Sunday, January 1, 2012

Working the Internship, Part 1

Have you ever not applied for an internship because the posting said that the ideal candidate will have a degree in.... history, social science, business, web design, or whatever? If so, consider this advice--that your attitude and interest are far more important than your major. 

That's not to say you can fake your way into an internship which requires (say) computer programming, or a background in neurobiology, if you have not a clue in the relevant field. 

But keep in mind that interns are--well, interns. They're only going to be with an organization for a few months, a blink of the eye in the business world. An underperforming intern (not that you would be one!) is not going to be as hard to get rid of as someone officially employed. Interns have an expiration date. Thus employers may be more willing to take a slight risk on someone who has a lot of energy, but isn't quite what they started out having in mind when they framed the ad.

You could open up a whole new field of interest for yourself. The worst that can happen is that the industry where you always thought you might like to work is not for you--and you get to chalk it up personally, and in any face-to-face interviews that come around, as "a learning experience."

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