Time spent at college includes a host of associations: Cramming for tests and deadlines, exploring new ideas and partying with beer pongs and coeds.
Lately, campuses have become associated with controversy, with buzz terms like “safe spaces” and “micro aggressions” creating a debate between free speech vs. feeling comfortable and accepted at schools.
But by the time you and your career in college, what really matters is that you have positive momentum moving forward with the rest-of-your-life career; parties and controversial noise will be left in the past.
It’s also important to understand that college grads today aren’t dealing with their parents’ or even older siblings’ job market.
While the jobs are there, the quality is less so. That’s why at my organization, College Works Painting, we’re interested in giving college students real-world entrepreneurial experience through internships while providing a service to customers. In this case, the interns operate their own house-painting business with guidance from mentors.
Internships are those extra-credit points that ambitious college students can leverage for getting ahead as an attractive job candidate. Here are some factors to consider about internships:
– Are you the type who can only be happy working for yourself?
If so, then you’re likely a business student or you’re in a major that’s crucial to the business you’re starting.
Internships provide young people with all kinds of exposure to business they may not have considered. You would think that any experience would be good for you, but your time is valuable. Remember, you’re getting paid with experience, and employers are looking for tangible, broad-based experience from new hires.
– If anyone can get it, it may not be worth your time.
While an internship can be considered “free education,” corporations know they have nothing to lose when they see talented young minds willing to work for free. If an internship is easy to attain, it may be garbage work.
You don’t want to be that stereotypical intern who becomes an expert on how the CEO likes her coffee. You want to get a better understanding of the ins and outs of your chosen industry.
During your internship, you should have real-world, hands-on tasks where you can actually make an impact on the bottom line.
– Not learning much? Ask, “What else can I do?”
While some corporations may have a solid intern program in place, allowing you to progress in natural phases, students who take to tasks quickly may find them getting bored.
If that’s you, don’t sit idly by. This is your chance to employ your ambition and earn the good graces of the higher-ups. Don’t nag them. Instead, find a good time to ask someone, “Can I speak with you for a few minutes?” And then ask them if there’s anything else you can do.
Make your presence felt, get good experience and earn a glowing recommendation.
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