It is now more important than ever to have solid connections when you are trying to get ahead in the world of business. You need to meet as many people as possible, but there's a lot more to it than that. You don't just want to tell people your name, shake some hands and then move on. You want to spend some time showing them how intelligent you are and how good you are at your job. The problem is that this can be very difficult to accomplish if you don't have much of a work history under your belt.
When you don't have a very long or very impressive work history, you may find that management internships are a great way to fix that. Since they are internships, these jobs won't have the same standards that an actually offer of employment would carry. Due to the lower financial risk for employers, businesses are often much more willing to bring on unproven managers for internships. While the internship should never be something that you look to as a permanent fix for anything, there are definitely some major benefits to taking on a management internship to build up your experience.
Types of Management Internships
There are three common types of management internships that most people will become involved with. The common misconception about internships is that they are unpaid by default, but this is simply not true. You will rarely ever find an internship that pays a real living wage, but it's not uncommon to find one that pays at least a meager salary. When you have a better understanding of the different management internship opportunities there are out there, you will be able to gear your searching and preparation in a way that enhances your chances of getting what you want.
Unfortunately, many internships do not offer you any money for the work you put in. In some cases, people are in a financial position that makes an unpaid internship a feasible option. However, many people simply can't afford to work full time without being paid. After all, bills don't stop piling up just because you have an unpaid internship.
Despite the financial pitfalls of unpaid internships, there are a number of benefits that come with them. One of the biggest benefits is that these unpaid internships generally have the lowest possible standards for acceptance. Since the employer stands to lose absolutely nothing other than time if he or she makes a bad choice, it's easier for newbies to get in.
Some internships offer college credit in return for the work you put in as a management intern. The credit-based internship is perhaps the most commonly-found internship program in the world of business. While there is no financial compensation, these internships work much like a class for students interested in becoming managers.
The way these generally work is that a business will offer an internship through a college or trade school. For some programs, taking an internship like this is a necessity if the student wishes to graduate. In this way, these credit-based internships function much like any other class. However, the added benefit of the internship is that it provides real-world experience that can go on your resume. At the end of the internship, the business owner fills out the appropriate forms to provide you with your credits.
While not as prevalent as credit-based internships, paid internships are not impossible to find. These internships function just like any other job you would have, where you are paid for your work. However, there are a few catches that you need to keep in mind if you want to get a paid management internship.
The first thing you should keep in mind is that these paid internships are often significantly more competitive than unpaid and credit-based internships. Due to this, companies offering paid internships are able to be much more discerning with the people they accept as interns. Some of the more competitive management internships may have thousands of people apply and only accept a dozen or less candidates. You need to be sure that you are spending your time wisely and applying for the internships that you are most likely to be accepted for.
You should also know that the wages offered by paid internships are often much lower than what you would earn as a salaried employee doing the same work. In some cases, the wage is barely enough to live off of, while other times it is more than enough. While it is nice to have a paid internship, you should not automatically look at it as a way to permanently support yourself. In the end, you may find that you need to get a second job to help make ends meet until your internship comes to an end.
Increase Your Skill Set with Management Internships
As a general rule, business owners understand that the interns they hire will have financial obligations to meet. Business owners also usually understand that these financial obligations will usually force interns to find a second job whether they want to or not. With a second job comes a lowered capacity to adequately perform the duties of your internship, and this is something to be avoided. Due to this, most business owners will offer some form of compensation to interns as a wage, stipend, or housing allowance.
While an internship may not seem very glamorous, the truth is that you need to start somewhere. Business school is a great way to get your career rolling, but it only provides you with theoretical, academic knowledge. This knowledge doesn't tell an employer anything about what kind of employee you are or whether you know how to effectively apply that knowledge in a real world setting. An internship can be a great way to prove yourself as an effective leader and manager. You may end up working for the company you perform the internship for, and will at least come away with a reference.