These days, college graduates as well as those currently in college are grabbing ahold of internships as a means to get a foot in the job market. Most popular are non-profit opportunities which interested candidates are pursuing, which most students are pursing instead of major corporations. Now, interns are opting share their experiences with their peers and to learn from one another, allowing for growth and the chance for improvement.
With the stress of trying to find a job, students are relying on each other to find some form of balance. In the non-profit internship world, there are those that are searching with people who are attracted to the idea of making difference or a change, whether small or large. A new Tumblr created by interns for interns (specifically those in the non-profit world) wants people to share their particular experiences in order to portray the larger challenges of being an intern. The blog, called Interns Speak Out, states:
“As interns at a large mainstream feminist non-profit, we realized there were a surprising number of obstacles standing [in] our way ... We needed a place to share our frustrations, and know that we were not alone in wanting to see that change happen ... Interns Speak Out is our attempt to create that space.”
Any current intern, or anyone who has been an intern before, is likely to have something to share about the experience.
Since the majority of internships, especially in the non-profit sector, are unpaid, opinions and voices from those who understand the internship process are helpful as well. A New York Times article in 2010 revealed that the majority of interns are unpaid. This article outlined how this could be illegal considering the amount of work that some interns do. A recent study done by the National Association for Colleges and Employers found that 60% of interns get job offers when their internship is over, though paid internships seemed to fare higher in terms of one’s chances for employment. Despite their downsides, internships do provide the experience which one needs to help themselves move forward in their chosen career path.
While some might say that life as an intern might be getting a little glamorized, those struggling to come to grips with which way to turn after their internship period is done could benefit from talking to their peers and others in similar situations.
Internships are only the first step to a career, though for some there will be many more internships to come before any job offer comes along. To this end, blogs such as Interns Speak Out are helping people in the process. Knowledge is power, and sometimes it is better to learn from others' experiences, as well as one’s own, to help create a balance between a real job and real experiences.