Need a Change? Start With an Internship!

from Brazen Careerist by 

Guest post by: Lauren Berger, The Intern Queen

The economy is down. Spirits are down. Hope is down. And most careers are down. What is left to help turn things right side up again? What can military wives do to change careers and turn over a new leaf ?

Internships can be the solution to the problem. What better way to bridge the gap between one career and another than an internship? Internships are no longer just for college students. Even as an internship expert, I tried to fight the sudden surge of internship interest from Baby Boomers and candidates that have graduated college some years ago. Termed the "Alternative Internships", professionals have started searching for internships in today's economy as a means to transition from one field to another. People are starting from the bottom all over again as interns, ready to do whatever it takes to get back on top.
Why should you consider interning and how can you find these opportunities? Read on, this blog is just for you!

Why You Should Consider Internships?

  1. Get Your Hands Dirty. This is your opportunity to really "start over". It's time to get so close to this new industry and to learn everything there is to know about it from an observational stand point. This is your time to start from the bottom and work your way to the top.
  2. Relationship Building. Most adults are already familiar with maintaining professional relationships. This is key during an internship. The goal is that you meet someone that can help you with your future career. When you leave your internship, you should have several people to keep in touch with and contact about job opportunities in the future or at the end of your internship.
  3. Pursuit or Elimination. An internship can be a quick way to decide if a career works for you or not. If it doesn't work than you won't waste valuable time in that space in the future.

How to Find an Internship

  1. Choose an Industry. The world is at your fingertips, choose whatever career path you desire. If you once dreamed of becoming a lawyer, find a law internship. If you always wanted to rub shoulders with the stars, go after an entertainment internship. Most industries do have available internships. The most popular are media, publicity, finance, advertising, marketing and new media.
  2. Create Your Dream List. Just like I teach college students, I suggest every "adult intern" come up with a list of companies where they envision themselves working. Think big on this list, these are your true dream companies. Make a second list that is similar to the first but smaller in scale. Local companies in your city/town are perfect for this second list. The second list should contain more feasible opportunities.
  3. Start Reaching Out. Use your computer and research techniques to find websites and/or contact information for each company. If you visit the employer's website and don't see any internship information than do it the old-fashioned way, pick up the phone and call. Ask to speak with the internship coordinator, get his or her email, and send over your materials.
  4. Proper Follow Up. Make note of the dates you send your materials and make sure to follow up two weeks afterwards.
  5. Convince Them. Depending on the company, it's going to be tough to convince them to hire an "adult intern". Use your cover letter to really sell yourself and your skills. The best thing that these "adult interns" have going for them is their previous experience and knowledge of the workplace. Sell it.

Bonus tip

ASSESS YOURSELF. Take a career assessment test like the FREE YSN (Your Success Network) Test that just launched. This test will help you identify who you are and where you should be interning. Visit the website and use promotion code: C0A3-3A52-A895.

*To find available internship opportunities at over 400 hard-to-reach companies, visit the Intern Queen online.
*To find out more information about what career you should choose next, take the self-assessment test at Your Success Network.