What I've learned from being an Intern (four times, and counting?)

Friday, July 28, 2017

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The saying,  " Always the bridesmaid, never the bride", is probably something that you've heard of before. In my case this couldn't be more true in regards to my job search. Mine would be: "Always the intern, never the full time employee".

In honor of national intern day yesterday, I've decided to share some of my top tips and everything in between of being a beloved intern. I've had the opportunity to intern for four different companies around the world including in Paris, France to Minneapolis Minnesota. Interning gave me the chance to see if I was a great fit for a company and to get my foot into doors that I could have never imagined. I'll be honest with you and tell you that interning isn't always that glamorous. In today's economy interning at one company is the bare standard for college graduates. Many post-grads find themselves applying for internships that they are over qualified for in order to gain more experience in their desired field.What makes this even more challenging is that internships are usually, if not always, unpaid. Finding a coveted internship that helps pay off college debt and loans are scarce and few and students are left working for free.

I apologize if this post seems like I'm bashing internships. In fact I'm pro-internships. There's a reason why I still apply for internships even though I might be over qualified. Unlike full time jobs, internships allow for you to get a glance of the company without taking the deep plunge into the full time job market. For people who hate commitments (which I would like to note to employers that I am not) this is a great way to see how you fit into the group dynamic of the company in a non-permanent fashion. Many paid internships give you the same perks as full time employees just without the 40 hour a week schedule and a set contract.

I'll admit that interning can also be a bit sketchy, especially when they are unpaid. I've learned my fair share of lessons when it came to credit receiving internships. If there is no syllabus for the program of standards of how you will be graded, create one with your adviser or boss. I have seen and been in the situation where I was unsure if I was being graded unfairly based off of biases during the job. Don't put yourself in sticky situations just to get an A for your internship. Trust me when I tell you that everything will be fine and that an A- will suffice if that means you get to keep your integrity.

Overall internships have taught me a number of valuable lessons including how to work in an international environment, learning how to work in a fast paced environment, and always trying to be one step ahead of the game to impress my bosses and colleagues. My four internships around the world have allowed for me to become the social-media guru, hard working, female boss that I am today; and that's better than any check or grade could ever give to me.

For more information about my job search you can visit my LinkedIn profile https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinakennelly/

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