Internship Mini-Series (Part 1 of 3)
In this series we’ll explore the value internship programs can offer the next generation of professionals and the businesses they’ll be working for.
Technically, I’m a “Millennial.” However like many other ahem, Millennials, I don’t love the term, partially because I think we have a bad rap. I think there’s more to the story. Before your eyes roll fully into the back of your head, allow me to explain.
I’m writing this post with a hot cup of coffee from my home office on a chilly April morning in Chicago. I work remotely with our marketing team in Seattle. I have flexibility, I’m encouraged to challenge myself, explore, make mistakes and learn. And I have a great group of coworkers to take my professional journey with. In short, I love my job. I’m grateful to be where I am today, but it took me a while to get here.
Like many Millennials, in the middle of my college education, The Recession hit. As a Journalism Major, seeing iconic newspapers shut their doors spooked me. Seeing my father get laid off with close to 30 years of expertise in his field terrified me. I felt like the world had promised my generation that if we went to school and worked hard, we would make it. That we had a lifetime of professional success waiting for us on the other side of the graduation podium. Wrong.
That's me (top right) at my graduation from the University of Oregon, buckle up girl, now the real work begins
As a full time student, I worked (for free) at the journalism school’s student-run magazine, climbing the ranks from an Associate Editor to the Managing Editor; I worked part-time (for actual money) in retail and childcare to make ends meet, and I took on student loans. By the time I graduated, I was a little lost and a lot in debt. I didn’t know where to start. I applied for jobs, I went to career fairs, I enrolled in resume workshops, I attended networking events, and yet I was struggling to find anything in the applicant-saturated job market. I diligently researched companies, spent hours crafting customized cover letters and tailoring my resume to each job I applied for. And there were lots. Entry level positions wanted work experience. Internships wanted course experience. I just wanted a chance.
In journalism you’re taught to avoid clichés but as they say, hindsight is 20/20. If I could go back to my college self, I would give myself some pretty specific advice:
- Do an internship
- Make connections with your professors
- Do another internship
- Intern again
Why? The people I know who landed jobs upon or soon after graduation had internships. My story is not unique and the lessons I learned are not singular. Ultimately, internships help bridge the gap between educational training and the connections and experience needed to land a job in today's professional world. I truly believe that my post-graduate struggles, and those of so many others, would not have been what they were with an internship, or two.
At PG we have a thriving internship program that was started by one of our very own young employees (read more here). In fact, the founder of the program was first hired a young, part time employee--in essence, an intern.
One of our core beliefs as an organization is that everyone deserves the opportunity to succeed, regardless of their experience or background. This belief also drives our internship program. We’ve seen interns with no experience transform into young professionals with promising futures, and we’ve added a few to our community in the process. In this series, we’ll share some of the insights and lessons learned both from our interns and the full time employees they work with.
So without further ado, meet some of the real people in our internship program!
In Part Two, our interns share lessons they’ve already learned, which will serve them, their careers and future employers well.
Bonus- they’re impressively insightful and relevant, regardless of where you are in your career path. So check back on the blog!
Meet Our Interns!
JACOB (and his Yoshi family)
Office: Troy, Michigan
Major and School: (double major) Human Resources Development and Psychology, Oakland University
Department: Currently Immigration, past Payroll
Office: Seattle, Washington
Major and School: Psychology, University of Washington
Department: Recruiting (past: Payroll, next up: Marketing)
Hobbies: Backpacking, Hiking, etc.
Office: Troy, Michigan
Major and School: Business Administration, Walsh College
Hobbies: All things active! 5k’s, Pilates, yoga, sports, weight lifting!
Do you have or want to start an internship program?
If your organization has or needs an internship program, let us know! Getting your payroll ducks in a row and ensuring you’re in compliance can be tricky; we’re here to help.
Interested in staring an internsip program? Chat with an expert!
P: 425.372.1070 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in Interning?
If you live in the Seattle, Detroit or Bay Areas, we could have a position for you! Let’s chat!
P: 425.372.1259 E: email@example.com