Getting Your Foot In The Door
Back in 1985 after completing my junior year at The Ohio State University, I spent three months on a human resources internship at the Evanston Hospital in Evanston, Illinois. This stint proved to be a pivotal period for me in terms of solidifying a career direction as well as fostering my maturation as a young professional. It was also the catalyst for my first human resource generalist position right out of college working for a university teaching hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
I was recently reminded of the value of an internship experience when I met with Julia Gentry a partner with an exciting new Denver based venture called Intern America. The goal of the company is to serve as a connection point between talented job seekers and employment opportunities via internships that are 3-6 months in duration. Through these partnerships interns are able to access valuable work experiences that allow them to achieve greater clarity in their purpose, passion and path. These interns are either current students or recent graduates that range in age from 18 to 45.
Intern America’s model is particularly compelling in light of the tumultuous shift in the structure of our nation’s work economy during these recessionary times. It addresses three major barriers facing many job seekers and career changers as they navigate the tough waters of today’s employment market.
For starters, Intern America’s efforts address a pervasive issue facing new college grads and career changers alike, namely, how does one break into a field when they are lacking the requisite experience sought by an employer. It goes without saying that a well designed internship can offer a great launching point for capturing marketable skills for a new field or profession.
Secondly, it allows one to sample a career option before taking the deep plunge. Case in point….A intern who worked for me years ago decided after his 3-month stint internship in the HR profession that the work was nauseating. The good news–He is now a happily employed business development professional for a high tech firm in the Silicon Valley.
Finally, I hear many of my clients complain that the most challenging part of their job search is finding an employer that will allow them to get a foot in the door. What’s great about internships is that they are a great way to showcase one’s skills, greasing the skids for a potential paid opportunity.
So if you’re feeling stuck in terms of your purpose, passion and path, then give Intern America a shout. You future begins one step at a time.
Michael Scott is America’s Premier Career and Organizational Transition Advisor. Call or Skype him TODAY for a complimentary 29 minute discovery session to explore how to better align purposeful work with economic success. 303-578-0791.