Outlook on Internships

internships-the-good-bad-and-ugly-L-2I9hxpThis is the last month of many college students’ careers and the last month before other students are starting to think about careers after school. one thing that prevents many college aged individuals find the job they want to start their career with, is lack of experience. This is nothing new, and something that every one of us that has looked in a job market has to come to terms with. How do you change that?  Insert “internship” here. You have to cut your teeth somewhere, and like Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in the film “The Internship” there is never a bad time to get one for experience.

The majority of people searching for internships though are typically current college students or recently graduated, however I have seen candidates as young as high school aged, and some that are just looking for a career change scour the internship pool. These things are great, but I am seeing younger generations not eager to work for nothing, and that’s what you have to do. Very few places offer paid internships, and in my opinion they shouldn’t, because of what an internship means to that individual over the long term life of their fruitful career.

Misconceptions about internships

I think that many people that haven’t had an internship view them as useless. Generally people think it is where you get superiors coffee, deliver their dry cleaning, or act as a verbal punching bag for ridiculing executive members. While you most likely will have to take notes, print and organize reports, or do some general research, you won’t have to be someone’s slave, you’ll learn valuable lessons.

Beauty of internships

Let’s use our example of someone who has never had an internship and they are in one for the first time, and we’ll use business as the stage to set (could be in any industry or discipline but I am in business so let’s try that out). This is their first experience into a company’s inner workings. Interns get to see what real meetings are like, participate in real presentations, and even hear some of the trade secrets that make many companies a success. Interns are gaining valuable workplace experience, learning life lessons, preparing themselves for the real world’s work environment.

Not to mention if you work hard and stand out with your work and attitude, you might just get a job offer. This is what a lot of companies do; they want to make sure someone is a good fit with the company culture, goals, and work ethic. I think that  internships catch a bad rap, but if you can gain valuable work experience, maybe even earn college credit, put the job on your resume, and potentially get a firm paying job offer, then why the heck wouldn’t you want one!

Lots of companies are looking for interns this time of year. If you are in college, coordinate with the program on campus that can help you earn credits, or even ask them where you can start looking for internships. You can start by using NHInternships.com as a resource to start. Also check out Indeed, Intern Match and Internships.com to check out for postings in New Hampshire! By getting an internship you are setting yourself up to differentiate from a lot of other candidates. You gain a valuable reference along with the experience and when a hiring manager is looking at your resume they can’t say that you have no experience at all. Did you or do you have an internship now?

P.S. If you’re directly responsible for hiring or placing interns in NH, consider attending Stay Work Play’s first Talent & Internship Summit on May 22nd!

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