It is estimated that in 2022 over 300,000 Americans participated in internships, with 70% going on to receive paid job offers from the same companies.
Internships can be valuable opportunities to learn about an industry, gain experience and develop soft skills such as communication and negotiation techniques. However, not all internship programmes are created equal, so for those looking to start an internship in 2023 there are certain red flags you can look out for to ensure you get the most from your time.
1. No formal training
If you’re expected to work a full 40-hour week without any of that time being dedicated to formal training, then your internship might resemble free labor rather than an opportunity for growth. Internships should include training access to company and industry processes, and include time for questions as well as opportunities for practicing your new skills.
2. No clear goals
This can be from the intern or from the employer, but a lack of clear set goals and boundaries can result in an internship that delivers little in the way of valuable experience. Before you undertake an internship, speak to the employer and ask for a clear and written set of expectations so you have an understanding of what you will learn, and what’s expected of you ahead of time.
3. No project ownership
A good intern programme will see interns own a project and see it through from start to finish. Generally this project will form part of a bigger company objective, but it enables interns to learn not only about the company, but also to develop teamwork skills, gain experience in project management and experience in real time on how the company operates. A lack of clear project ownership can indicate a poorly planned intern programme.
4. No clear authority
Who manages the intern programme? Who will be your direct supervisor while you’re interning at a company? If there is no organizational structure or no clear authority for the intern programme, it’s unlikely there’s a clear training plan for the interns which may mean you learn less than you would like.
5. A lack of work
While this sounds great in theory, in practice it often means that managers and teams are too overworked to take their head out of the sandbox and delegate tasks or spend time with interns. If you find yourself spending hours browsing the web or doing the “dirty work”, ask yourself what you’re truly learning from the experience.
The Study International Job Board is full of intern and graduate opportunities that enable those starting out to get a thorough understanding of the industry, while participating in training programmes, learning from industry leaders and gaining valuable experience. Explore three such opportunities below.
Digital Media Intern, Black Wall St Media
The Role: As a Digital Media Intern with Black Wall St Media you will be working with a Black-owned social media business which pushes the boundaries of media through the use of cutting edge trends and technologies.
The Responsibilities: You will be responsible for analyzing and interpreting data which Black Wall St can use for its clients, while managing the Ad Words initiative, and participating in training programmes.
The Requirements: The ideal candidate has prior internship or experience in the digital marketing industry, and is familiar with social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
2023 Research Intern – Systems Design & Architecture, Samsung Research America
The Role: As a Research Intern – Systems Design & Architecture you will be part of the Standards and Mobility Innovation (SMI) lab, which develops technologies that enable access to information and provide immersive multimedia experiences for mobility users.
The Responsibilities: You will participate in the design of next generation wireless communication prototypes, develop algorithms for wireless modem, and advanced digital, analog and RF signal processing systems and implement and verify algorithms on Samsung’s state-of-the-art platforms.
The Requirements: A PhD student is preferable for this position, or someone with an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience. A hands-on design experience on modem algorithm or high-speed signal processing data-path development is also required.
Product Management Intern, Adobe
The Role: As a Product Management Intern you will work with the team to explore business challenges through a mix of empathizing with the core user, analyzing market trends, and matchmaking technology solutions with users’ real needs.
The Responsibilities: You will partner with Adobe business teams to develop and test business models while conducting and analyzing market research and case studies to understand how and companies have migrated their customers and products to the cloud.
The Requirements: You must be currently enrolled in an MBA program graduating between December 2023 and June 2024.