Why Internships Are Important

39In his new book There Is Life After College Jeffrey Selingo discloses an important statistic. 79% of students that had an internship while in college moved into a full-time job upon graduation. So having an internship is important. But there are some tips I’d like to share to make sure you get the most out of an internship.

Internship Tip #1

When you are in an internship, say “Yes” to everything. Be passionate and enthusiastic and let people around you know you want to learn about everything and that you’re hungry for every opportunity.

Internship Tip #2

To get the most out of your internship, ask lots of questions. Internships are learning experiences, so be curious. Mentors love sharing what they know with people who are really interested.

Internship Tip #3

Don’t be afraid to contribute your ideas. Interns bring a fresh perspective, one that may seem obvious to you, but isn’t necessarily to the people inside the station. Learning can be a two-way street.

Internship Tip #4

Interns need to earn the trust of the people inside the station. People at the station may feel it’s easier to just do something themselves than to ask the intern to do it. Don’t expect people to just give you things to do, ASK for things to do.

Internship Tip #5

Be persistent. One of my favorite quotes about persistence comes from President Calvin Coolidge: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

Internship Tip #6

Never think what you’re doing goes unnoticed. People are watching. If you spend all your time on your smartphone, people will notice. If you’re a student that is always there, helping out even before being asked, people will notice that too.

Bonus Internship Tip

Remember, when you are being interviewed for an internship, that you are also interviewing the person who will mentor you. Mentoring Talent is a subject I wrote about on another blog post and it’s a list of things you will want to be looking for in the person you will be interning under.

I’ve seen so many students of mine turn their internships into their first job upon graduation, because they so impressed the people at the radio or TV station they were interning at the management of the station didn’t want to see them leave at the end of the internship.

This is how you full leverage your internship into a job opportunity.



Filed under Education, Mentor, Radio, Sales, Uncategorized

6 responses to “Why Internships Are Important

  1. jmelnick@coloradio.com

    GM Dick:

    Great post. Very concise.. Cheers Jay @ ColoRadio

    But as you know the job market is shrinking…


  2. My friend Paul Easton sent these additional tips from Tim Johns from across the pond you might want to also consider when doing your internship.



  3. ws1o

    My production intern at WBAB became my paid assistant as soon as I could get management to budget the money to create that job, when I left the station I got them to hire him as my replacement, and later he became Program Director at WCCC and then a VP of Programming for Clear Channel. Another production intern I had at WBAB became assistant Production Director and eventually Production Director and won a Clio award while he was there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Unfortunately, back in the dark ages when I started in broadcasting, we’d never heard of internships. I remember the first summer we had a couple of them at WABC was probably in the early 80s, and it was truly a new thing for us. Over the years since, we’ve had more than I can remember (it’s always funny to read that some notable current broadcast person was an intern at WABC Radio and have no memory of them), but time and time again, the really good ones ended up working with us. I know that a popular trend is for former interns to sue, saying they were used as an unpaid employee, but honestly, if you are an intern, it’s that how you truly want to be treated? In my experience, it has always been the ones who impress you with their work ethic and willingness to get involved that make the transition from intern to employee. In fact, one of those first two interns from the 80s went on to get herself a NABET Vacation Relief Engineer job at WABC the next year, and she was just the first in a long string of intern to employee transitions at WABC Radio during my 40 years there, and it’s still happening right now! Yes, I think the companies need to give some compensation to interns to be fair, but it’s the closest thing we have to an apprenticeship in this industry, and I hope the greedy few, won’t spoil it for the many many who derive great job experience from the program. I would tend to believe that those who sue are more likely the “all the time on your smart phone” intern rather than the go getter who becomes part of the crew, and who everyone is truly sad to see leave when it’s time for them to return to school!


    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s