07 February 2009

Not So Visible Internships

These are real life examples of college interns who found their own placements in not so visible places. One received a small stipend from the agency; the other received a (minimalist) paycheck.

Janet's interest was children's therapeutic horseback riding but she was not close enough to a facility to make that a reasonable internship. So, she went to a local horse stable and volunteered to clean in exchange for the privilege of observing lessons and classes. Janet's idea was a good one: by observing lessons for children without restrictions, she would have knowledge about children and riding that could later support her in working with children with restrictions. She also learned a lot about the logistics of keeping a stable in good condition. Another important feature for her future work!

Tonya already knew she would end up in the family business of real estate but she wanted to bring new information to that career. So, she interned in a rural real estate agency where all tasks were handled in-house. She learned how to write the marketing newsletter, she invented a new calendar system for the agents, and she designed an information intake form to use when new clients called. The rural setting gave her insight into properties very different from the ones she would eventually work with. The experience reinforced her decision to begin working on her license during her senior year of college.

Look around your community and you may see a perfect opportunity to try out a career, or prepare for one, even at a site not usually listed on your college's internship roster.

The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

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