Thursday, April 09, 2009

career intern

I don't know if I've said this before, but there is such thing as doing too many internships. After one, you should be able to start applying for entry-level positions. You can do as many as three, but more than that and potential employers may start to ask why you haven't landed a job yet. Joe Grimm on Ask the Recruiter points out that even more important is how long you intern after becoming employable (e.g. graduating from school). If you're getting nowhere with the job hunt, put your efforts into freelance gigs and networking instead of doing another stint as an intern, even if you have to get a part-time job outside the field to support yourself. You'll build contacts and your portfolio, which is more valuable.


Jaclyn said...

I did 3.5 internships - too many, I know, but I did learn a lot at each one (including how NOT to run an internship program). The publications were vastly different, and I was able to make contacts and rule out a few career options e.g., the pace of a weekly was too stressful. At the time, there were no jobs; I was freelancing a bit, but didn't have the know-how or the guts to focus solely on that.

Richard said...

All else being equal, I'd be inclined to offer an internship spot to an applicant with zero previous internships, rather than 1 or 2 or 2.5. There are only so many internships out there, and though they are all different one must take into account the responsibility of the applicants to choose what's best for their career; to encourage their figuring out sooner rather than later what they want to do in this biz.