Having graduated with two masters from some of the most prestigious institutions in the world, I was naïve; I expected I could go straight into employment. But that idea turned out to be a metaphorical house built on sand. Instead I quickly understood I needed to do internships.
My first internship was very hard to come by, it took a lot of time effort and applications, but the thing I found most helpful was being creative. For example when I watched the television I would have a pen and a piece of appear beside me, and whenever I seen an organization appear on the television I would like to intern with, I would write their names down and cold apply later on. This tactic actually helped me get my first internship.
The problem with my first internship was I lived almost at the opposite end of the country from even the interview, so I had to catch a plane flight on my own expense to just go to the interview. I was fortunate and the think tank accepted me and there pay was very good for an internship, it was two hundred pounds a week, this helped me a lot. But for me the worry remind of getting housing, now I was very lucky as I had long lost relatives that lived in the very north of the city I was interning in, but nonetheless this area was cheap enough that I could of rented even if I didn’t have relatives.
The internship itself was very good, the staff treated me with a lot of respect, the boss of the think tank interacted with me on a very regular basis, and the work load was continuous which I very much appreciated. I couldn’t sing the praises of the people there enough. But what I have learned is this for my internship with this think tank what I put in I got out, so if I turned up at 7.30 in the morning and worked through to 7 at night the staff recognized this and treated me with more respect. If I could bring new understanding, arguments and knowledge to the table they included me in more discussion. Lastly because they were very good to me they helped me network in a area of work that is notoriously hard to break into(and the networking has lead directly to my internship I am doing right now). I worked very hard from them and they rewarded me in return.
My second internship and third internships took less time to get, where as my first internship took about Six months to get, within three months I had my previous internship and my current internship lined up.
My second internship was unpaid but I was given a tremendous amount of responsibility. The company I was with was a young but now exceptionally successful company, that helped provide information to people going to trouble spots in the world(it’s a private intelligence company). I got very good training from that company on matters pertaining to intelligence. The boss there rewarded hard work and initiative, he was young himself but clever and dynamic, thus when I showed initiative he gave me more responsibility. Some people wouldn’t like this but it helped me tremendously, it meant I become far more conversant with this issues this company deals with than if I had no tshown initiative. Once again I found what I put in I got out of this internship, to the extent I am now an associate fellow with this company.
While doing my previous internship, I was sorting out my current internship. My current internship can be best described as the Oxford or Cambridge of internships. If anyone is interested in conservative politics or conservative thought then the internship I am doing right now represents the pinnacle of internships. But this was a head ache to get as the Visa conditions(the internship is in the USA) are exceptionally hard to fulfill, but this taught me the lesson never ever to give up, if you want something fight to the bitter end to get it. I came to the States and I love it so much, I get to go to the Hill regularly, meet Senators in private briefing sessions, meet British politicians and journalist far more often than the U.K and lastly experience America and American people. The people I am with are satisfied with my work to the extent that they broke and remade the rules to keep me on for another six months. Also what is so good about this internship is that I get paid, the people I am with provide very cheap housing next door to my work place and lastly it is all about rewarding hard work and endeavor. The prestige of the place I am with also carries a lot of weight here in America, so that means I get doors opened for me in terms of meeting new people, networking and learning all about America. I would recommend this internship, but it’s very hard to get and you would need a lot of perseverance in terms of getting a visa.
The lessons I have learned are these: 1) be very creative in trying to get an internship try to think about avenues others haven’t thought about. 2) perseverance is a quality much needed for interns. 3) always out compete the staff your with and out compete the memory they have of the pervious intern, 4) take your internship ultra seriously, for example I don’t drink alcohol on week days as I want to be fresh for the next days work and lastly 5) regardless of how much a pest you become make everyone aware of what you want to do and where you want to go in life(the staff at one of my internships complained they were dreaming about my career ambitions).