”There is more hiring in January than December, but the thing about a job search is that it’s a process so you should start… before that,” comments Rob Saam for CNN Money.
Graduating in December could also open up the possibility to travel abroad, prepare for graduate school the following year, or secure an internship for the Spring semester that could possibly lead to an career at its completion, while other college students are just graduating in May.
A December 2012 graduate should already have started preparing for the reality and challenges of post-graduate life. Whether you have or not, here a few ways our next round of graduates can get a jump start on the “real world” beginning 2013:
Start the Job Hunt Now
Begin getting applications out for jobs in your field, giving you time to go through the application process, refine your resume, and interview for multiple positions. This is the optimum time to do so without panicking over an income.
Comb Over Your Resume
While finishing up your education, this is the perfect time to use your spare time away from the books to go over your resume with a fine-tooth comb. Make sure you have a clear and concise format that outlines all of your relevant experience, as well as a broad knowledge of other skills that will help you secure a job. Hit the job market running!
Use All Available Resources At Your University or College
While in college, many students do not take advantage of the resources available to them. Use this last semester to talk to professors about recommendations and providing references. Use the writing center to refine your cover letter and CV. And gain more relevant hands-on experience in your college atmosphere, like leadership or networking opportunities, to prepare you to be competitive in the job market. You paid for your college education, so let it work for you!
Decide Your Next Move After Graduation Carefully
Whether it’s relocating, studying abroad, preparing for graduate school or preparing for your career, take this time to outline your next moves after graduation. Come up with a short-term plan that outlines the next year to three years of your life and what route makes more sense to you. Make sure the plan you decide is the right one for your personal situation, and not just a way to avoid the pressures of facing the job market head on. If you prepare ahead of time in the right ways, you will be a sought-after candidate, coming out on top at the beginning of the year!
Blair Bedford is a media professional and freelance writer/contributor based out of NYC. Follow Blair B. on Twitter @BlairsPadandPen.
Welcome to the beginning of the peak intern season, where hopeful college students and graduates suck up their pride and take on for-credit, paid and sometimes unpaid internships to get a foot in the door of their desired industry. Don’t be fooled by how easy an internship might look or sound. Taking on an internship is like running a marathon; there are no shortcuts, it should not be taken lightly and it will not last forever.
There’s really no way to prep for an internship except to be open-minded and ready for any type of task that might come your way. Interns are not just coffee pushers or copy makers, but they help fill a temporary void in the office that might eventually make way for a permanent position. So, don’t take your internship lightly; this might very well be your next job!
While you have that significant time as an intern with a company, make the best of it and turn it into a career by keeping these simple steps in mind:
There are some things that college just doesn’t prepare you for. It can provide you with knowledge of your field of study. It can give you career training. It can prep you for what and what not to say during an interview, bu the one thing, however, that college fails to prepare many of us for is what we will encounter once we’re actually hired. The American Dream leads us to believe that hard work and dedication are all that you need to succeed in this country; however, they fail to disclose the little disclaimer that says, “Please Note: This dream is often only applicable to qualifying races.” College taught me many things, but one thing that they did not tell me prior to shaking my hand and giving me a diploma was that in many cases, as a black woman in corporate America, you have to work ten times as hard just to be considered as good as your counterparts.
I remember my first paid internship in the public relations industry like it was yesterday. I popped up on the scene with my eyes beaming, deep brown skin glowing, and my heart full of expectations. I had already made up my mind that I would work harder than I’d ever worked in my life. I was prepared to conquer the world! I learned swiftly that an intern’s position was the lowest of the lowest on the totem pole, but I was prepared to stick my chest out, lift my chin up, push my shoulders back and handle my business like a woman because I knew that I would reap a greater reward in the end. So no, I didn’t expect anyone to give my anything. I was prepared to earn it fair and square. But the public relations department that I interned for was so small that it didn’t long to realize that I was being treated differently. The differential treatment started out with small things. You know, those things that are so “small” you ask yourself, “Did that just happen or am I bugging out?” For instance, things like my entire department tip-toeing out while I went to the bathroom to attend a company sponsored event that I wasn’t even made aware of until after the fact. Yeah. “Small.”
“You’re just an intern, they aren’t required to tell you anything,” is what I told myself as I carried out the rest of the workday alone, trying not to get in my feelings about the shadiness that had just taken place. But once another intern was hired, I could no longer blame the subtle shade on my title. This intern happened to be white, and once she was instantly invited to attend some of our more “upscale” events, while I wasn’t, I realized that my suspicions might be correct. My dark-er skin, wide-r hips, thick-er thighs, and full-er lips made me less qualified to attend these events because I would improperly represent the face of the brand, I suppose.
There was one instance where I had to go and make a purchase for some supplies using the department’s American Express Card. The way in which I was treated when I was given that card would’ve led a person to believe that I had a criminal background and was just given the code to Donald Trump’s bank account. “Don’t get happy and run off with that AMEX card in your purse,” the department coordinator called after me as I exited the office. My nostrils flared as I thought to myself “Girl bye, I’ve never had to steal anything in my life.”
Little comments such as that one went on as long as I was in this department. There was one occasion when the entire department went out to lunch and for some reason one of the other employees felt the need to tell me about her big, black, voluptuous nanny named Shelia whom she had as a child. I remember sitting there resisting the urge to twist up my face at her wondering, “Why in the hell is she telling me this? Does she want me to watch her kids or something?” Of course, there was no moral to her story–she just felt the need to share. I felt the urge to flip the table over and assume the stereotype of the angry black woman, but I didn’t. Instead I sat there silently.
When it comes to getting employment in today’s economy, it’s all about professional skills and education, but don’t knock ethics and a good old-fashioned hustler’s mentality either. Ethics and social intelligence play just as big of a part in keeping people within great positions, helping them successfully navigate their professional path, networking and actually growing within an organization.
If climbing the career ladder were as easy as doing your work and doing it well, many of us would have executive somewhere in our job title. Unfortunately, in a work force where job competition grows more and more cutthroat, you may find yourself calling into question your personal and professional ethics. Working smarter and not harder is just as much about networking and social interaction as it is about Excel sheets and PowerPoint presentations. There comes a time in everyone’s career where they have to decide what type of professional they want to be, and ask themselves the following questions about how their character affects their chances at climbing the ladder:
I remember when I interned in college and I saw many of my classmates doing what at the time I thought was “the most.” They would pick up breakfast for their site supervisors and then engage in shallow conversations about how interested they were in the boss’s weekend hobby of gardening (when I knew damn well the only grass they cared about made you light-headed and happy). Still, I could only be but so surprised when they were offered positions within the company when the internship ended.
It’s all about where you stand. I don’t engage in empty conversations that I don’t care about. It’s just not me. I’m all about friendly and polite small talk, but if we don’t click on any level other than that, that’s okay. There are supervisors that enjoy bending over and getting their behinds kissed and others that see right through it. I’d rather know that I’m being judged on my work ethic and professional skills than how great of a brown-noser I am.
2. How valuable is your time?
I won’t even lie. I’ve been that person working on assignment and activities off the clock, but it’s only because I have a significant passion for what I do. With that said, any good organization will recognize when an employee is truly invested and even if you’re not compensated monetarily, you’ll be the first one whom they think of when that promotion comes along. When it comes to working off the clock, my advice is do it because you want to and not because you’re expecting anything in return. It’s also important to note that having your own life doesn’t make you any less dedicated. Some employers will take advantage of you because they can. When you volunteer to take the minutes at every meeting, team-lead three projects and MC the annual fundraiser event, you don’t look like a hard worker, you look like you don’t know how to manage time and delegate responsibility. You don’t have to apologize for having a life outside of work.
3. What are you willing to do to get ahead?
There are all kinds of gray areas that you will encounter in your professional life. Do you help that co-worker you hate while he is drowning in work that he isn’t too sharp at getting done, but that you’ve done a thousand times? Do you take equal credit for that great idea your colleague had although all you did was nod and agree? As you navigate your professional path your character will be constantly tested and you’ll build a reputation for yourself. It all depends on what you can live with doing to get ahead. If that office with the window and a few extra zeros is really worth you breaking backs and throwing others under the bus, assume the position.
Today, Tristan is Foursquare’s director of business development. During his tenure, he’s built partnerships between Foursquare and huge brands such as Bravo, MTV, CNN, New York Times, NBA and Starbucks.
To celebrate the two year anniversary of the email, Tristan just published it on his personal blog, along with some notes:
(LA Times)–Malibu resident Ashley St. Johns-Jacobs, 40, typically rises before 5 a.m. to get to her job at the Los Angeles city attorney’s office by 8 a.m. After a full day prosecuting misdemeanors, she often brings work home. What she doesn’t bring home is a paycheck. With no position open, she has been working as an unpaid intern for nearly a year in hopes of eventually getting hired when a job opens up. “We live on a tight budget,” said St. Johns-Jacobs, whose husband works as a microphone boom operator for Hollywood studios. “But someday they will be hiring.” Meet the new interns. With the unemployment rate still high and the economy not creating nearly enough jobs to put the nation’s 13.7 million unemployed back to work, seasoned workers like St. Johns-Jacobs are doing what was once unthinkable: working for free.
(Washington Post) — If you think the word “intern” refers just to the legions of eager young folks who descend on Washington each summer, providing cheap labor by day and guzzling beer at night, think again. When Uncle Sam talks about interns, he might mean the college students who get a few months of valuable on-the-job experience, but he also could be referring to the permanent federal workers who bypassed the regular competitive hiring process and got a full-time job through the Federal Career Intern Program.