Monday, 9 September 2013

The plight of interns

We have all heard about what interns have to go through to actually get paid for work. Most interns have to go through unskilled work and minimal if any pay. What most companies do is leech off the passions have for the job and therefore they can pay less. But now it seems like the culture around internships gets much darker and much more sinister. In the story below an intern was killed because he fell asleep at the wheel.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/09/06/bc-interndeath.html

Unfortunately, most young people have to work at an internship to get ahead in their career. What is even more unfortunate is that the jobs are actually not that hard and don't require that much talent to actually do.

So are the interns really getting the experience they need? Well some interns do but I suspect most do not. What should you look for if you are an intern? Well there are a few things you ask your employer.

1. Are you doing work that you would actually be doing at the company? Even if it is a low level job make sure it has something to do with what you want to do. For example if you are working as a graphic designer make sure you are actually doing graphic design in some way. It could be low and boring work but make sure it has something to do with graphic design. What you do not want to have is to fetch coffee all day. If you want to fetch coffee all day go work at Starbucks

2. Is your company that you are interning for a big company. Make sure that your company that you are interning for is a big company that most people will know the name of. Most HR people skim the resumes and if they see a big company on your resume they won't even know if it is an internship. Lots of times they will just assume that you have the experience there. Plus bigger companies might have more opportunity.

3. Look at what you are doing and ask yourself will it help you in your career. First of all realize that the work you do in 4th year university is way better than what you will be doing at your first job. Just make sure that the internship will put you on the path you want.

While the interns death is tragic, it is probably an extreme case.

Tomorrow we are going to talk about what you can do if you do not have an unpaid internship or internship. We will talk about how to make your own experience.

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