When is it a good time to start?
Internships are designed to provide a glimpse into the working world, so it is a great option to start as early as the summer before college, so that students can better pick what they want to study after they have an idea of what field of work they’d like to work in.
There is no ‘right’ age to start an internship, and even though lots of people will say that it is not the right move to start an internship after graduating college, it is possible to be hired full time after starting as an intern, and it is also possible to change fields completely after starting an internship. Everyone has to find their own path, the same thing may not work for two different people.
It will look good on the resume
The worst way to make a decision is to choose what seems to be the smarter choice rather than what is of personal interest. Choosing a career is a very serious process, a person’s job is a contributing factor in building personality, lifestyle and character, so it helps when someone’s career and interest can overlap. At a study conducted at Southwestern University, results showed that students who had tried out internships were 13% more likely to find full time positions.
How many is too many?
It’s always better to try out at least two internships in slightly different roles so that there is room to compare and learn. There are numerous work environments to choose from- there are cool startups with bean bag chairs and no tie rules, classic corporate environments with sharp interiors and perks, mid size companies with flexible rules and so many others. Opting for internships in different companies can be a great learning experience to find out not only what you want to do but also where you want to do it.
An employer’s perspective
Most millennial students weary of internships will have The Devil Wears Prada triggered fears, expecting to run errands and fetch coffee for their managers. Thankfully with India’s massive population there will likely be a staff of wonderful people to take care of housekeeping and beverage needs even in the smallest of offices. That doesn’t take away from the fact that employers will still find ways to designate menial chores to their interns, it comes with the territory. I asked one media professional if it is a challenge to invest time training interns knowing they might not stick around for a long time, to which he replied, “ its always great to have more hands on board especially when there is a big project coming up. And you don’t have to pay them as much” he went on to explain that doing an internship is also beneficial because it trains potential employees in skills that a college or school will not. The essential niceties of working in groups, the proper way to participate in large meetings, how to write professional emails while being polite and still stern enough to communicate a message effectively.
How to get started
There are multiple ways to find internships, it’s always good to utilize resources available at schools and colleges, talk to counselors and teachers for advice. It also helps to network with people in whatever capacity possible because after all we do live in an extremely social culture, and it is easier getting a foot in the door when you know someone on the other side of it.
Lastly in the digital age there are countless job placement websites that can be used to find internships, it is also possible that the firstname.lastname@example.org is an abandoned box in the milky way of the internet that no one reads, so potential seekers need not be disheartened. The trick is to apply to as many places as possible, so that the chances of hearing back increase. And even if you have unpleasant internship experience, you can always use that experience as a hilarious story to tell people years later.(after all tragedy plus time is comedy).