Guest Author: Margaret Cook
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Margaret Cook is a Camps Director for Rasmussen College at the Tampa/Brandon, FL college campus. She has worked in the field of business operations management for over 30 years. Ms. Cook also has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Miami, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Florida International University. She has managed large-scale operations centers for prestigious companies such as The Walt Disney Company, Capital One, AOL, and Progressive® Insurance.
An internship is an amazing opportunity to gain on-the-job skills and experience while you’re still in college. But with the array of internship opportunities available – some paid and some unpaid – how do you choose the perfect opportunity for you? Here are the top five things you should look for in an internship.
1. Workplace Environment
Would you like to work in an environment that’s full of energy and fast paced, or would you prefer a more predictable, conservative work atmosphere? Regardless of what type of atmosphere you prefer, your workplace environment should be comfortable and conducive to learning.
You can size up the work environment of a potential internship in a variety of ways. First, check out the company’s website (if there is one). How the company presents itself on the Web could give you clues to the work environment. For example, if the tone of the website is very professional and corporate in nature, you can probably expect the same of the office atmosphere. Also, check for the company’s presence on social networking sites like LinkedIn™, Facebook®, YouTube® and Twitter®. The information presented here also may help you gain a better feel for the nature of the work environment.
The interview is another great time to gather information about the company’s workplace environment. Just as the company is evaluating your skills for a good fit, this is your opportunity to evaluate whether the company’s work environment is right for you. And don’t be afraid to ask questions about the work environment during your interview. Some employers may even be willing to let you speak with an intern or employee to gather more information.