Prior to embarking on the journey to find a full-time, postgraduate opportunity, it's important to take advantage of summer internships to cultivate your interests and develop real-life working experience. When searching for prospective internships, it's important to keep in mind the following questions.
Will I be valued at the company as an intern? Will your role be grabbing lattes and faxes or will you be responsible for contributing to day-to-day business affairs? Typically rapidly-growing companies like AlphaSights provide an 'all hands on deck' mentality that allows interns to work in a fast-paced environment on valuable projects across multiple functionalities. This allows interns to quickly pick up new skills and work in a collaborative environment.
Does this company have a tailored internship program? Search for companies that have dedicated internship programs and experience working with individuals new to the workforce. Companies that fall under this category will be better suited to provide you with guidance and a meaningful experience, since they know what has and what hasn’t worked in the past.
Will I have a mentor or support system within the company? The best learning environment is one in which you feel comfortable enough to take the initiative and ask questions. By providing a support team of other interns, mentors and teammates, you have multiple outlets to observe, question and execute within a secure environment. Companies that have a flat structure allow for communication between all job roles from the Vice Presidents to the People Operations team to the Engineers, and help create a united environment within the firm.
What is the company culture like? Typically, the most rewarding internships are those that challenge you and push you outside of your comfort zone. Is the culture one that encourages innovation? Will you be working on meaningful projects and collaborating with team members? Additionally, to gauge the company culture, look at the current employees. Do they seem happy? Does the company allow opportunities for the employees to feel creative or continue their education? How about team sporting leagues? Cultural activities?
By taking into consideration the points above, it will make you better equipped for selecting the right internship. If other themes are of importance to you in your ideal internship experience, make sure to stay true to your values and search for the internship that checks of all the boxes for you.