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9 Truths of Being an Intern


An internship offers you real-life experience that checks and reinforces the theoretical knowledge gained from books. You also get to work with professionals whose values and insights may inspire you.

Being an intern does mark an exciting, albeit critical stage in one’s quest to find a long and meaningful career. Owing to its broad definition, the word internship is the subject of myths and tropes. It helps clear the air and set the record straight on what to expect as an intern.  

Internships may not be the same as in the movies.  

The Internship accurately portrays the office culture at Google, but other intern-specific activities like the competition and prerequisite programming knowledge are not entirely true. The team behind The Intern has also taken creative liberties. Be it at Google or any company; movies are not the most realistic references for the process. Better check out the company’s Careers page or ask interns or employees for pointers.   

You can get generously paid as an intern.

Tech companies are known for offering great pay to interns. Glassdoor research listed the 25 highest-paying internships in the U.S. for 2019, which compensation would have exceeded that of a regular worker’s wage is computed annually. Facebook topped the list with its $8,000 median monthly pay, followed by Amazon’s $7,725, and Salesforce’s $7,667.  

There are unpaid internships.

Volunteer positions are examples. Students who want volunteer internship opportunities can check with non-profit organisations internships like the World Wide Fund for Nature and government departments like the Department of Energy. Some private companies may not pay wages to students and interns, providing stipends or some form of remuneration instead. Refer to relevant laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act for the minimum wage under applicable arrangements.

You can hire a placement agency for your internship. 

Hiring third-party companies is a common practice when seeking paid internships or those based abroad. The placement agencies generally work out the finer details, from helping with the application pitch to arranging the accommodation. If there’s one aspect of international internships that justify getting help from an agency, it is securing the appropriate student visa and travel documents. Where can you find such companies? Lucky for you, we are one! 

The company can hire you full time after the internship. 

This is a win-win situation for both parties. For you, it means continuing the work that you may have grown to love and gaining more experience. It means reducing the costs of hiring, recruiting, and training another person for the same post for the company. COVID-19 has, however, affected companies’ plans to recruit interns or co-ops (cooperative education) for 2020 to 2021, according to a trends report by Michigan State University’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute. 

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. As the world has sadly gotten used to life in the pandemic, many employers are now beginning to offer remote internships. Remote internships give you the ability to work online while in the comfort of your own home. With our own virtual internship program, we can vouch for the increased number of remote opportunities. As an added bonus, we’ve even had our remote interns receive full-time roles after too! 

The company may not hire you as a full-time employee.

Many reasons exist why you don’t make it to the cut, and it’s all right to feel disappointed. However, try applying for another internship, and this time, be upfront about your intentions, e.g. getting a full-time position. Be open to feedback and criticism for improvement.  

An internship is necessary to chart your career path.  

It presents an opportunity to work in the real world and find a viable career path. This or that internship may confirm your aptitude for the job or your dislike for specific tasks. Studies show that those with prior experience before graduation are more likely to receive a graduate role sooner than their counterparts. 

So, it’s safe to say, internships or relevant career experience matters. You can get into as many internship programs as you can take to figure out where you think you’ll flourish.  

Being an intern is not defined by age. 

Students who are looking for short-term, on-the-job experience make the bulk of interns. Aside from undergraduates and graduate students, adults who want to shift careers also go for intern/entry-level jobs. There are adult internships, such as returnship programs for people who have taken a long employment gap. 

An intern’s life is more than just making coffee.

Interns’ getting coffee for everyone may have happened once, but best believe that there’s more work to do. Interns may have the same tasks as regular employees and also put in the same or more hours. In certain industries, internships can be so demanding despite little to no pay. 

The truth is, your resume is your ticket to success, and internships help build your credentials and confidence. 

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A personal blogger since her teenage years, Ying has always enjoyed stringing words together. Now, she teaches her primary school students to find the magic in writing. Her dream is to live off-grid in a cottage with all the coffee, ink and paper she can have.
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