On Part-time Internships

Hi everyone,

I hope that you are finally starting to enjoy the semi-warm weather outside. On my part, I cannot wait until school is out and I have slightly more time to be outside.  This semester has been extremely busy as I took on a part-time spring internship on top of my full class schedule, and my club activities.  But let’s start from the beginning: Why do people take on part-time internships?

The pros
1.You can try a new industry or a new role
My background is in retail, and I am currently working for a foundation. I have always been fascinated by the work that they do, and wanted to understand how it works.   Now I understand the different aspects of impact investing and how different companies approach their different CSR strategies.  I could even hold my own on agricultural value chains discussion when it comes to crops like palm oil or peanuts.

2. It’s an opportunity to add onto your work experience
Since the work that I am currently doing is different from what I did before, I am using what I already knew differently, and acquiring a new skill-set. This is also an additional story that will come in handy once I start recruiting again.

3. You explore a company that you might want to work for in the future, and extend your network
Some part-timers extend their internships into the summer, and some even get full-time job offers. I now have a new network, especially since I’m new to New York.  Even if my internship ends as just an internship, I have met inspiring people that I hope to remain connected with.

The cons
1. It can be a huge time commitment
My internship required a minimum commitment of 24 hours a week, so 3 full days. However, some of my classmates have internships that are 10-15 hours per week.  This varies depending on the company that you are working for. I thought that this would be a great opportunity so I accepted my offer, but this has definitely affected the way my semester went.

2. Most are not paid
This wasn’t a deal breaker for me since I am an international student and can’t work off-campus. I also considered the fact that I was in school full-time and hadn’t been planning on working during this time. However, as a domestic student you can sometimes negotiate a salary that helps a little with the semester.

3. Work responsibilities
Considering the fact that you are only part-time, sometimes you get stuck with the small odd jobs. People might feel that you cannot work on the pressing priorities since you will not be there to follow up.  It becomes up to you to create your own job, and to show that you can own a project.

All in all, it was a great experience. I may have over-committed myself a bit, but I am so glad I have made some great friends who helped me stay on track this semester. I can already see how what I learned here will help me in the future, and I met inspiring people.

Have a great week,