Internship Strategy

Lea Fox, a Los Angeles native, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Digital Film and Video. She is a filmmaker who specializes in screenwriting. She works as a freelance gaffer and writer. Her other interests lie in music. On the days when she’s not writing you can find her singing or plucking her bass.

Securing Your Place in the Workforce

America’s job market is on the road to recovery after it’s bleak recession, even so, there are some staggering statistics. A recent report points out that there are 9 million Americans out of work, one third of the population are freelance workers, and one in seven 16-24 year olds are unemployed or out of school. This can be disheartening to college students and recent graduates eager to begin their careers. There is a saving grace, the internship. Many young people view this word as being synonymous with phrases like free labor or cheap labor, and in all honesty, it often is. But the internship does have its merits. It can be the perfect weapon for any college student or recent graduate if wielded correctly.

An internship can be a launching pad for a bright career. However, it is necessary to ensure that it is launching the job seeker in the right direction. The first step to making the best of an internship is choosing the right company. When searching for an internship one should make sure they are searching for companies that they legitimately long to work for. There is no point in spending half a year at a company that one has no intention of being a part of. It would also behove the future intern to know how many of the current employees were hired internally. If the company exclusively promotes internally, there is a good chance they are recruiting interns with the intention of making them employees. Finally, it is integral the company the job seeker has chosen is one they can see themselves growing in long term. In order to be successful the company must simultaneously use the intern’s assets while supplying them with opportunities that could not be found elsewhere. This is fertile ground for the seedling of a burgeoning career.

After garnering a dream internship, one should set their sights on a particular role at the company. It should be noted that the role one chooses needs not to be an open position. At smaller companies and startups, specifically, one can create their own position as long as the position created benefits the company. The intern should cater their internship towards the position that they are gunning for. They should not be afraid of stepping out of their box. They should ask for projects that allow them to feature the kind of work they intend on doing.

People often say their work speaks for itself. It is true that great work speaks volumes for a future employee but in today’s competitive job market it does not say enough. By the time one’s internship is completed most of your co-workers should know you by both face and name. It is a well kept secret, but a huge part of getting hired is simply being liked by the staff. If it is feasible the intern should also introduce themselves to whoever has the final say in the hiring process. The job seeker should make sure that this person knows exactly who they are and why they would make a great addition to the company.

For many young job seekers the internship may seem incommensurate with the amount of time and dedication that they have put into their education. No one enjoys working for less than they feel they are worth. What the internship doesn’t offer in monetary gains it offers in priceless opportunity. If an intern allows themselves to shine by finding their niche at the right company, an internship can act as the key to the door of success.

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