The before, during, and after of an internship

internship

There is a 7 in 10 chance of you being hired by the company you intern with. [1]

That certainly sounds encouraging, time to go out and get an internship, right? Unless luck is on your side, it is not that simple, especially in high-skill industries. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, in fact, from 2011 to 2012 the number of companies offering internships increased by 36%.[1] Man, isn’t that great for you! However, at the same time companies had a 65% increase in applications. [2]

What I’m trying to say is that it’s not easy, but certainly, it’s not impossible. You need to Build your portfolio and résumé to resemble someone worth taking the time to train. It is rare that an intern can impress a skilled professional, so don’t rely on your current skill and knowledge alone. Also, become interested in the companies you are looking to work with and don’t just be another email in their inbox.

Remember to never give up.

I almost lost my chance to be where I am today by giving up on my search. I was fortunate that Cybis was willing to train someone with little industry knowledge and actually took the time to contact me. This is extremely rare and unlikely to happen, so I would encourage you to never stop giving it your all. If you feel lost then I suggest finding someone in the industry and asking them what you should improve and work on.

“Let’s say I have an internship, anything I should know?”

While the start is always the most difficult that doesn’t mean the internship process is a free ride. Prepare yourself to learn and remember to ask questions whenever you need help. At the end of the day you are there to learn about the industry and the company itself. You should not be spending an hour figuring something out on your own when someone is able to show you how to do it in 10 minutes.

Remember though that not every employee at a company will be friendly or helpful. It is important that you find people you identify with and create a friendship with them. This will not only help you during your internship but also after the internship is complete, and plus, you made a friend!

It is also important to spend time researching on your own outside of work. It can be incredibly impressive when an intern is able to bring a new skill to the table or even improve upon what is already done. The more time you are able to spend researching during your internship the better off you will be.

And you’re done! Well, not really, but we can pretend for just this line.

Finishing the internship only matters if you make it matter.

Do not assume that you are guaranteed a position within the company. Work hard and stay connected with the people you have been working with. Be open with those you created close friendships with and directly ask them about employment. You can either be assured and pat yourself on the back for working hard, or you can find out about what you need to improve so you can land a job in the future.

To wrap this all up, this is a highly summarized talk on the during, before, and after an internship is completed. There is a lot more to learn and be prepared to make mistakes. If you are able to absorb all that was talked about here then you will be a lot better off. It’s much more competitive now than it ever has been in the past. However, be assured that there is a possibility out there for you. It will just take some extra work to get there.

Posted By: Austin Reiker

Sources

 [1] http://www.naceweb.org/uploadedFiles/Content/static-assets/downloads/executive-summary/2013-internship-co-op-survey-executive-summary.pdf

 [2] http://blogs-images.forbes.com/jacquelynsmith/files/2012/12/internshipsinfographic.jpg

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