Internships are the secret to success


Allexis Mahanna

There are four steps in order to get an internship, but sometimes you have to redo steps one through three until you are actually hired.

Allexis Mahanna, Staff Writer

As college approaches, stress becomes a common sensation. There seems to be a million things to do in order to get picked by your favorite school. You have to keep your grades up, become a leader in everything you do and become a part of a variety of clubs and organizations in order to look well-rounded.

With all this stress, there is one thing that many students do not realize. The main thing that students can do to stand out to their college is simply getting an internship in order to show them that they’re ahead of the competition and are already prepared in a career field.

I am currently trying to get an internship during the summer in the field of law and/or politics. This will come about only after I go through the four steps in order to acquire the internship opportunity. I have started my research now, though, in order to be completely prepared once summer comes around.

You don’t have to know what you want to do, or even be that qualified as a person altogether. You simply have to realize that you are learning to do things by interning, so you don’t have to know everything just because you get the internship. However, the process in order to get one can be stressful, mostly due to the fear of the unknown. The idea of being an intern is extremely daunting. You don’t know if you’re about to enter into an amazing opportunity or a horrible coffee-fetching, working from early dawn, trap.

This is a career advantage program to a basic extent, but it is an advantage program in all aspects of your life. Especially when you are considering an internship before being in college, you are essentially making yourself stand out and look both professional and motivated. This helps your future in all aspects.

Internships not only help you look good on your application, they also help you in getting both job experience, and sometimes even a job. “I think of trying to get your foot in the door in order to get some work experience,” English teacher Ed Walker said.

But first, you have to get the internship.

This is where you start your search for an opportunity of a lifetime. In order to simplify the process taken in getting an internship, I have created 4 steps to follow. These steps are: Decide, Research, Outreach, and Succeed or Continue on.

First, you have to decide the field or type of person you want to get an internship with. You can do this by taking a internship test on that pairs you with your best opportunity based on your personality and work ethic. You can also just choose the field that will help you the most in your future, or the field where you are most interested in helping. Once you narrow your search into a specific field, then you can start looking at different people in the field that you would want to work with, either because of what they do or what they have achieved in the past.

Next, in step two, you have to either research your options to try and make an opportunity for yourself, or you research to find an already set up opportunity that you have to work to attain. In doing this research, one helpful website that I would recommend is, where you can enter in your location and your area of expertise, and it will tell you a variety of opportunities for it.

If there isn’t an internship already set up on the website, then you have to be motivated and find your own internship. This is where you need to research different people and companies and the opportunities you can make for yourself. These are self made, therefore harder to get, but if you stay motivated then you will find an opportunity. You need to contact the company/person, explain to them your hopes of doing an internship, and see what opportunities they can offer you.

After doing your research, you start step three, where you have to contact the people involved. Then you either apply for the internship or talk to them about creating a unique internship just for you. After that, you either succeed or try again, re-doing steps 1-3 until you get your internship and fulfilling step 4. “Internships are a really valuable way for kids to get experience since that’s the primary complaint that employers have: that kids don’t have any practical experience,” ELP teacher Sue Cline said. As long as you have a plan for how you’re going to find an internship, then you are bound to get one because there are always opportunities available if you are motivated enough. Whether it was on your first attempt or your twentieth, if you try hard and long enough, you will get an internship.

Everyone thinks of internships in different ways, basing their opinions off of their experiences- and imagination. “[Internships make me] think of lots of hard work for no compensation,” Walker said.

The common fear of internships is exactly that, working hard for nothing in return. This fear has been diminished, however, due to the the ruling made by the U.S. Department of Labor.  This is based on the United States Supreme Court’s 1947 opinion in Walling v. Portland Terminal Co., when a trainee on a railroad company was given no compensation for doing the same work as the paid workers. An unpaid internship is only lawful in the context of an educational training program, when the interns do not perform productive work and the employer derives no benefit. So in most cases nowadays, you will either get educational training in your internship, or you will get compensation for your work. You still have to do proper research, however, in order to get an appropriate internship that results in a mutual relationship for both you and the person you’re helping.

Internships are a start to entering the real world. It allows you to see what different jobs really entail, and if that is what you want to do when you are older.

When searching, remember the internship will turn out amazing as long as you are willing to put forth the effort necessary. And if it doesn’t, then you’re more prepared for next time. “All of the schooling in the world, but no experience, is still the main reason for people not getting jobs,” Cline said.