Freshman year was a blast, wasn’t it? Will the party continue in the junior year also?
Well, not exactly, you might want to start getting down to business now. When you are in college, everything you do gravitates towards one goal, ‘building a great career.’ Now your summers will not be all about sun, surf and sand. The new equation is summer = Internship! Yeah, that’s right. Just like all good things in life, a good career doesn’t come easy. So, start planning an internship for the next three summers.
I know, you have heard the stories about all the grunt work employers make interns do, but an internship is a great opportunity to get your feet wet in the corporate world. However, there are some traps you should know about.
Four Internship Traps to Avoid
- Take it easy, this is not a real job:
While you can get really valuable experience at good companies, there are many employers who are only looking for gophers to run errands. They will present the job to you as a low-stress, laid-back gig that will fulfill the experience requirement and you will not have to bust your hump in doing tedious work. This may sound enticing but remember, every minute of your college life is very valuable and you should steer clear of anyone who thinks otherwise. Not only you won’t be paid much (if at all), you will be wasting very valuable time.
- Treating it like a relationship rather than a fling:
Since internships are not considered a ‘real’ job, they are normally not too stressful. If all the pieces fit, interns sometimes get too comfortable with their ‘not real’ jobs. This leads to the attempt to stick around so that they don’t have to go out again and find another internship and start over. Remember, internships are meant to be short lived and challenging (hopefully) so that you can have a variety of experiences in different environments. You will get plenty of chances to bond and drop anchor at your favorite job.
- We would love to have you here but let’s not talk about money:
Many people including counselors would have you believe that you should pretty much jump on whatever internship you can get. On one level, it seems reasonable to think why someone should pay you to learn when you won’t be able to add much value to their business. Stop! Everything in this world has some value and almost nothing is free. So, your time with whatever skills and experience you have, also has value. Try to negotiate with the employers and accept an unpaid internship only if you are really desperate. This situation can be avoided if you plan ahead and start searching early.
- There is no alternative to an internship:
If you are studying business, marketing or anything related to computers and internet, you don’t have to follow the tradition. Enterprising individuals can initiate a project of their own such as start an online business and it will count a lot more than a traditional internship. You will get great experience and will learn a lot more than a summer internship. What’s great about this is if you are successful, you won’t need a job. Cherry on top! Isn’t it? However, don’t be tempted to ditch the school. Yes, there are several examples of successful businessmen who started in a garage and never finished school. But there are also several thousands more, who did the same and ended with a failed business and no degree.
“I had a lot of bad jobs but the one big internship I had is I interned for ‘SNL’ when I was 21 years old and that was the joke. You intern there and you think man, I’m going to be with the writers and the great comedians. Then you’re getting everybody sandwiches and then the doors close and then all the great creative are doing the work.” Jake Johnson (Actor).
I hope I am not the first person who brought the news that summers are actually about work and not just fun. Don’t be bummed out about spending the summers working. You’ll still have time for fun but don’t post all the evidence on FBJ. You don’t want your new boss to get insights about you that may compromise your otherwise “professional image.”
Author Bio: – Though an experienced an experienced essay writer at a well know firm, Essay Corp, Sadie Douse loves to write blogs career path, leadership role, risk and investment, etc. Find her on Google+.