Friday, November 10, 2006

Student Internships

Finally, a break from school! Who in their right mind would want to get an internship when they could be skiing the Alps or partying in Baja?

Aside from being fun and educational, an internship can be really helpful because it’s likely to offer:

- Insight into a possible career
- Mentorship in a field you're eager to advance in
- School credit (in some schools)
- Excellent credentials for college applications
- Impressive experience to be listed on your resume
- Future references that are well regarded in the profession
- An inside edge in getting hired and negotiating salary in your budding career down the road

Check out for an easy search of currently available internships, listed by state.

1 comment:

Mr Black said...

Internships don't have to be formal. Think of it more as volunteering in a business.

In college I was an English major, but I have always been interested in radio. I lived in Arcata, CA at the time (back in the 80's), a very small, college town and just walked in at the (very small) local commercial radio station and asked them if they needed help.

They tried me out. At first I made a lot of coffee. But I made sure they always had coffee, and I made sure I kept the area clean. That seemed to be my primary duty for a couple weeks, but I did a good job and they started to trust me enough to do other duties including labelling carts (8-track like tapes with commercials on them that self cue) and organizing the recording studio (about as big as a closet and full of carts, reel-to-reel tapes, scripts, and equipment big and small.

Eventually I edited tapes, learned how to prepare tapes and equipment, and even recorded a few PSA's (public service announcements). I got lots of tips on using equipment and learned some good habits for working in a radio station (as little as how to prepare a reel-to-reel tape so it's easy to use).

Let alone I got to know the business and everyone who worked there, and even became friends and went to industry parties with them.

Back in school I applied to work on the college station, but being an English major I was competing with the Broadcast majors. The resistence was strong, at first, except I had experience. So I got my foot in the door.

It turned out I was the only student in our college station who knew how to run the equipment and had the good habits to handle tapes, edit, etc.

Eventually I had several shows includind a paying job working for the university interviewing visiting artists, as well as a "management" position as the Fine Arts Coordinator. I was one of the station leaders even though I was and English major.

Later, in grad school in San Francisco, I tried this again. I wrote a letter to my favorite BIG radio station with my now-fat resume. I offered to volunteer but they called me in and offered me a job as copywriter, which I accepted.

I've moved on to other things, but I still use some of the little habits I develped at the first station I volunteered at, and the experience has been one of the highlights of my career and my life.

And all this started with me literally knocking on a door and asking if they needed help for the summer.