It’s intern season, and some of you may have just started your internship. Or, your internship experience is well under way. You’ve got a handy checklist tucked away somewhere with all the things you’re looking for in a company. Or do you? If not, you may be potentially setting yourself up for a lot of time wasted. Check out why you should be evaluating the company you’re interning for and other ways you may not be making the most of your experience.
Thinking Your Unpaid Internship Isn’t Worth It. #Fail1
Four things: Working for a sexy, recognizable brand that will look great on your resume, working around and even alongside people you worship admire in your industry, who later become connects for life. Rare once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for travel and attending big events that hopefully you’ll have plenty more of if you play your cards right, and college credit. Still not worth it?
Not Evaluating the Company. #Fail2
You intern for real-world experience; to apply all that classroom knowledge with the hope of landing a full-time gig in the future. But, often not taken into consideration is the powers that be that are making sure you’ll be an asset to the company, you, too, should be sizing the company up to see if it’s a good fit for you. You should be making note of the company’s culture and if you’re comfortable in it, asking the current staff how they like working there, investigating if the staff gets along or works well together, and if the company’s objectives mirror your values. These and more are all things you should know before your internship ends. It’s still a tough job market, and will likely be from now on. So, you want to do the extra homework because doing work you love, in a favorable environment, should be as high on the list as getting a job and making good money.
Comparing Yourself to Other Interns. #Fail3
There’s that one intern who gets it–all of it–including what you haven’t, has you feeling some kind of way. The pats on his back from the higher-ups has you wanting to hang your head. Realize you didn’t get the internship by default. Those who chose you to intern for their company chose you for a reason. You had something likely thousands of other applicants who applied did not. You’re job is to find out what that something is, if you don’t already, and show the powers that be more of that, reminding them why they wanted you there in the first place.
Avoiding the Intern Who Gets It. #Fail4
Put the topic of competition to the left for a minute, or better yet, consider this, getting to know the “star” intern, a part of the game. There’s a good chance they won’t put up any blockages and see you as a threat the way you may see them. After all, they’re the ones supposedly #winning. And, you could learn a lot from them. You’ve already got one important thing in common: you’re both trying to make it in the entertainment industry. No easy feat. Plus, you want to be on good terms, even friends with those whose professional path seems promising. It’s another potential important connect, which you can never have too many of in this industry.
Forgetting Internships Are For Learning. #Fail5
An internship is a hands-on peak into how the real world of work operates. In fact, it is the real work world, but lucky for you, being an intern, it still counts as study grounds on top of being a job. So, if you make a mistake or fall down, get back up, learn from your mistakes, and do what’s necessary to correct them. Yes, those in charge may make a mental note of your mess-up, but they’ll also remember how you acted fast to fix it.