The contemporary generation is trapped in the Hamletic doubt that puts them in front of a trilogy of questions, which turn out to be arduous to answer: who am I? What do I really want do? What are my goals?
It’s common to go towards a new profession with the knowledge about what you will be doing already in your pocket. Thanks to a sort of stair of gradual competences which allows apprentices to be inserted in professional contexts, with the fair idea about what is expected of them or what they’re really looking for without appearing unprepared.
Internships in the era of globalisation and multiculturalism are becoming more and more an obligated step for all the young people who aspire to get a place in companies or prestigious firms after school and University. A new study in the USA showed that if you are a college graduate and you are working in a paid internship, at least 60% of daily time, such internship would turn into a job offer. On the other hand, for those who work in unpaid internships, the future is much more uncertain: only 37% of unpaid interns in the study got a job offer. That’s just 1% better than graduates with no internship experience; 36% of who got job offers.
This sample-data comes from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), which collected survey results from 15,715 seniors at the bachelor’s degree level in the period between January and the end of April of academic year. The NACE survey highlights that 60% of respondents in paid internships received at least one job offer, that’s the minimum “reward” to the work done.
The main reason paid interns tend to get better offers is probably because they spend more time getting hands-on experience, as opposed to handling clerical tasks. On average anyway, paid interns spend 40% of their time doing jobs like project management, and just 25% of their time on clerical work, while unpaid interns spend just 30% of their time on professional tasks like front office service. Its not so surprising then that paid interns are more likely to land jobs. If people choose to do unpaid internships it is mainly to have a good shot at using their experience and contacts to land a new job, because in many cases, internship positions are only passage places. Definitely unpaid interns perform substantive or fact-checking work related to the company or place of their temporary stay.
Finally we can clarify 7 recommendations of the basic principles on how to approach an internship:
- Choose an internship that requires substantial work. Before applying and accepting an internship, talk to people who have done the job before, asking about their experiences.
- Act professionally at all times. Stick to the company’s dress code and office hours. Treat everyone you meet with respect and leave your private life at home.
- Take advantage of the chance to meet senior leaders and make friends with your fellow interns. They can all be valuable
- Don’t be shy about asking for clarifications on assignments and don’t pretend to know something you don’t. Be brave because you’re expected to be a sponge of information.
- Meet with your supervisor and lay out projects you’d like to tackle and skills you’d like to master by the end of the internship in order to achieve your own goal.
- When you see a project in need of a worker, raise your hand. Don’t overextend yourself, but do take on as much as you can handle or you’re required to do.
- Stay in touch with colleagues after the internship concludes. Do write a thank-you note after you’ve finished work, and send casual emails every couple of months to always maintain your contacts.
In any event, as far as the internship opens doors for a future job, it almost certainly won’t be your dream job; it doesn’t exist, because like Confucius said and suggested:
“Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your entire life”