All About Internships and Work Experience Placements #2
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Los Angeles
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THE ALL TOO IMPORTANT INTERNSHIP…
Internships are underrated. In my opinion, they are the best way to test the waters of a job or industry to see if it is right for you. Internships are incredible opportunities and should be treated as such. You should also try to secure as many internships as possible, starting in high school if you can. Not only will this beef up your resume, but it will help provide clearer direction as you decide what your major should be.
There are a few different types of internships, so let me break them down for you:
Paid internships – These are internships you get paid for, so they are harder to come by. Most paid internships are part of formal internship programs and hosted by larger (companies). .....
Non-paid internships – These are internships that you don’t get paid for that you take for the experience. Sometimes the companies will pay you a small stipend (I once got paid $8 a day), but that is like not getting paid at all, so it covers lunch and that’s that. I have to admit that the best internships I ever had were non-paid, as they were smaller companies who couldn’t afford to pay me, but they had interesting clients and a lot of work to be done, so I was ultimately exposed to more.
Intern for credit – A lot of corporations will provide credit for internships as opposed to paying you, and that’s just as great. If you can spend your credit hours working and figuring out if a career is right for you, that is a cool scenario. My very last semester in college was set up as a work study, so I got a head start on entering the workforce while completing my course credits.
So how do you find any of these types of internships? You put in the time researching and putting yourself out there. ..... I always suggest that you think about the brands you love most .... If you love Clinique, let’s say, and you find out they are owned by
Estee Lauder Companies
, you should research the Estee Lauder Companies website for opportunities. And if there isn’t a formal program and you can afford to work for the experience, offer yourself out for that, or see if they will offer credit. People will almost always take free help.
Going to a company’s website and reaching out to them directly is always your best bet. There are sites like
that are very helpful too;....
Bottom line is that you have to treat an internship like a job and put the work into finding the one that is right for you…but more on that later…
What makes a good intern?
I just posted about internships and how to find them, but what do you do when you land one? What makes a good intern? Well, I’ll tell you…
Be on time
– I once had a boss who used to say, “Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable.” What that simply means is be on time for your job. Don’t roll in late because what that says is that you don’t care about this position at all.
– I can guarantee that a lot of people applied for the internship that you landed, so be grateful that you got the opportunity and come to work with a positive attitude. Nobody likes a bad attitude, and you’ll find yourself out of there before you know what hit you.
– When I don’t see my interns all day, I start to worry. Most of the time, I am just too busy to keep tabs on them, but I appreciate it when they make themselves available and pop by to check in to see if I need anything or to follow up or report back on something they are working on. Don’t be annoying, but make yourself visible and ask for work. Do NOT sit on Facebook all day or online shop—get busy!
Do not act like you are entitled
– If there is one thing that gets under my skin, it is an entitled intern. Nobody really cares who you know or how you got the job. Bottom line is that you need to respect the people you are working with if you want them to provide you with an enriching experience.
Be a sponge
– Take in as much as you can as often as you can. This summer, we had an intern in the online department that everyone in the company knew because she had such a great attitude, introduced herself to all of the departments, and asked to meet the people whose jobs she might be interested in learning more about. She took it all in and absorbed as much info as she could during her stay with us. She also left a lasting impression.
– Take responsibility for your actions and be accountable for your work. One thing I find unacceptable is when interns do projects half-assed because they know they are leaving in a few weeks or months. You don’t realize that that, too, leaves a lasting impression—a very bad one. But when you have a sense of ownership and see a project through, not only is it impressive, but it can be an accomplishment to note on your resume as well.
If you don’t know, ask
– That is the entire point of the internship. You are not supposed to know anything, let alone everything. Ask a million questions so you can arm yourself with knowledge. I am always weary of interns who don’t ask questions. Again, that says to me that you just don’t care.
Treat it like a job
– Internships are jobs. Treat them that way. The more you put into them, the more you’ll get out. It’s that simple.
** It's All in the Details! **
Last edited by BetteT; 08-08-2011 at
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