This story first appeared on Kalibrr. Visit this page for more on the ups and downs of navigating your career.
It’s getting hot outside, your professors continue to repeat the foreign word “finals” and your parents are lovingly interrogating you on your plans for the upcoming break.
As the title suggests, my answer to this question is to take an internship. I am on my 5th internship and counting and I can honestly say it has been very rewarding and to some degree, fun. My job right now is to convince you to take at least one internship in the next few months. Here’s why:
1. Increase your value
Look at internships as a way to increase your value contribution to an organization. Now, whether you go with a multinational, a small to medium-sized enterprise or even a startup, what I would personally suggest is to look for any organization that you think will enhance your education, whether it be on the industry, latest trends, new software, best practices, or an opportunity to apply your learnings.
How you figure that out takes another blog post all together but, a majority of it involves homework and asking questions.
Considering an internship?
2. Get paid – ?
Whether or not you get paid in money is very debatable, no really, it is. What you really want to look into is if you will be paid in contacts, exposure and experience – this early in your career.
All 3 go hand-in-hand with increasing your value. Exposure and experience will ideally, heighten your knowledge in an area and give you more practice. If you can make an impression on people with the way you treat them and your work ethic, those people or contacts in this case, may aid or present you future opportunties.
When I got one of my internships, it was a little helpful that the manager still remembered me from college and that one of her officemates remembered me as that guy who wished him luck before a job interview.
3. Figure out what you might want in your career
An internship provides you with a snapshot of the industry and what people do, but it also provides you with a working basis for your ideal work routine and environment. Besides determining which company or department you would prefer, you may want to ask yourself other questions such as:
- “What type of managers and officemates do you work best with?”
- “How can you improve your productivity?”
- “Do you need to move closer to work?”
- “Do I have to be nice to everyone?”
- “How do you handle an office crush?”
- “What’s an income tax, and why do the smiliest of employees frown when I ask?”
There are many more questions but keep in mind that, as a regular employee, you are pretty much tied to a company for 6 months. An internship, on the other hand, is usually shorter than that and you get a feel for the situation, and find answers to your own personal set of questions.
4. What school won’t necessarily teach you
“Don’t let school get in the way of your education.”
The quote is often traced to Mark Twain or Grant Allen, but I heard it from John Ireland in his podcast Mason and Ireland. It is not about skipping classes or dropping out. It is about learning beyond the textbooks.
Keep in mind that in the same way that not everything is about textbooks, not everything is about career. Being lucky enough to have met the people I have met so far, I learned a lot more about people themselves, glimpsing different sides to and reflecting on the human condition.
I had to say goodbye to great officemates and friends only to welcome new officemates and eventual friends.
I met several college sweethearts, young couples, engaged, and married people who gave me dating and relationship tips. I tried to understand why a British man would relocate, moving to this country. I was in awe of a Stanford grad who spent most of his time in America, decide to move his entire family back to his homeland. Though unrelated to work, I had interesting conversations about how it was to be pregnant. I also experienced the feeling of gratitude for the people who gave me opportunities.
Beyond just learning how to use an internship to put yourself in a better position in your career, always keep in mind that people you work with have a lot more to teach you than is written on the sprint board.
There are some great internships out there, trust me. Apply for one and find out for yourself. – Rappler.com
Looking for your next step or starting a new phase in your career? Check out this jobs portal by Kalibrr x Rappler for options. You can follow Kalibrr on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Kian is an avid follower of western pop culture, sports and the life conversations that it brings (including wrestling).
There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.