FYI, These Are the Top 5 Things to Look For in Your First Internship

If you're on the search for internships, we got you!
by Chanel Ang   |  Jun 2, 2023
Art: Ana Louise Flores
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Now that COVID-19 restrictions are finally easing up, internships have made a comeback in the past few years. Apart from building your resume, getting an internship is a good way to gain job experience in an industry of your choice! With all the internship opportunities on LinkedIn and Telegram, it can be challenging to select which ones to apply for.

ALSO READ: How Being a Fangirl Helped Me Land My Internship

Below, we’ve listed the most important things to look for in your first internship to help you out!

1. A position and company you are interested in

When searching for an internship, think of a specific industry before looking for a company. What kind of role are you interested in: Graphic designer, human resources person, media and advertising specialist, finance monitor, operations staffer, or somewhere in between?

A common mistake is taking on an internship position just because it sounds nice on paper. Remember that the internship position should be adjusted to your schedule and not the other way around! Take note of the hours to be rendered (part-time, full-time, or flexible), the mode of attendance (face-to-face, hybrid, or online), the nature of tasks, and the like.  

If you are still unsure about the position you want and the industry of your company, don’t worry; these are just some things to consider tentatively. You may change your preferences over time, so don’t be afraid to explore! These are just benchmarks to keep in mind.

2. A good working environment

When on the hunt for a company, you must first research how they treat their employees. Be on the lookout for reviews or word-of-mouth testimonials where people say their superiors are approachable and easy to work with! You will naturally have a lot of questions on the job, so it’s good to engage in work where your bosses are approachable enough to ask.

It’s also good to ask about how the colleagues are often like in this business. Remember that when you are intern, you’ll be coordinating with fellow interns and people from other departments. The company should have a generally friendly environment that does not shame you for asking questions or wanting to learn!


3. A company with clear working boundaries

A healthy company establishes and adheres work boundaries. This respect for time can be seen in working hours and meeting schedules; it can even be seen by how much lead time you are given for a task! 

Look into how this company communicates with you both online and IRL. Do they pay respect to your time and consider your input? A good internship respects your space and teaches you to consider the space of your bosses and fellow workers as well. This goes for insights, scheduling, and more!

4. A space for compensation and credit

Several enter into internships for building their resume, but the company you work for should also be rewarding your work. If you are writing or making publication material, for example, you should be given due credit with your byline or name in the caption. 

Remember that internships are a taste of real-world jobs. You assist with tasks important to the company, so getting credit is important to recognize how valuable you are to the business. Regardless of your industry, your hard work should be compensated, so as much as possible, look for internships that provide pay, allowance, or stipend!

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5. A place with opportunities to explore

If you want to try out different positions or cultivate different skills, it is best to look for a company that is collaborative! Take note of businesses or organizations that allow you to engage with other interns and colleagues. Look for a company that encourages you to go out of your comfort zone and try out new things if you wish! 

The point of a first internship is to dip your toes in the water of an industry and position you want to try out. Get out there and have fun! 

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Chanel Ang
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