As someone who has been on both sides of the internship world, I am going to take some time to give my advice, or layout the expectations and responsibilities, for each side in the relationship. The experience basically gets cut down into three major sections: the initial interview, the experience, and life after the experience. All three of these phases are vital to the career of a young professional, and are rarely discussed.
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The initial interview is a very important moment in any internship situation, for both sides. Most possible interns are just trying to give all the right answers to earn the position. This is a rookie move, and can hurt you in your development as a professional. If you are a possible intern, you should view this as you interviewing places for your future experience. You may only get one shot at a long term internship during your college career. Do you want to spend it at a place that either doesn’t have the means, or the wherewithal to get you where you want to be in two, five, or ten years? If the person interviewing you for the internship asks at the end, “Any questions?” you better have at least two or three. Inversely, If I interview someone and they have no questions about me, how our company has grown, what our training philosophy is, educational history, possible job outlooks following the internship, or anything of that nature, I immediately question if they are taking this position as a check off the graduation requirements box, or if they legitimately have a passion for working in this field. Both sides need to do their due diligence and interview each other to see if the hundreds of hours they will spend together are beneficial for both parties.
During the experience many business or coaches want a yes person as an intern. Don’t talk, do what I tell you, stay out of the way, don’t have opinions or feedback, and don’t hassle me with something outside of your internship experience. I think that is a deplorable way to lead an internship. First off, I wouldn’t want to hire a person if I had to tell them everything to do, and they didn’t know how to think, learn or progress on their own, so why would I lead an internship program like that? As an intern, I want to know what aspects of the field you are truly passionate about, and how can we make the most of what you bring to the table? Some people have a passion for speed, others love programming, some really enjoy the rebuilding of the injured athlete. Whatever your passion is, figure it out, and pursue as much knowledge as you can in that niche of the field. You should approach the head of your internship and ask them if they can help you develop those interests, and if they can’t do they know someone who can? This is where networking becomes a crucial part of the internship experience. Reach out to other coaches in specialized fields. We even have our interns go and visit other facilities so they have more than just our experience. Remember, sometimes it is more important to learn what not to do than it is to learn what to do.
After the internship is over, networking and the connections you made during the internship will become vital to the next steps of your professional career. Whether it is a letter of recommendation, a phone call to get you an interview for a graduate internship, or a phone call to get you a job interview, the people writing those letters, or making those calls on your behalf will be the people you just spent the last several months with. Trust me, those months matter, that networking and relationship development matters, your hireability matters. Can I trust you, do you communicate in a professional and timely manner, would I hire you as part of my staff? After someone writes a letter of recommendation for you, or calls on your behalf, thank them and let you know that you seriously appreciate it. We have had interns in the past who clearly just viewed the experience as a stepping stone to their next career goal. That is fine, but to not receive a thank you call after you set someone up with a job can leave a bad impression. You never want people to feel like you used them, that is not the reputation you want to have moving forward in a very tight knit field.
The internship experience should be a tough, fun, grueling, educational experience that should guide you down the path of your future career. Do not view is as checking the box on your graduation requirements. There is much more to it than that. Put in the effort to know what you are getting into, are you beginning a relationship that is advantageous for both sides? Are you active in your own development as a young professional? Can you bring something unique or passionate to the table? During the experience are you setting yourself up for life after the internship? For more on internships check out this clip below of Coach Taylor discussing our internship program.
STT will be in Martinsville, NJ at the 8th Annual Strength and Conditioning/Athletic Development New Jersey Clinic (Check #8thSCADNJ on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.) on February 17, 2018. CLICK HERE for more information and to register your staff. Take advantage of the EARLY BIRD special!
Living in Baltimore, Maryland which has affectionately been called the “Mecca of lacrosse”, we work with athletes who play this game practically year round. It is easy to realize how serious this area is about the sport by looking in the yards as you drive down the road to see goals and kick back nets. Learn about the program we have used from the scholastic and club levels through the college, pro, and international athletes when you CLICK HERE.
Be sure to take advantage of the professional development courses we host each year. The public clinics and conference schedule are posted on STTEvents.com. Register early. They sell out quick! Read what attendees have said about their experience with STT here too.
Our most versatile piece of strength training equipment is from Pit Shark. From Deadlifts and RDL’s, to shrugs, rows, and more can be add to your program on the Row-and-Pull. Watch training videos when you CLICK HERE.
Thank you to all our sponsors for their support. Be sure to look into the Iron Grip Barbell Equipment XL Handle dumbbells. So many competitive advantages and no additional cost to the consumer.