Monday, December 6, 2010

The Long-Term Internship

As a graduate student in the office, I was offered the opportunity to go to the Trends in Recruiting conference in Chicago for the Midwest Association of Colleges and Employers. The conference was two days long, but I just went down on Friday to hear the keynote speaker, Dr. Phil Gardner, talk on recruiting trends.

Other than going on my first train ride, I experienced some great opportunities including the ability to network with professionals from around the Midwest, attend informative seminars, as well as hear the hiring trends in the past and future projections.

One idea I’d like to share from my experience is how Dr. Gardner spoke about the importance of having a longer-term internship. He stressed how short-term internships are often not a sufficient amount of time for developing an individual professionally, and not always allowing them to become acclimated to the company’s culture and inner workings. Many students participate in internships that only last a semester or over the summer, but after hearing Dr. Gardner speak, I definitely recommend trying to extend that internship for at least an 8-month period. This will give you the proper time for boundary crossing and being able to truly connect with a business. Definitely take time during your internship to communicate across units, and network with professionals in other departments.

Dr. Gardner suggests that a long term internship is essential for transitioning into the workplace upon graduation. This type of internship proves most beneficial before you finish your senior year, so you can engage and figure out who you are as a learner as well as understand your professional values.

If you have yet to find an internship, now is the time to start looking. Not sure where to start? We’d be glad to help! Make an appointment with a career counselor today.

No comments:

Post a Comment