Archive for the 'USA' Category

Internships are, like, so cool

After watching Avatar lots of people got depressed because they weren’t living on the beautiful planet Pandora, where God is a lovely tree and everyone is giant and blue. Aside from a few hopefuls who got naked and ‘blued up’- the rest of us got on with living in our own weird world. Just how weird is demonstrated in news such as this – Kanye West and Lady Gaga want to be interns – and more generally ‘posh work experience is “the 21st-century answer to the old-school Season”’. All the rich kids want it, and more importantly all the rich kids can get it off their Dad. Rather than coming out as a debutante with your own personal ball, summers are spent making coffee in an office. Eh??

This change is noticeable – internships are often viewed as more desirable than actual paid jobs. I’ve never been seduced by this PR, and coincidentally, have never watched The Hills, Gossip Girl and all the other programmes that feature really fit interns – oh yeah, also The West Wing, and let’s not forget the Daddy of them all – the Bill Clinton – Monica Lewinsky saga.

Read all about it here and here, and here.

I miss the 90s

Perseverance

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.

Continue reading ‘Perseverance’


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