Last week, I accepted a four-month internship position at a PR firm in Toronto. My new internship begins immediately after my current one ends.
I imagine all the nay-sayers out there are mumbling to themselves and shaking their heads. “Another internship?” they might ask. “Yes,” I would respond, “and here are the reasons why.”
1| Internships are a privilege, not a setback.
While in university, I couldn’t wrap my head around the purpose of an internship. I was certain that if I worked hard enough, I would land a job right out of university. Here’s what I realize now: interns are not unemployed stragglers. Interns know what they want and how to achieve it. In other words, an internship is a strategic kickstart in the right direction. Boo-yah.
2| Some people suck at internships.
Perhaps I’m being overly harsh, but when I say that some interns “suck,” I mean most of them just do their jobs, exactly as they’re told. Being an intern certainly has its perks, but unless you get off on filing and taking notes, your day-to-day life will not be glamorous. Make your internship worth it by pitching in wherever possible! Creating stellar spreadsheets doesn’t make you memorable; taking initiative, though, sets you apart from the pack.
3| Free training is indispensable.
If you can afford to do an internship in your field (and that’s a whole other topic of conversation…), I think you’d be silly not to. Interning offers a taste of the working world and enables you to try your hand at a number of different tasks in a relatively risk-free way. In all likelihood, you won’t have so much responsibility as to feel overwhelmed, but you’ll be able to give writing/presenting/public speaking/shmoozing a shot without risking embarassment. If anything goes wrong, you can always play the intern card: “Whoops! I’m new.”
4| Life is a popularity contest.
I’m sorry, but the old adage is true: “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.” Fortunately for those among us not born into wealth and opportunity, it is entirely possible to make – and privilege from – your own connections. If you’re trying to make e-friends on LinkedIn or Twitter, your title as an intern at “x” respectable company will do you wonders. At the end of the day, the real perks of interning are the ones you create yourself: meeting people in your industry, forging bonds with mentors and building a positive reputation around your name.
So, yep, another internship – and I kinda sorta can’t wait.