In January, I began an internship to gain further experience in entertainment, my dream industry. I’ve learned a lot and am beyond grateful for the opportunities given to me and valuable interactions I’ve had with smart and talented higher ups, but every once in a while, I get self-conscious about being a 25-year-old intern.
When I was in school, internships seemed like they were specifically geared towards college students during summer and slow semesters, not post-grads itching to find jobs ASAP. Life wouldn’t be so amazing if it weren’t for surprises here and there, so interning after a couple years in a different profession keeps me on my toes, grounded and learning lots. I’ve also gotten to meet some phenomenal people along the way. Here’s why it’s not so bad being a post-grad intern.
8. You make friends with other interns
Once college ends, your social circle shrinks. Internships can be wonderful networking opportunities, and they can also introduce you to awesome like-minded folks who are a pleasure to be around outside the office as well. Whenever I’m feeling particularly self-conscious or low about underemployment, I remember I get to hang out with hysterical, brilliant interns a couple times a week and know my mood will pick up once we’re all in the same room.
7. Asking for time off isn’t so scary
At previous jobs, I was terrified to broach the subject of “vacation,” a dirty word in our 24/7 work culture. Even if I’d be granted time off, some would make me feel bad about it, but if you’re just an intern, you don’t even have to worry about locking down a couple days off for yourself. Yes, employment is glorious and something we all want and need, but it’s also nice to take impromptu long weekends when you still can.
6. Most employees are understanding of your situation
Chances are, they’ve interned before and know you’re not setting out to be the world’s best coffee maker or mail runner. Sometimes you’ll have to fulfill tedious, time-consuming duties, but that’s life! It won’t get any easier when you have a job, and the workers themselves can tell you that too.
5. It might turn into a job someday
My first post-graduate internship became a full-time job after two months or so, and though this doesn’t always happen, it’s nice having an office full of people who know your background and want you to succeed in your field of interest. Maybe they’ll recommend you for a position elsewhere or see if their connections know of any openings. It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a village to produce a solid employee.
4. All the other interns are in the same boat
There are days when I’m on the verge of tears because I don’t want to be an intern anymore, not because of the internship itself, but because financial and professional stability feel like an intangible, unrealistic thing to want at this point. Anytime I need to vent, the other interns listen and tell me they get it. We’re all going through the same thing! Misery loves company as long as the company is happy the majority of the time, so if you make sure to get some laughing and jokes in during the day, you’ll all be fine.
3. You meet interns from all walks of life
Some are 28-year-old restaurant servers, others are 23-year-old post-grads and the rest could be college students. Regardless, their backstory will be different than your own in some way, and it’s interesting to develop relationships with people who may not have taken the same path as you. Everyone brings something neat to the crowded but cozy intern table!
2. You can always say, “Sorry, I’m an intern!”
When all else fails, use this line and whatever you’ve failed to do will be pardoned. For now.
1. You’ll really understand interns when you’re employed yourself
When that magical hiring day comes and you can finally buy groceries without panicking about your bank account, you’ll have insight into the plight of the intern and maybe even sympathize with them once you’re in charge. You may not be kind all the time, but you’ll aim to be, as you know just how unpleasant it can be to move around in those shoes!