According to USA Today, the average person makes 35,000 decisions each day. What tie they will wear, flats or heels,
what to eat for dinner, where to get gas…you get my point. Every one of those decisions correlates to a weight on our life, no matter how insignificant it may seem. The summation of each decision essentially equals our lifestyle.
Last week I had a conversation with an office buddy about our work-life lifestyles. The critical talking point of our conversation was about a decision every intern will make as soon as they officially enter the workforce.
While our decisions are predominantly unconsciously made, whether you consciously think about it or not, every person in the workforce decides on a daily basis:
he/she will live to work
or he/she will work to live
When I think of living to work I think of my grandfather who I only remember meeting twice. He spent his entire career as a firefighter and was the first black fire chief of the city. He also founded and was the first President of the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters. He spanned the nation seeking to start chapters to unify black fire fighters so that they could stand a chance to advance in their careers during the Civil Rights era. I guess you could call him the Martin Luther King, Jr. of firefighting. It is an amazing legacy that defined him. However, his life became his work, which is very common when you have passion, determination, goals and responsibilities.
There’s a really good article from The Guardian that lays out the differences and reasons that living to work is
commonplace among baby boomers and Gen X’ers, while the newer generations tend to gravitate towards working to live.
As the article describes, many rising Gen Y’ers and Millennial would agree that they work to live. They spend their free time building their passion and goals around activities outside of work. Joy is found in mountain biking, hiking, weight lifting, Comic-Con, traveling the world, starting a family and building the lifestyle they desire. In contrast to our parents and grandparents, life for my generation is defined by the lifestyle our talents and careers afford us.
We all can choose to find passion and purpose inside the workplace, outside or both. I prefer to find a balance, making conscious decisions every day and correcting myself toward my intended destination. However you decide to live…decide how you’ll live and make sure it makes you happy.
As evidence that law firms are starting to see the issue for what it is, Yasinski & Jones, LLP in Los Angeles, California, recently set up a website, to reach out to employers and interns. We hereby give the floor to John Carrigan, employment attorney with the firm, who answered our questions.
What gave you the idea to focus on this issue? Having worked at several unpaid internships while I was in college, the issue has been in the back of my mind for years. Also, I practice in Los Angeles, which is home to a lot of unpaid internships in what you might call “glamour” industries like entertainment, public relations and fashion. A lot of these employers are very clear about expecting interns to perform real, substantive work for no pay, but no one seems to do much about it. I saw that as an interesting niche area for my practice.
What do you bring to it? What I hope to bring to the issue is an ability to see the issue from both sides of the table, with a focus on the realities of the workplace. For instance, I try to look not at what “opportunities” an internship might present, but at what the interns are actually doing during their workday. Oftentimes, that may be something else altogether.
Do you think that employers are generally aware that unpaid internships are often illegal? In my experience, most employers who improperly utilize unpaid interns don’t realize that they’re violating any laws in doing so. Many employers (and interns) believe, incorrectly under U.S. and California law, that there’s no obligation to pay an intern so long as he or she receives academic credit. Some other employers believe, also incorrectly under U.S. and California law, that they can get around an obligation to pay simply by getting a signed acknowledgement from the intern that the position will be unpaid.
Why do you think that illegal internships are so common? I think the biggest reason, at least in the U.S., would be that there’s been no real headline-grabbing case in which an employer was hit with substantial liability because they didn’t pay their interns. As a result, there’s a lack of familiarity with the law on both sides, and many interns have no idea they might even be entitled to pay, particularly where they’re receiving academic credit.
For those interns who do believe they’ve wrongly been denied pay, there is also the fear of retaliation. Interns tend to view their internships as a door into full-time employment in their chosen field, and a lot of them believe that filing any wage claim, or even simply asking to be paid, would mean they’d be somehow blackballed from an entire industry. Personally, I think that fear is vastly overstated.
Is it difficult for you to convince employers that their internship program may be illegal? Rather than describing a program as “illegal,” I’d be more likely just to explain that, based on the program as it is currently structured, there is a legal obligation to pay the interns. Under both U.S. and California law, in order for an internship for a for-profit employer to be unpaid, the employer has to satisfy six specific criteria, one of which is that the employer does not receive any “immediate advantage” from the interns’ work. Frankly, it is very rare that an intern’s work would not provide such an advantage to a for-profit employer, and most employers understand this once they take a look at the decisions interpreting the law.
Do you find that the courts understand the issue? I think that they would, but very few of these cases go all the way to trial. Instead, the vast majority of wage claims are resolved out of court, generally for amounts that are kept confidential.
Any interesting cases that you could share? An opinion came out in California last year regarding an internship program organized by a non-profit group called Year-Up, Inc.. Year-Up placed interns in short-term positions with for-profit employers as part of a curriculum meant to provide the interns with technical skills. Although the interns were not paid a minimum wage, the employers actually paid more than $22,000 per intern to Year-Up to sponsor the program. The opinion concluded that interns involved in that program did not have to be paid because each of the six factors had been satisfied, but its discussion highlights just how many hoops a California employer must jump through in order to lawfully utilize unpaid interns. As a result, from an employer’s perspective, it will often be more efficient just to pay interns the minimum wage rather than go through the hassle of establishing an unpaid internship program that complies with the law.
Several months ago I helped a friend work on his CV, which is a much longer and more detailed version of a resume. Part of it entails actually writing out paragraphs of information regarding special skills or times you’ve shown some sort of competency for a particular project, opportunity, etc., and you’re asked to basically explain what you do, rather than just listing it as you would in resume form.
I thought about that recently as I slogged through some pivot tables in Excel. Data entry and
manipulation are not particularly thrilling to me (I don’t think they are to anyone), and what becomes most frustrating to me is that it’s not always intuitive. Writing is intuitive. Talking to people is intuitive. But if you don’t know what button to push, you can’t divine the answer or fluff your way through. You either know it or you don’t, and that shows.
Rather than getting frustrated, though, I decided to view it as an opportunity to gain a new skill. It was arduous, time-consuming, and not glamorous in the least, but I envisioned my little future CV where I can write about that time I overcame my own frustration with knowing what button to push to acquire a new skill and challenge myself not to give up. Strangely, that helped me get past my frustration and just accepting that it WAS something I was going to learn how to do, no excuses. I felt pretty good about it, too, after the fact.
There are more than 1 million students graduating in India every year, but nearly ~75% are labelled unemployable by industry. In addition, many students, in absence of enough practical exposure, land jobs in fields other than their specialization or remain unemployed.
What is the reason behind this problem ?
Where are we lacking for internship ?
What could we do to bridge this gap between what academia produces and what industry wants?
The Scenario Outside India :
Education System: – In other countries the students get an exposure to the formal job-skills training at a very young stage. After the completion of their secondary school, the students have options to pursue either a full-time job-skills training school or a formal dual-track job-skills training program: a three-year paid internship paired with classroom instruction. The graduates from this training program have the option of continuing formal education at college-oriented schools or can transfer to a three year education in a selected major in the dual track mode. Needless to say, the education system is not only flexible but also gives opportunity to students to become well equipped with the industry before taking up a career.
More than 75 per cent of the students, not immediately bound for college take up internships in various sectors while completing their dual degree. Interns are paid about one quarter of the rate that is fixed for a skilled employee. There are Labor Laws governing the on-site training with a qualified employer. For three to four days a week and under the guidance of in-house mentors, interns learn and practice all phases of the operation. Other days they study the major academic courses. This cohesive approach is why they have skilled employees as early as the age of 19. Internships are open for even secondary school dropouts. There are 3-4 months breaks during the academic year for summer/winter holidays. Engineering and Medical students use this time for pursuing their mandatory internships
Employers: – The employers (both large and small) play a vital and tangible role in education system. They know that they too have a stake and responsibility in creating a skilled workforce. They work as partners with the schools and colleges to offer paid training to students. The process of obtaining an internship is as rigorous and competitive as getting a regular job. Quality training can be achieved from collaboration between the training schools and employers.
The Scenario in India: –
Education System: –
It is evident that our education system focuses more on theory rather than practical approach. Emphasis is always given to the marks obtained in academics rather than actual knowledge that a student might have. Even during interviews, most of the questions relate to the theoretical concepts rather than its application.
Not all colleges encourage their students to take up internships and have it as an element of the study program. The colleges that do have internships as part of curriculum, often recommend or required only 1 internship in three/four years of degree program.
Very few colleges’ academic schedule allows for long term (6 months or more internships). Most often internships are of 2-3 months duration which make it difficult for companies to justify the investment in training a student for such a short duration
This inflexibility in our education system is also one of the reasons why students may have no clue about the right career option for them even after graduating.
Employers: – Organizations’ complaining about the incompetence among newly hired recruits is very common. Industrialists often get at the fact that the students are lacking in professional training and are not job-ready.
What can be done?
The colleges need to understand the importance of internships and why its inclusion is necessary in the degree course of students.
The inclusion of an internship at the end of each year linked with the courses taught during that year will enable students to get a hold of whatever they have learnt through practical application.
Also, a suitable semester break could be provided by colleges so that a student can explore his prospects in the industry by means of long term internship.
If the colleges are showing an interest by incorporating internships as a part of college curriculum, then the companies too should we willing to lead and take initiatives in institutionalizing the process of internships and training programs.
Though this may seem like a long term goal, but we need to make a start. The industry can no longer stand and complain about the lack of job-ready students. If the investment from one company reaps profit, others may follow. The long term benefits from this process will be realized and the country may see an Internship act being instituted (or scope of existing Apprenticeship act being broadened) with the help and partnership from public-private sectors.
Considering all the reasons stated above, if our nation needs well-rounded individuals with appropriate knowledge and experience when joining the workforce then; internships should be a natural and integral part of a college student’s schedule.
We at Strebr understands the utility of internship & has started a unique program that would not only improve the quality of student learning but also help them in gaining confidence to develop application.
Do you think internships are essential and add value? What do you think can be done to bring a culture of meaningful internships. Leave your thoughts/suggestions in form of comments below – we would love to strike a conversation! 🙂
On an average an employer receives more than 100 resumes for an internship
60 seconds – that’s all the time a recruiter spends going over a candidate’s CV
It’s not the bestcandidate but the best CV that gets called for the interview
Your resume is your only chance to impress the employer in 60 seconds. Are you making the best use of this opportunity?
Saw some good points to remember before writing internship cover letter or resume.
Looking for a proven way to jump-start your post college job search, pursue a career change or just get an edge? Internships could be the answer. Here’s how to use your resume to get an internship as well as portray your experience once you’ve completed one.
The Internship Advantage
Recent graduates and career changers have something in common: Minimal real-world work experience in their targeted career fields. “By securing an internship and then leveraging this fully on your resume, you will increase your chances of winning a full-time employment offer,” says Howard Polskin, senior vice president of communication and events for Magazine Publishers of America.”When you are hiring for an entry-level job, you are looking for something that stands out in the field, and nothing says it louder than an internship,” says Polskin, who has hired interns both at CNN and in his current position. “Internships say to an employer that you were willing to work for little or no money in your desired career field, because you have an intense interest in it.” Beyond giving you hands-on, applicable work experience, internships can result in a full-time employment offer. “The majority of our entry-level positions are filled by previous interns,” says Shira Roman, manager of the San Francisco office of Human Rights Watch. “We see how they work, they get to know the job, and when an entry-level position opens, we look to fill it with an experienced intern.”
Resume Strategies to Get Your First Internship
If you are writing your resume to secure your first internship, you must clearly communicate your intentions and demonstrate your value. Follow these tips:
State Your Goal: Create a succinct headline or objective that communicates your internship goal, such as:
Accounting Major Seeking Finance Internship
Write a Compelling Opening Summary: Instead of focusing on your interest in learning and gaining practical experience, emphasize how you would contribute to the team. Highlight any work experience, as well as education, key skills and passion for your career goal.
Showcase Your Education: Students with minimal work history should highlight the education section. To indicate that your degree is in progress, state “Pursuing (degree) in (major),” and indicate when you expect to graduate. Include a list of classes and special projects relevant to your internship goal.
Highlight Volunteerism or Any Work Experience: Even if it’s unrelated to your internship, you can still demonstrate you have transferable skills valued by any employer. Focus on ways you demonstrated dedication, dependability, creativity, outstanding service, enthusiasm and work ethic.
If You Completed Internships
Polskin sees many resumes for entry-level positions, but the ones that consistently stand out include internship experience. “I’ve hired people on the basis of one quality internship, and it resulted in recruitment of an outstanding star,” he says.
Follow these tips for getting your internships on your resume:
Use Your Internship as a Stand-in for Professional Experience: Students, recent graduates or career changers with little or no relevant work experience may use internships to substitute for professional experience. But be sure you clearly label this work as internship experience to avoid misleading employers and looking like a job-hopper, since internships generally are relatively short.
Highlight Accomplishments: Even if you weren’t single-handedly responsible for a project or initiative, you can include your accomplishments. Here’s one example of such a statement:
Contributed to efforts that resolved a six-month work backlog. Used analytical strengths to assist finance team with research and reconciliation of 150 problematic accounts.
Add Testimonials: If you received a favorable performance review, you can include excerpts in your internship section. For example:
“…Robert proved himself to be a very diligent and hard-working intern…a true team player…I highly recommend him…” — M. Jones, Intern Supervisor, Acme Inc.
Keep It Brief: “I’m a big fan of short and to-the-point communication,” says Polskin, who cautions job seekers not to exaggerate their internships. “Most employers realize people aren’t going to be given an extreme level of responsibility during an internship. A few bullets will suffice, but six or seven bullets will look foolish.”
Don’t Forget the Cover Letter
Whether you’re applying for an internship or a paid position, always accompany your resume with a customized cover letter. “I will not continue reading an internship letter if it feels like a template,” Roman says. “It’s a good opportunity to show that you understand the organization’s mission, and you can make an excellent impression if you do some research.”
Wondering if the internship you have now is “the one”–or just another stop on the way to something more fulfilling? Check out this list to know whether it’s time to settle in or better workspace.
This month marks the nine-month anniversary of the most natural and obvious, most joyful and energizing decision of my life: to fully commit 100% to my life’s work.
1. It doesn’t feel like work. Your work is not a “job”–it’s a way of living. Your work enables you to create the lifestyle you want for yourself and your lifestyle includes your work. You frequently stop and think to yourself, “Wait, am I seriously working right now?” You can hardly distinguish between work, play, and life–as they are all intertwined. In everything you do, you are constantly pursuing your vision of optimal living.
2. You are aligned with your core values. Your life’s work is an extension of your beliefs and worldview. You live in integrity because what you do is in accordance with who you are. This alignment will inspire you to move a small mountain if that’s what you have to do to realize your vision. Every day you work to manifest and actualize the world you imagine because by making it so, you’ll make the world more alive, beautiful and well.
3. You are willing to suffer. Passion comes from the latin word ‘pati,’ which means ‘to suffer.’ Your life’s work is less about following a passion and more about your willingness to suffer along the way. The journey will be immensely challenging at times. You’ll be exposed to unexpected challenges and setbacks and you may endure hardship, rejection, and sacrifice.
4. You experience frequent flow. You naturally and often fall “in flow,” deeply immersed by your work and the present moment. At 1:13 p.m. you realize five hours have gone by since you looked at the clock last. Or, you look up and realize it’s 12:21 a.m. and your instinct is to keep creating. Flow isn’t something you have to force; it just happens.
5. You make room for living. Your work provides you the ability to live fully and enjoy life. Though you feel captivated and enthralled by your work, you make room for healthy routines like fitness, connection, spontaneity, and play. These activities re-energize and enable you to live a holistically fulfilling life.
6. Commitment is an honor. When you discover your life’s work, the question of commitment is easy. There is no hesitation or analyze as to whether or not the work is right for you. Your heart says yes. Your mind says yes. Your body says yes. Commitment to your work feels like breathing. You cannot imagine spending your time dedicated to any other purpose.
7. The people who matter notice. “You look vibrant!” and “I’ve never seen you so healthy and happy!” and “This is without question what you’re meant to be doing!” are among the comments you may hear from the people closest to you when you’re on the right path. It’s important to note that these people who care for you deeply may also be the first to question and worry in the early stages. But, once you are thriving, they’ll notice and lovingly support your efforts.
8. You fall asleep exhausted, fulfilled, and ready for tomorrow. You go to sleep each night grateful for the day. You know you’re on the right path, you gave the day your all, and you can’t wait to do it all over again tomorrow. This is your life and you cannot imagine living it any other way.
Doing internship is more like living life. Loving to something or learning something is internship. Here at Strebr we work the way everyone loves to develop.
Internship or interns: a myth, while most students know that internships can be great résumé boosters and helpful in establishing career connections, some still shy away. Movies and TV shows have painted interns to be people who aren’t as important at companies and get stuck doing the grunt work at their boss’s beck and call. Are some intern horror stories true? Yes, but overall what we here about internships couldn’t be any farther from the truth. Here’s the truth behind five well-known internship myths.
Myth 1: You’ll be fetching coffee all day long.
Although interns may do some administrative tasks, many companies hire interns to work on actual projects alongside full-time staff. Rather than just sorting mail, making copies or answering phones, interns usually complete entry-level job assignments. So unless you’re interning at Starbucks, no coffee fetching for you. Internship is as important to students as to company.