Student As Intern

Your role as a student in the organization affords you several advantages. First, in pursuing internship opportunities you may create a "wish" list of the most desired organizations to work in and begin using your personal contacts, friends and relatives, or direct telephone calling and/mailing to find out the appropriate person(s) to discuss doing an internship. This is the advantage of being a student and looking for an internship as opposed to being unemployed (even a college graduate) and looking for a job. As a student it is acceptable and appropriate to make such inquiries and pursue such learning opportunities, whereas it would be considered inappropriate to do so as a job applicant who would be asked to follow formal standard procedures.

The role of student intern continues to apply when seeking to set up an interview with a potential site-supervisor. As we have emphasized, the main objective is to obtain the best learning situation you can find that will provide a stepping-stone to future opportunities. This means that you will want to be sure these conditions are met. Thus, rather than being in a position of dependency as you might in a job interview, it is possible to approach the site-supervisor as someone who is there to learn and is looking for an appropriate match between what the organization has to offer and what you can contribute to it.

Finally, this approach to the role of the intern can be carried through to the internship itself. As a learner you have the right to insist that you be provided with opportunities to take to develop new skills and take on significant responsibilities. The organization has an obligation to meet these needs just as you are obliged to fulfill them as best you can. Consequently, you may press your site supervisor in ways advantageous to you that an employee might be reluctant to do because they occupy a different formalized status and role.