I have just completed a lengthy (6 months +) internship at a well-known PR agency in London, and have come to the conclusion that Interns are a commodity – to be bought at the lowest possible price, and if not sold on, then discarded when the need for them wanes.
This may sound very cynical, but this should be an indication of how my period as an Intern has affected me! I busted a gut for a company I believed would be likely to take me on permanently after a period of about 3 months, but this never came to fruition, and I am now back on the job (or cattle) market.
Don’t get me wrong, an Internship is a great way to develop skills and get some names down on your CV, but I have learned, that you just need to be careful that you keep looking around and don’t get complacent in your position – you are not a permanent member of staff, even though you may feel like one!
I have decided that I am through with interning, I have gained some good skills, over a decent period of time, and I am desperate for a challenge, so I am in the process of looking for a permanent job.
I think as an Intern (particularly in PR, which is pretty cut-throat), you need to keep your wits about you and play your cards a little close to your chest. I naively believed that after 7 months at a company, and getting really great feedback, there would be no way they would let me go….didn’t quite work out that way! So play the game, get what you need out of the experience – get as much training as you can, do as many varied tasks as you can – but make sure you *always* have a back-up plan.