Internship season is just around the corner and this summer thousands of students will be shadowing the footsteps of others in government roles, corporate offices, nonprofit organizations and community associations around the world. The "internship" is the modern day apprenticeship, featuring the ins and outs of what the real professional world encompasses. Classroom theories are set aside. Interns get to observe and participate in real time deadlines and decision-making processes within various office environments. Here are a few tips to motivate you to explore an internship on your journey to discovering your "dream job":
Research jobs and roles in your field of interest to find your best fit. Learn the qualifications you need to participate. Consider volunteering - an unpaid type of internship - for opportunities with your organization of choice. Keep an open mind and maintain the idea that an internship is a portal to finding out if you enjoy a particular industry. Enjoy this risk-free trial period that will catapult you to the next level or divert you to another area of deeper interest.
2. Meet someone with your "Dream Job" and Ask Questions.
The summer going into my sophomore year of college I was positive that I wanted to be a news anchor. I wanted to "tell a story" and to share stories of how individuals positively impact others around them. To learn more, I e-mailed three local anchorwomen asking them how they began their journeys in broadcasting. All three women e-mailed me back, and one even offered to have coffee with me. That single meeting, in the form of a coffee meet-up and conversation about the broadcasting industry helped me discover my pathway into the world of news and media.
3. Be present. Learn from 'the Best' and 'the Worst'.
Once you've landed your internship be sure to enter it with an open mind. You will likely learn far more, or less, than you ever thought possible. Similar to real life, not all internships are perfect. However, as an intern you are given the opportunity to have a backstage pass to the "dream job" you have been striving to land. Like all jobs the internship will take dedication, hard work and passion to achieve success. It is during these temporary forays into the workplace that you can ask your questions and hear advice from the experts in your field of interest. This will be your opportunity to observe firsthand the trade that interests you. These experiences will help you make the ultimate decision to pave your own way to greatness.
I hope these tips have encouraged you to pursue an internship in your field of interest and motivate you to ask more questions of those who have previously walked similar paths.
Share your internship experience in the comments below.