If you choose to intern after graduation, you either want to gain more experience in your field, want to stay relevant within your field or are testing the waters within a field. To ensure you get the most out of your internship, you should look for these qualities when choosing it:
1. Challenges You
Do you want to feel productive when you spend all day sitting at a desk? Do you want to learn news things that you can apply to your future career? Do you want to feel a sense of accomplishment when you completed a newly learned task? If you answered yes to all, then make sure to choose an internship that will challenge you with entailing projects. You will not only help the company by completing work that needs completion, but you will learn a ton in the process.
2. Trusts You
There’s nothing worse than interning at a place that does not completely trust you. If your boss hired you for your competence, your boss should know you will complete tasks successfully. In order to graduate college, you needed competence. If the team does not have trust in your work, how you can grow without support?
3. Allows You to Question
I am a big believer in asking questions. Even if you think you know the answer, you should ask a question to make sure you have the right answer. Obviously, asking questions is the best way to learn. If you do not work in an environment that does not allow you to ask questions, you need to back away. If your boss does not want you to ask a lot of questions, then your boss is not concerned with your growth.
4. More than an Assistant
The company should treat you as part of the team. You are not just the personal assistant to everyone. Of course you are not above getting coffee and filing papers, but you are interning for more than just that experience. You will not take anything away from the internship by fulfilling only assistant duties; when you go on job interviews, you will have nothing to talk about.
5. Exposure to the Field
Clearly, you are on the job hunt because no one wants to be a professional intern. You need to make sure your internship exposes you to many people in the field. You need to network like crazy and make a solid connection that will land you a job. If your internship will not help you land a job, the company does not have your best interest in mind and only cares about your free labor.
Remember, you have the upper hand when choosing your internship, so choose correctly!
Despite what many people may think, Dan Chizzoniti was not born with a Blackberry in hand. Though he sure acts like it’s another appendage. This Boston University graduate has a passion (obsession) for social media. He spends way too much time tweeting and blogging, but it helps his current search for a job within social media. If he is not staring at his phone, he is pumped up on Starbucks, dancing to Lady Gaga and ready to take on something new. Follow Dan on Twitter, @danchiz, or check out his website here.