I’ve been involved with the internship process in one way or another for nearly eight years. I’ve been an intern, worked with interns, supervised an internship program, and I think there are some important things to consider when applying for and choosing an internship. I’m not suggesting any of you wouldn’t have figured these out, but you’d be surprised with some of the things that have come across my desk.
There are internship experiences on all points of the spectrum; while occasionally someone is hired or gets to go on tour with a big band, the majority of them are fairly standard. There is always a way to learn and grow with an internship, but some are just not very exciting. If you can manage your expectations with this and not expect to do high-level or creative work, it’s less likely you’ll come to your internship unmotivated. I’ve seen it happen a number of times, where I’ve had interns tell me at the end of their term they were disappointed they didn’t get to do more creative work. Well, to put it bluntly, we had other things that needed more urgent help, and it would take a while for anyone to be trusted with that kind of work anyway. As an intern, you need to show enough initiative and skill to warrant that kind of trust, but expect that you’ll mainly be doing more basic office help such as filing, mailers, etc.