My First Internship
This is a guest post by Rachel Markle for InternMatch’s Student Stories. If you’re interested in getting involved with Student Stories, learn more here.
After having made my decision to take a break from college for a year, I figured it was time to find some experience and paid work that would sustain myself for the long, hard stretch of time ahead of me.
My first option was to search online via my personal laptop for tutoring jobs in my community. With my registration complete, I was ready to go and start scheduling lessons in French, ESL, English, and Spanish with incoming students. Somewhere in between my second and my fourth lesson, I met the son of my future internship boss.
His mother, my soon-to-be internship supervisor, had hired me to tutor her 8th grader in French. After 2 months, she offered me the added responsibilities of tutoring him in even more subjects including: English, reading, history, and science. That same evening after lessons, she gave me the following 2-line consideration: “I am looking for an intern in Human Resources and Administration. If you’re interested, let me know in the next week.”
Needless to say, I was extremely flattered, and of course decided to take her up on the offer. Because she had initially hired me to be a part-time tutor, I knew she trusted me in a larger sense and was comfortable enough to give me additional work responsibilities. Having a previous rapport with her reflected my work for her in a very positive sense. The internship lasted 6 months, giving me lots of paid (resume) experience that carried on to me other tutoring jobs and future career interests. In fact, she sat me down personally every 3 months and expected me to present to her my individual goals for the future. Her guidance allowed me to continue to work for her, while also keeping my own personal purpose in mind.
After the internship ended, I quickly was able to return to school seamlessly, while also balancing part-time work and another internship, all with the aplomb of a veteran intern able to think critically, organize one’s work, and plan effectively for the short-term and long-term. I will forever be indebted to this person who gave me so many tools for success because of the strong trust and relationship I had managed to build with her.
I highly recommend taking the following steps before you begin searching for your next internship with InternMatch.
Write down your short-term plans for the next 3 months and your long-term goals for the next 6 months or more. Be specific and include personal goals, school goals, work goals, or internship goals. Recruiters will often ask you in your interview what your goals are, and this is extremely important to review and prepare beforehand.
Also, assess your organizational skills to determine what kind of internship best meets your needs and individual skills. Some internships are virtual, which means that you can work from home and sometimes you can even set your own schedule. If you require flexibility with deadlines or personal space, this internship might meet your needs. Using the same logic, you might be better suited to apply to a social media or marketing internship if you have online experience and access to a personal computer.
Lastly, make sure you understand the needs of your potential employer, before your interview. A hiring manager wants to get to know your personality, qualifications, and experience. Likewise, you should try your best to get to know the company from which you are requesting a job. It is only fair — would you be more likely to honor a Facebook friend request if that person were a close friend or a complete stranger? Respect is a two-way street and doing your research can earn you brownie points later on in the interview process.
Rachel Markle is a private tutor in the Chicago area specializing in ESL, French, Spanish, and special education. She currently attends classes at Loyola University Chicago and expects to earn her B.A. in French by May 2016. She lives alone with her feline child Foo Foo and spends her free time singing in her church choir. She has a strong work ethic and always appreciates a new challenge. Feel free to visit her online at: