Thursday, 13 October 2016

Surviving College: How to Pick An Internship

By now given that I have shoved it in your face a couple of times, when it comes to internships I have my fair share under my belt. That being said, I am pretty sure out of five or six, give or take, only one has been lets just say not what I expected. Of course that is putting it lightly, simply because libel defamation is real so are lawsuits and honey, the can is no place for me. I mean, it was not all bad, after all, it was the inspo behind this post, classic win-win situation, I guess. Now I know what I should be on the look out for next time I jump in both feet first and I figured I'd let you in on it to.

Experience. Well, what do you know? It does not get any more obvious than that. Pick out an internship that offers you legit experience in your field of interest. You have an interest in working the old 9-5, clock-in, clock out flow? Or maybe just develop a work ethic. Go for something with structure and definition, from defined daily work hours to your job description (which is always subject to change) with set out responsibilities. These need to be set up from the get go, be it on the application or from a piece of information received from someone or simply ask. This way you are not groping in the dark or second guessing yourself when you are in too deep. If things are all too vague, do not be afraid to start looking elsewhere, you will thank yourself later.

Compensation. You kinda need to get yourself from point A i.e campus, home or whatnot to B, said internship. Typically a set amount is already put aside if it was indicated on the application. The general figure on the ground is Ksh.300. It's not rocket science, if the amount barely covers your transport needs you may need to reconsider. But if the amount goes the extra mile and even leaves you with a little something for your troubles, you hit the jackpot and that has a go-ahead from me.

P.S. This is not always the deal breaker if you can finance yourself through, go for it!

Remuneration. This is usually the ultimate dream. Mostly because paid internships are few and far between and you know us humans, we want what we can't get. Rough estimate, I have none, but what I do know is more often  than not it's a weekly stipend steering you clear of tax and other statutory deductions. If you swing by one of those, roll up your sleeves and get your grind on because you, homie, you got it real good. How to legitimize if or when you are actually going to get paid is another thing, there are people out there who are just plain savage and incentivize what is not there, so you best be on the look out for that.

If you are looking for an internship just out of trying to keep yourself busy or curiosity or just plain interest the not so structured traditional internship is right up your alley. Typically it involves meeting a couple of times a month mostly geared towards an event of some sort. Or better yet those that allow you to make your own hours. As lucrative as it sounds ensure you are getting tangible  results from it, case in point, recommendation letter or even a certificate. You are likely also to be paid in kind with snacks during meetings, meals during the said event which will run over a couple of days and transport because again these are not the traditional working hours , you may go well beyond 11 p.m and that is just on the earlier side. If there is nothing tangible expressed early enough, you can A) Follow up and/or/then B) make a respectful exit. Simply because, you are investing a whole  lot of your time, money and energy on someone or whole entities that are brutally put, exploiting your labour and precious whole chunks of resources for their own selfish needs. If that doesn't hit home, only experience can teach you.

Not all of these have to feature but may I emphasize on a tangible product for your efforts, this doesn't always have to be monetary, even if there is a special something for the most exemplary intern/volunteer you who may not be as exemplary as the next guy, you still deserve call it what you want validation, recognition or proof that indeed you put in the work. That in mind,

Have a  good one!

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