Why intern now?
Why do anything now? For me, it’s because tomorrow’s too late. Same goes for interning.
And if not now, then when do you plan to start? When everyone else does?
The worst part I think is everyone’s interning by now. (Now is early 2018.) It’s common to have 2 internships at least, by the time you graduate. Or at least, that’s what I’m seeing in the people who book resume consultations with me. And my consultees aren’t just type-A students, so I’m really getting a feel that times are changing.
Protip: Do 1 internship at a no name startup, and your 2nd one at a big name company. It’ll help open more doors for you, trust me.
In my batch, it was considered weird if you had an internship on your resume, and no requirements for it in your program. I graduated with 4 different places, and 8 different internships under my belt. And I’m not even that good, I just literally show up first to these things.
Interning is valuable life experience that we here in the Philippines don’t prioritize as much as our other S.E. Asian counterparts do. So, the sooner you start, the better off you are in the long run.
Yes, it’s project-based work usually, and it doesn’t teach you about the day-to-day kind of work actually done by the people at your office or in your industry. But it’s still better than just org work. So go out there and intern.
I think there’s also a personality thing at play here as well. I don’t like playing by the same rules as everyone else. Never believed in the whole “if you get good grades, a good job will follow” because look at all the billionaires’ academic history. And I had some free time to kill so why not spend it doing something better than lazing around at home with Netflix? Another reason why I started interning early.
I also knew the job market was evolving; what I was learning at school wasn’t actually useful outside. Add the fact that I can’t code or graphic design (believe me, I’ve tried), and I’m at a severe disadvantage. Again, enter interning.
I’m ambitious, but extremely lazy. I like being two steps ahead of everyone else, but I don’t like having to work harder than anyone else. Interning at the right places at the right time gave me a huge leg up when I graduated, even if I left school a semester later than my batch mates.
Roughly, this whole article is just me explaining why I started interning so early. Why I started interning when I did.
Interning was my fastest way of playing catch up without having to open my own startup, or put in long hours at organizations or projects I didn’t really care about. Maybe it’s not the best way to stand out from the crowd anymore since everyone’s interning. But it was an excellent plan, when I was a sophomore in 2015.
There’s really no clear answer on why you should start interning now. I don’t know you, I don’t know what motivates you, I don’t know what you want to do tomorrow, next year, or 5 years from now. Your future wishes should be directly related with your present actions.
So, I think the best answer to the original question is a better question for ya’ll to think about.
What’s your catch up plan? And who are you playing catch up with? Your peers or your future self? You decide. And if you’re up for it, let me know what happens to you next.
In case you have no idea where you are, welcome to The Border Collective, where any question you’ve got on internships, resumes, or careers in the PH can and will be answered. I’m Justine, founder and writer of all things here.
Internship FAQ is a slot for me to share things I’ve learned over the course of my internships (and probably early work years), so that you guys don’t have to trial and error this stuff like I did.
It’s my way of giving back because I wish that when I was a freshman, a resource like TBC existed to help guide not to waste my time on things that don’t work here in the Philippines. I sincerely hope that what I write helps you reach your dreams a little faster.
If there’s something you want to ask but never knew where to send them to, drop them in The Border Collective’s Google Form or ask.fm. Being a kid myself, I’ve probably gone through the same situations. And at the very least, I can tell you what NOT to do.
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Hope you read something useful, til the next time I write something, bye~
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Most of my advice is very different from other career “experts”, since I actually tried and tested it myself. And because, you know, I’m a Chinese girl in the Philippines who tried out for almost every multinational here, while building contacts up in the startup world.
So, expect it to be very contextualized for Asians, women, and // or millennials // Gen Z-ers.
PS, do not sign up if you’re lazy, a whiner, or an entitled brat. There’s nothing useful in here for you.