Have you ever dreamed of learning something new or living overseas?
Creating your own internship is a great way to try something new, live overseas, or gain experience. I used to think that internships were just for college grads as a stepping stone to the job world. Now I know that they can happen at any stage of life, paid or unpaid, and for any length of time. Here are a few scenarios to get you thinking.
Many high schools offer an internship course where students can gain valuable hours of experience in fields of interest well before they have to settle on a college major. My youngest daughter sought out occupational therapy offices to intern at while in high school. They were reluctant at first because she was not the typical college intern, but by the end of the school year, they had her training their college intern. She choose several different practices to shadow so she could have a variety of experiences. When it came time to apply to grad school, her shadowing hours were well over the minimum and the experiences she gained were invaluable to helping her choose a career.
Many students choose to get a summer job to make extra money. My oldest daughter chose to create an internship where she learned new skills outside her field of expertise. While in nursing school, she chose to spend a summer at an English language school in Albania helping with administrative tasks, social media, and more. This experience gave her a window into a whole new culture, life in the city, office experience, public transportation, and friends across the world.
When I decided to go into business for myself, I wanted to try some new things like coaching someone through getting their national boards, recertification, or starting their own business. I created an internship for myself by offering the service to someone who needed coaching. I got experience, and they got a free coach. I also gave away free tutoring sessions to friends. Other friends have offered web design to a nonprofit and photography mini sessions. It does not matter your age or experience. If you want to learn something new, creating your own internship is a valuable position that pays off in the long run what you spend in time and talent.
Know someone who wants an internship? Think about what family and friends you know that could take someone under their wing and show them the business. Or what expat friends do you have who might house a student for the summer and help them find an internship across the pond?
I currently know of several people and places looking for paid and unpaid internships and jobs in Bulgaria, Albania, Kosovo, Liberia and other countries. Plus there are so many nonprofit organizations who need interns. Personalize your Google search by putting in the specifics of what you are looking for. I like to call this “tailored search terms.” The more specific you get, the faster you will get to the results you are looking for.
Whether you are looking to have an intern or be an intern, creating an internship is a great way to try something new, learn about a new culture, or gain job and life experience. Where will you go?
Table Talk: What experience could you gain this year if you created your own internship? What skills do you have to offer an intern?