What to Look for in an Internship?

internship concept. Chart with keywords and icons that say goals, skills, personal development, opportunity, mentor, and training

How to approach an internship?

Every plant has its own requirement in order to grow, and so does each person

Individual needs and dispositions: Know yourself

Big Company or Startup - Traffic sign with two options - working for established corporation vs be employed in new and innovate small business. Stability and career vs interesting workplace during internship
There are pros and cons to both startups and large companies; different things work for different people

Don’t blindly follow others

Environmental factors in an internship

  • Your boss: Who will you be reporting to? Are they someone you see as a mentor that you can learn from? Even if they don’t spend hours a week with you, watching a good mentor do their thing is very powerful exposure that can align your future in the right way.
Working with a good mentor during your internship can be an invaluable life experience which can have a long-lasting impact on your career
  • Your team: Colleagues with high caliber, passion, and energy also serve as great role models and energizers. These are also people who can become a part of your network for the future.
  • Width and breadth of exposure: Besides people in your direct team, you need to see what all departments and initiatives you can get involved in. Smaller companies will be flexible and unstructured on this front. Also, you may not have time beyond your daily work. Larger companies typically have tons of projects and side initiatives happening across departments that you can put in a word for and contribute some time to learn new things. This will help you gain visibility with the right people in the right places.
  • Culture: It’s important to identify a place that is keen to allow you to grow. This isn’t always easy to figure out in the beginning, but takes some experience to learn how to gauge. However, it’s important to pay attention to the work culture during your internship to know what aspects you like or don’t. This perspective is helpful for future choices.
  • Industry or domain: Is this a growing industry that you’re interested in and keen on? Do you like the problem(s) the company is solving? Where do you see yourself fitting in in the industry?
Manager or mentor teaching an intern.
Use the relationships you build during your internship to take your next step forward

Experimenting during an internship

HR manager listening to intern's experience and request during internship
It’s important to communicate your desire to experiment and explore with the right people to make the most of your internship experience

Logistical aspects to consider

  • commute time/distance from the work place
  • schedule flexibility: full-time/part-time (so that you can do other things on the side such as freelance, a second internship, personal activities, and so on)
  • hiring/placement potential of the organization

The bottom line

Growing plant with underground root visible,sunny trees background
The roots of a plant find their way no matter what obstacles in their path

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Arnold Mascarenhas

Arnold Mascarenhas

Lokyatha is an education focused initiative to enable young adults to live better, more fruitful lives by delivering real world life skills.