Internships

 

Basics

Internships provide supervised practical experience at a company.  When you are hired by a company you are assigned a mentor who’ll be your supervisor for your internship (generally during the summer).  The program provides a combination of learning and practical experience.  Although most internships are filled by college students, a few may be offered to teens who are graduating high school seniors, and fewer still to underclassman.  Some are paid, although generally at a minimum salary, since the company teaches you skills and allows you to gain experience in the field.  As an intern, be prepared to do a fair amount of busy work from filing to copying, even doing errands.  The highest paid internships are generally awarded to graduate students, like law students, whose internships become part of the recruitment process.


 

Internships

Internships are highly desirable and very competitive temporary positions usually offered during the summer, providing practical experience at a company.  Start your summer internship search early.  Check with your school guidance or employment office and also network (ask your parents, friends, anyone you might know in the field you’re interested in).  Sometimes age is a factor.  For example, many of the larger financial institutions require you to be 18 and pass a security screening before being hired as an intern. Internships are an excellent way to get real experience in a corporation and/or field you’re interested in.  They also look good on your resume since, hopefully, you’ll have gained some skills working in your chosen field.  For the companies, it’s a way to attract qualified future employees.  Both can “test” out one another to see if there might be a good fit.  A successful internship, particularly in college, can lead to a job offer once you graduate.

Similar to internships is the cooperative (co-op) education program.  This program alaternates working and studying.  For more informatioin contact the National Commission for Cooperative Education: www.co-op.edu.