Friday, January 16, 2009

What Do Internships Do for Job-seekers?

Internships are seen as the easiest way to secure a permanent position within an organisation. As my economics professor at Bard would say..... it depends.

I am doing an internship right now, I have learnt some new things and I am happy to have had the opportunity to learn those things. Particularly since a lot of the things that GCAP deals with are related to what I learned at the Bard center for Environmental Policy. I am indeed grateful to have the opportunity to at least observe the practilisation of the knowledge gained from the coursework.

I find myself not really doing what I would like to be doing - practicing as a cultural heritage manager. This is a dilemma for me because the arts, culture and heritage sector is supposed to be lacking practitioners but now I ask myself 'where are the jobs?'. I had to find some way to make an 'entrance' so to speak into the job market and an internship seemed the only viable way to do so.

Back to the question, how viable are internships as a path to being permanently employed? Again, I think it depends...on the organisation and how the internship process has been defined within the organisational structure wouldn't you say? I am not too sure what value this particular internship is adding to my career goals. Seems to me you have to make a number of 'unsuitable' career choices before the right one finally comes your way. Depressing.....or perhaps self-employment is the answer. It's becoming harder and harder to make an informed decision with the options that are available in the 21st century job market.


Claire said...

Interesting post. It's really tough looking for jobs right now. The career you thought that would give you one turns out to be another that is affected by the recession. But using the resources online, you can get that edge amongst others. Students may avail of more scholarships, internships and other benefits in when they create their online resumes there. They can meet with fellow students through the social network integrated within the site and learn from outstanding profiles on how to improve one's portfolio.

Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...

Thank you so much for your very useful comments and suggestions. I will visit the link you provided. Did you participate in the 2008 World of Work Programme at the humanities faculty at Wits University?