By Jayne Fenton
I know you must have preconceived notions about the duties of an intern. Fetching coffee, making copies, and being handed projects with no substance. Considering where we get our image of an intern, i.e. movies, television, horror stories from our weird Uncle Ted, it is no wonder students fear getting an internship.
Today I would like to set the record straight. Getting an internship will be the best move you could make as an Undergraduate. Of course every experience will be different. One business will differ from another. Tasks and procedures can be more severe from one company to the next.
In my experience with an internship, and interviewing for several, I can tell you with full confidence that fetching coffee was never a listed job requirement. I was recently offered a position within the College of Communication and Information, working as a Public Relations and Marketing Assistant. Even through all the excitement in my brain “YOU GOT THE JOB! Yay! Take that! teacher in the 2nd grade who never believed in me! Who’s laughing now?” I was still able to hear what my potential boss had to say.
She told me how I would have projects of substance to complete each week, I will not be micromanaged, and I will have a final product to be proud to have my name on. Not once were coffee, copies, and verbal tongue lashings mentioned. Not once.
An internship has two routes to take. You will love the work and you figure out what you want to do the rest of your life. Or you find out that you dread going to the job every day and you realize you never want to work in that field. Even if you experience the negative example, you will still learn from that experience.
So let me end on the following bullets:
- I encourage you to apply for as many internships as you possibly can.
- In my experience, intern seekers appreciate a go-getter. Internships will not fall into your hands from the Internship Vending Machine. And remember to send a Thank You letter after the interview!
- You need to work hard at finding internships that fulfill your interests.
- Make sure to polish your resume and cover letter, and have three samples of writing available. For most communication internship programs, a good writing style is essential.
Feel free to contact me about my personal internship experience at email@example.com