Why Being Happy At Your Internship Matters
The way you look at the word intern says a lot about your experience as one.
- a student or trainee who works, sometimes without pay, at a trade or occupation in order to gain work experience.
- confine (someone) as a prisoner, especially for political or military reasons.
For some of us, internships have been carefully chosen opportunities to explore new fields, acquire mentors, and determine in what ways we would like to enter the adult workforce full-time. For others of us, internships have been last resorts, resume beefers, and reasons to roll our eyes. Internships serve a duality of purposes- from prepping you pre-graduation, to giving you something to fall back on if come diploma time you still aren’t sure what you want to do or didn’t get the chance to land on your feet in the way that you expected. Whether you have your internship out of desire or desperation, and given that last word it might just sound a little counter-intuitive, you need to make sure you’re happy at your internship.
I’m sure we’ve all heard or been the horror story of hot summer coffee runs, copy collation out the ears, and limited interaction with other interns and staff. Everyone knows someone who had an internship they hated. As someone who has in the past, taken a job as a last resort they grew to resent, do yourself the favor and really consider if the offer you’re taking is more beneficial to you than not.
The benefit of an internship does not only have to be whether or not it pays you, whether or not your direct deposit balances out how much you spend on transportation, or whether or not other people think it’s “worth it” for you. For a lot of interns, we aren’t really sure whether or not a gig is “worth it” until we try it. Sometimes we try it and it sucks, so we leave. But the logic behind this “quitting” move is this: In the “real” world, if you have a job you hate and it makes you miserable, for how long are you really going to stay? Is staying to “save face” or “be responsible” worth diminishing the quality of the work you do, or feeling like you’re wasting you time?
Whether or not an internship is “good for you” can be determined by you through how it satisfies your emotional needs as well as your career goals. Everyone likes to shame the internship experience that causes employees to view employers through rose colored glasses. What if it wasn’t an optical illusion, but real life. After all, is not the job dream to have a dream job you love? If there are people out there in the world that really, truly love their job(of which these people DO exist), then internships are a great way to get your foot in the door and create the habit of a happy work life. If you don't start the trend now, you'll have to learn later- the hard way.