No this is not about that new film with Vince Vaughan and Owen Wilson, this is unfortunately real life. I do not work for google and my Fridays are not as casual as theirs…
When life gives you lemons you make lemonade or in other words, if life doesn’t give you a job you work for free. As sad as it is having a BA doesnt give you one over your fellow job seekers in the dole queue and during the recession doesn’t seem to be giving me a boost toward employment. “Its all about having a Masters now…” is what you will hear, but the funny thing is that by the time I have a Masters people will probably will be looking for a PhD. So I’m playing catch up. I find myself in awkward positions in life, its either “I am not educated enough to work in a certain area.” or “I have the education but lack the experience”. So whats a girl to do?
Sometimes its hard not to drool over peoples lack of education but years of experience in the industry. These people got their foot in the door when the boom started and if you knew the basics for a specific skill you were in, now everyone is looking for specialists with years of experiences. Fair?
Its the summer, with 6 moths left of my MSc I decided to dip my feet into the real world. A friend recommended me to a company as an intern, I got an interview immediately and was asked to start the following week. It has been nearly 2 months, in another month there is a review to follow. At the start I was trying to keep track of little jobs I did, so that when review came around I would be able to say “Look at me, I am fantastic!“, I brought with me big smiles and enthusiasm, or as I call it unnecessary energy. So weeks rolled on and my smiles & enthusiasm fizzled out, I didn’t do enough to track my efforts… I found myself wanting to learn more and I would open up PSD files looking at other peoples graphic design work, picking up tips for when someone gives me work. As an intern apparently you observe a lot and get little mickey mouse jobs to do… I don’t know what I was expecting.
There was a short burst of work that came my way though maybe a week out of the 8, where I made templates, wireframes, compositions and other stuff. Saying that as much as these tasks made me learn and being totally honest made me happy inside, for those who had to walk through it with me seem to only be a pain. You can see when people are not bother to explain what you have to do for 2-3 minutes… I don’t mind doing work and I don’t mind doing it fast, but it seems the faster you do it the more free time you have. This is a problem.
I have read so many articles online about internship, “Dont let them take advantage of you… Be involved…” and so on. Job Bridge has caused fear all around the country. Seems like companies hire interns and take advantage rather then hiring full time staff. Bastards. So bloggers are sending awareness how to avoid this, none of these points however were relevant to me. My biggest problem is not getting enough work to “prove” myself, and this is not the kind of prove myself where I want a job at the end of the day. Its the kind of PROVE MYSELF where someone will tell me I am in the right place in life and I can walk away with a lovely reference.
Another point that should be covered is…the OTHER interns. You heard me. Sometimes there is more then one intern present at a workplace. There even might be an intern who does exactly what you do, only better. What do you do then? Everyday becomes a competition; work starts at 9 but your in at 8.30, baking cookies for everyone in the office or even “stealing”, I mean taking the work load…. None of these things are me, but I would like to know how to handle a situation like this? I am not a competitive person and cant stand lick arses. There is nothing worse then a teachers pet, but then again should you be a teachers pet to be more employable?
Its important not too forget that you are at the end of the day competing for a job wether its with society or other interns. Life is a competition I just wish someone told me earlier, I wouldn’t have gotten so worked up all those session playing Monopoly and saved my energy for the real world.