I heard a student the other day talking about their plans for the summer. Anytime I hear the word ‘internship’, I’m always interested. Usually someone is looking for a great opportunity or is sharing their past experience with others. I’m obsessed with the search and I apply for a different job or internship every night. This time was different.
She was talking about how she doesn’t see the point in pursuing or even working an internship. I haven’t given someone my ‘you idiot’ look for over a year. The last time I did was because I was asked why I’m so involved in local media. I followed my look up by telling this person to let me know how pimping your obscure degree with no relevant or applicable work experience goes for him post grad. He’s now a bouncer living at home trying to pay off his student loans.
I feel like we as students look past the importance of networking because it can be intimidating. Internships give you the opportunity to learn about a profession as well as network with professionals.
The first day of my last internship was rough. I spilled my coffee on my shirt walking through the rotary door in front of the World Office of The Nature Conservancy. It was a slow motion thing. I saw my Seven- Eleven cup hit the silver bar on the door and coffee splash out the lid onto my freshly pressed white dress shirt. I felt like just turning around and walking right out the door. I thought to myself, how am I supposed to make even a decent impression on my first day in the office if I look like I don’t even have enough sense to wear a clean shirt?
Something good did come out of the situation. In the lobby after picking up my cup, I met VonGretchen Nelson. She thought my misfortune was funny. Luckily I came early so I still had time before I needed to be there. She gave me directions to a Marshalls a couple blocks away so I could buy a new shirt.
The next week, I ran into VonGretchen again. She works in Human Resources. She referred to me as the coffee guy. Everyone got a laugh out of the story… except for me.
I applied for another internship this summer with the company. I didn’t get it but she told me the person they choose over me was graduating from New York University with a master’s degree. Yeah. When that fell through, she told me about a temporary job opening up in the CEO’s office and arranged an interview for me.
The contacts you gain working an internship are immensely helpful when you’re looking for a full time job. When given the opportunity to work an internship, take it.