How to Get Maximum Value From All Internships
Emily White is the founder of Collective Entertainment who has graced the cover of BillBoard magazine and has been featured in publications like Fast Company, Forbes, Bloomberg, and ESPN.
(To listen to her amazing and value packed interview on “The Process” podcast, simply CLICK HERE).
She started her career off as an intern (even managing to create her dream internship with Amanda Palmer all by herself) and has used it to catapult her to the top of her profession.
Her debut book is “Interning 101” and it should be viewed as the interning bible for anyone trying to maximize the value of an internship or maximize the usefulness of their time spent with interns.
How to Maximize the Value of Any Internship (Even If You Aren’t Getting Paid)
Does the thought of being an unpaid intern make you wanna throw up in your mouth a little? Do you feel like you’re being taken advantage of and face some serious internal resistance about doing “grunt work” and not even getting paid for it?
I feel you.
If I were in your position I would have felt exactly the same before reading “Interning 101”. I was never an intern but have plenty of experience being young, anti-authority, and not-so-humble.
With that being said, I didn’t have super high expectations from a book that exhorts you to not only take unpaid internships but to also feel grateful for the opportunity.
And I was totally, utterly, and completely wrong.
We live in a culture that always wants to know, “What in it for me?”
This isn’t a bad or evil thing in and of itself but, as counterintuitive as this may sound, Emily White makes it apparent that focusing on yourself is the exact right path to not realizing your potential or your dreams.
Instead, your focus should be on solving problems and adding as much value as you possibly can.
Standing out while trying to break into a highly competitive field may seem like an overwhelming task (And, yes, it is absolutely a lot of hard work) but if you follow Emily White’s guide to everything interning I have no doubts you can make it happen.
How is that, you might ask?
By paying attention, working hard, being thoughtful and observant, staying humble, and saying “yes” to all intern related activities.
So now you’re all super pumped about being an intern and giving back value, right?!
After doing your research and due diligence, however, you find that your dream internship doesn’t exist … what the hell do you do now?
As Steve Urkel would say, “Don’t fret my pet”.
There are some real positives about this scenario.
Firstly, if you create your dream internship there naturally won’t be much competition for it.
Secondly, as Emily points out in her book, internships don’t always lead to you getting a job with whoever it is you’re interning for … this isn’t a sustainable business model for companies who have tons of interns going through their system.
The reality is that the major benefits of an internship are immersing yourself in the field you’re excited about and building up your network for the future.
So if your dream internship doesn’t exist, just exert a little patience.
Your dream job is out there so just settle in and play the long game.
Do the best you can in whatever internship you land, and one day in the near future you’ll land your dream job.
Emily does an awesome job of going in-depth on this topic in her book.
Alright, so you’re spending tons of time immersing yourself in your field, learning your craft from the floor up, and building your own personal network buuuuuuuuut … you still have to do those pesky things like sleep with a roof over your head, pay your electric bill, and eat (hopefully healthily).
For all of this, Emily has you covered. Not only does she have you covered, but she has you covered even if you live in NYC where the cost of living isn’t for the faint of heart.
All of Emily’s advice is actionable and she thoughtfully provides her reader’s with links to direct resources.
All-in-all, I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading this book.
However once I cracked it open (metaphorically, I actually downloaded it on my Kindle), I couldn’t put it down. I finished the whole thing in a day and felt inspired to write this review and share it with the world.
By only listing three things you’ll learn, I almost feel like I’m doing “Interning 101” a disservice, as there are so many more lessons and actionables in the content … like a guide to daily self-care and knowing when to move on from an internship that isn’t serving you well.
Interning 101 is a guidebook for living and taking the first few exciting steps towards entering your dream career. It’s amazing information on creating and maintaining a positive perspective throughout your career that will serve you well long into the future.
Whether you’re looking for interns to hire or considering being an intern yourself, this book is absolutely can’t-miss material.
Read it, apply the lessons, and take the first steps towards your dream career.