Launch your Career

Craft Your Path: Create Your Own Internship

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In a tough economy, it’s an employer’s job market, which means that anyone hiring can afford to pick and choose from the glut of applicants — and make wild demands (see, for example, the companies that ask for your Facebook password at the interview). It also means that even entry-level jobs require years of experience, a baffling catch-22 that leaves job-seekers wondering “How do I get experience if no one will hire me without experience?”

The answer, very simply, is internships.

Tips on Creating Your own Internship

  • Define your goals and identify what skills and experience you want to gain
  • Research companies or organizations that align with your interests and goals
  • Identify the specific area within the company or organization where you’d like to intern
  • Reach out to potential mentors or supervisors and introduce yourself and your proposal for an internship
  • Develop a clear plan outlining your proposed internship, including specific goals, tasks, and timelines
  • Negotiate the terms of your internship, including the schedule, responsibilities, and any compensation
  • Stay organized and keep track of your progress and achievements throughout the internship
  • Request feedback regularly and use it to improve your skills and performance
  • Network with colleagues and other professionals in your field to expand your knowledge and opportunities for future employment.

Why you want an internship

Although internships have numerous benefits, one significant drawback is that they may not always offer compensation. However, this can reinforce the idea that your efforts at an internship are an investment. Just as you carefully chose your college major, seek out internships in a field that interests you and has the potential to advance your career.

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04/11/2024 09:16 pm GMT

Creating your own internship

Unadvertised internships are prevalent, while the advertised ones tend to be fiercely competitive. Since most companies require additional assistance, many smaller ones cannot afford to hire extra staff in today’s economy. This presents an opportunity for aspiring interns like you to lend a hand.

Reach out to the right companies

You’ll likely face the challenging question of “Why you?” in your emails, cover letters, and interviews. The answer typically starts with “Why them?” Research the company and determine why you’re interested in joining their team. If you’re unsure about your career path or how your studies align, consider compiling a list of questions to pose to an academic advisor.

Internships are great for a variety of reasons, but they're terrible for one big one: You don't always get paid. That said, it isn't always a bad thing. First, it really drives home the point that your labor at an internship is an investment.Click To Tweet

Be their biggest fan

Flattery won’t get you everywhere, but companies love believers. If you believe in the work they’re doing, everything will be easier, from applying to committing to a schedule. Not only that, but you can renew their enthusiasm for their work, which is huge. If they need someone to pick up a few jobs, that means the people there are probably overworked and on the way to burning out. You can help fix both.

Be persistent

Don’t look desperate; that’s not attractive in any situation, career or otherwise. Look and be eager to get started — and make that known to the right people. Again, these people are busy, which means you aren’t their highest priority and you might slip their minds. When you reach out to ask about an internship, make it easy for them to respond, be professional and try different avenues (i.e., if your email feels flat, go into the office and put a face to your name). If the company uses Facebook or Twitter or any other social media outlet, engage them there, and keep it positive. Don’t be in contact much more than once a week, but don’t stop until they give you a firm answer.

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Fill needs – don’t step on toes

You want to be sure that you’re offering to fill needs the company has, not offering to replace someone — particularly not your contact. Ask if there’s anything they need, and offer your skills — tactfully. Don’t ever start with criticisms. That won’t get your resume anywhere but the trash bin.

You’re an intern, not a slave

Although the job market may be challenging, it doesn’t excuse mistreatment, even in an internship role. Refuse to tolerate intrusive or degrading hiring practices, and only assume tasks you’re willing to do. Evaluate your internship‘s advantages in relation to your responsibilities, and take a stand when circumstances deteriorate.

If you’re overburdened, consider inquiring about a full-time position, and if it’s unfeasible, it may be time to transition on after leveraging your experience. Remember that your internship can benefit both you and the company, so approach it as such.

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04/11/2024 04:21 pm GMT




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