The Internship: New, Improved, and No Longer Just for (College) Kids

It’s that time of year again – the annual rite of passage when new graduates begin to lose their minds because they’ve entered into one of life’s no-man’s lands – the time between the end of college and the beginning of a career.

This time in one’s life can best be described as being somewhat like purgatory. You know you’re not quite in Hell because you’re relieved from the stresses of finals, proud of yourself for getting that degree, and happy to return back to Ma and Pa’s for a bit once the lease is over to hang with all your leftover high school friends while you search for gainful employment (true story).

But about one month in you realize something isn’t right, you can’t shake this gnawing feeling, and you finally realize what it is – you don’t get to go back to school in the fall.  “There are no more excuses.”  “This is your life.”  “A new chapter is about to begin.” A dozen other clichés. You have no answer for everyone when they ask that unbelievably annoying and patronizing question, “So what’s next?”  It’s even worse when you realize that employers aren’t just going to knock on your door because of your fantastic college resumé and that the job market is way down due to the recession. To be honest, it sorta feels like this:

So what’s a college grad to do, short of searching for Mrs. Robinson?  Well the answer for some may be right in front of them.  Just as graduates are beginning to look for jobs, current college matriculators (is that a word?) are also beginning another rite of passage – the summer internship (or their third or fourth such position for the ambitious).  The internship used to be seen as a way for college students to get experience and credit while employers scout the talent and take advantage of inexpensive labor.

Not anymore, my friends.  The internship is now for everyone.  With the current job market as tight as it is, an internship can be the cure for the occupational blues.  For current students, it’s still the tried and true way to get a leg up on your peers while putting to use what you’re learning in the classroom.  For the newly graduated, it provides a plethora of positives.  For starters, it’s a morale boost for those who haven’t yet found the career their looking for.  It’s also another notch on the resumé belt and an opportunity to show your stuff to an employer for when they eventually (and hopefully) resume the hiring process.  And, perhaps most importantly, it can serve as a bridge over troubled water stirred up by the recession.

An especially beneficial opportunity is that of the digital internship. The digital internship (especially the Eco-Friendly Internship – no hyperlink necessary.  You’re already here!) combines the best of traditional internships past and the necessary skills of the future (which is really now).  With the digital internship, you still head down to the office once in awhile, so your office social skills remain primed, but a lot of what you do can be virtually accomplished (and you save gas, which is Eco-Friendly).

In a digital internship (yes, I realize I’ve said “digital internship” quite a bit, but it’s important) (and I’ve used an abundance of parentheses, but I like them) you learn the crafts of blogging, social media as a business tool, podcasting, Google, and the innumerable other spheres of the Internet that are being introduced to the lexicon of businesses on a daily basis.  Becoming versed in these techniques will give you a leg up on the competition for jobs over those who don’t possess the requisite technical abilities of the future.  Not to mention you can deepen your writing and communications skills, which has been a growing complaint of employers regarding the lack thereof amongst college students and recent graduates.  Oh and so as not to end this paragraph on a boring note like writing skills, digital internships are super cool and fun.

The bottom line? Digital internships are where it’s at!  Fun times, job skills, way of the future, resume placeholder, occupational peace of mind…whatever you’re looking for, they fit the bill.  So quit sitting on the couch, playing PS3 and Wii (guilty) or acting like mowing the lawn is grounds for a successful day (again, guilty), and start scouring the Internet for one.  Oh yeah, and as this blog entry began, a regular internship is cool too…just not as cool.

One thought on “The Internship: New, Improved, and No Longer Just for (College) Kids

  1. One word – Plastics. Or these days “Internet” I really tell all students to understand and embrace the Web. I’m glad you’re getting good at it. Now that you are a Graduate too! Keep an eye out for Mrs. Robinson.

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