Thursday, August 23, 2012

Intern Corner

Its been a year since I was at my internship. And I must say that there are def things I would change about that experience. As much as I loved it (as I've said many times) there are things that would have been more in my best interest. Internships are about learning and growing. Being mentored. Exposure to your field of choice. 

"An internship is a pre-professional experience that provides an opportunity to gain relevant knowledge and skills prior to starting out in a particular career field." 

Traveling stipend. As I was on my long journey to work this morning I was starting to think how unfair my travel is. Waking up hours before I even get to my destination. Then I realized, I've traveled about the same to my unpaid internship just a year ago around this time. Although it costed me about 7 bucks to and from the office everyday I went. And of course not to mention times like Fashion week or other events that cost more every transit line I took. This added up and luckily I had a job outside of that. I wish I would've asked for a traveling stipend after 3 (July 2011) months or at least after 6 (Oct 2011). This may have allowed me to save even more money for when I moved.

Do not halt the plans for your future cause of a potential proposition: For months my superiors made plans to make me and a colleague full-time. Unlike large corporate unpaid internships, small businesses can not promise this prior to their 5 year point. I knew this but also I have a very loyal heart, I didn't want to apply to many places while interning and possibly going to get a position with the company I interned for. Unfortunately, as myself, friends and family knew was a strong possibility; the business could not afford to bring me on full time.

This leads me to my next point... Don't beg. If a company wants you bad enough, they will make it happen. It is that simple. As much as I loved the directors and people we worked with. I knew if they really wanted me or saw the need to have me, they would have came up with a plan to do so. And working for a place you forced your way in may end up being more headache than its worth. I have friends who have experienced this. Trust me, you'll know when its a right fit for both sides.

Many may read this and end up focusing on the actions of the company. If you're that person, please reread. The focus is not the business I interned for, it is about me, the intern. Sometimes we go into these situations not realizing the options and possibilities we have. And no one can figure them out besides us. I just want to give the new breed of interns something to think about as they start their journey.