Updated: Jul 31, 2019
Learn your coffee order? Sure, will you learn mine too?
Our years in college are great, that's for sure. For starters you start learning about stuff you really care about (although you still have those geneds that....ugh), you make your own schedule, you meet people that share your interests, people that don't share your interests at all but are still super cool, etc.
Going to college, for some, is finally breaking free and discovering who they are and who they'll be. For many others is PARTY TIME!! For me, it was very chill except during midterms and finals (again... ugh). Anyways, your college years should be used to intern, intern, intern, intern, intern, intern!! Now, let's be honest, college is expensive and most internships won't even pay for your subway ride but, once you graduate, employers will ask for years of experience and, if you don't have it, your chances of landing a job fast will decrease significantly. It's all about organizing, there were a couple of semesters where I was holding two jobs, my internship and my classes. It really sucks that, in most places, interns don't get paid I mean, we all need to eat and pay bills but, if you're smart and play your cards right, that internship can be of great benefit for you... it may even become a permanent position.
Movies have led us to think that when you're an intern, you are no one basically lol! You're the one that brings the coffee, makes the copies and walks the dog while they work on super interesting projects you could be learning from. Well, they're not completely wrong, unfortunately. Some people will try to take advantage of you, that's why, before accepting an internship, you need to do some research. Some interview processes are extra intense, some others take 5 minutes, either way, the most important thing for you to do is prepare yourself to ask as many questions as you want. If you are good, you will have interviewed with a handful of companies and they will all be interested so, the choice is yours, really. Pick the one that makes you feel comfortable, the one that makes you feel like your supervisor will really make an effort and teach you as much as possible, the one that makes you feel like you could happily work for a place like that.
It's still summer, go now and find a great internship for the fall! I know it won't be easy, and you'll have a lot on your plate but, I promise you'll learn so much! You'll see, after graduation, how beneficial all those internships will be when you start interviewing for a full-time job. One last thing tho: an internship MUST be either paid, or for school credit.
Here is a list of questions you could use in your interview, they will help you choose the best internship opportunity for you:
- Would you walk me through how my typical workday would look like? What are the most common projects a ___________ intern would be working on?
- What would you say is the most challenging aspect of the position?
- What do you enjoy the most about working here?
- How would you describe the work environment?
- Is there something in my resume that makes you wonder if I am really a good fit for the position/company?
- What can you tell me about the team I'll be working with?
- Are there opportunities for growth within the company?
It is important that you leave the interview feeling confident that you have all the information you need. Don't pick an internship just because you feel like it's your only option (I did that once... will tell you about it later). Use some of these questions, add you own questions but, ask! Trust me, they will ask you a lot of questions when you go to an interview but, they also want you to ask them stuff. Don't forget to do your research about the company and let them see you did, that will show them you are truly interested.