Whether you are in college or are just starting out in the workforce, an internship can provide you with the opportunity that you need to get your foot in the door in your target company. Internships tend to be competitive, but that does not mean that you should just scoop up whatever you can get. Here are some characteristics to look for in an internship opportunity to ensure that the pursuit is worth your time and effort.
Relevant Job Tasks
Many people imagine fetching coffee as an intern. While this image may be partially accurate, you are not going to get much out of an internship that has you running office errands. In addition to basic tasks, you should be completing work that is relevant to your target position. Even if you are assisting someone else while they are performing these job tasks, staying close to the action is the key to getting the most out of an internship.
Since you should be performing tasks related to your target position, it makes sense that you will need some job training before you begin your internship. The best internship opportunities will schedule a training session or seminar to start off your time with the company. If you feel that you are not being properly trained on job tasks before you start your tenure in the office, do not be afraid to speak up and ask a supervisor for assistance. You can only get the most out of an internship opportunity if you know what to put into it.
It is important for you to understand that interns are not usually paid, so finding an unpaid opportunity is not a reason to look elsewhere. However, it never hurts to explore your options when it comes to compensation. While monetary compensation is unusual for internships, you may receive course credit for completing one. Considering the fact that college courses can cost thousands of dollars, internships that offer course credit do offer an indirect form of compensation.
Some companies hire interns for the sole benefit of the company. You are providing them with free labor, so they take advantage of this opportunity. However, good internships are offered by businesses that understand that you are supposed to be the primary beneficiary of the internship experience. The long-term benefit to the company is the possibility that you will come to work for them someday.
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