Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Not So Great" Internship at a Good Organization

What do you think of my getting a “not so great” internship at a good company? I figure it’s a good way to get my foot in the door.

1 comment:

USDCareerBlog said...

That’s a tricky question that we may not be able to do justice to in this space because there are so many considerations. But we’ll give it a try.

First, it depends on exactly what you mean by a “not so great” internship. You should ask yourself several questions. Is the work extremely undesirable or demeaning? (Sometimes the work that seems “not so great” is really what needs to be done to pay your dues and climb the ladder in that company or industry). Will you do or learn anything of value in this position? Can this position lead to bigger and better things in the future and provide valuable networking opportunities? Have previous interns benefitted from this internship? Do you have other, more promising opportunities in this industry?

Some students report deriving valuable skills and career contacts by doing “grunge work” at reputable and successful organizations. But others feel it was a waste of their time and talents. We wish we had a better answer, but all we can suggest is that you determine whether you feel you can "turn lemons into lemonade” at this internship. Gather as much information as possible, weigh all the pros and cons, and then make an informed decision.

But if you decide to accept the “not so great” internship – you may be able to make it better (or even "great") by excelling at everything required of you, volunteering to take on additional responsibilities, relentlessly networking, and learning everything you can about the roles of professionals within the organization.