In other words, should I be wary of internships that do not place importance on or offer mentorship to their interns?
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It certainly is a wonderful thing if a mentoring program exists along with an internship, but I would not call it a dealbreaker if it isn't there.
Mentorship is something I believe we should all seek at any level of our career, and it is not always going to be available formally. You are ultimately in charge of your own career. If you need help for a specific task or accomplishing a certain goal, think about the people you know and decide on someone you could ask to help you. It could be someone you meet during your internship, or maybe someone else you know and admire. There doesn't have to be something formal available for you to develop a relationship with someone to help you in your career. You might even find that many peope help you in different, small ways over time. It is certainly helpful, especially if you are early on in your career, if a formal program exists to facilitate a mentorship. But a formal program is not a guarantee that you will mesh well with your mentor and gain a lot from the experience. In that respect, you may be better off choosing someone you know and trust.
It varies by career, but remember that a mentor does not necessarily need to be in your field of work. A mentor's job is essentially to help you think through issues, ask you questions to guide your thought process, and help you develop a plan to reach your goals. It can be far better to talk to someone with whom you have a good rapport and a trusting relationship but is not in your field, than someone in your field whom you don't find particularly helpful.
I used to work for a company where interns were brought in and had very little guidance or direction. If you're a self-starter that could be great, but when you're in college and don't know much about the industry you need someone to show you the ropes.
My first internship was in engineering and I was assigned a mentor who was in the same group and 5-10 years older. I remember him taking me out to lunch the first day where we devised a plan to learn the 3rd and 4th year engineering concepts while I was at work. He gave me some interesting reading material and we later had meetings where he would help me understand different concepts.
He went well out of his way to take me under his wing. If you have the opportunity to choose among multiple internship offers, definitely go with the one where you think you will learn more. The one thing I suggest to interns these days is to talk with people in the office in different groups. Take them out to lunch or coffee and ask them about what they do and how they got to where they're at now.
It depends on how many offers you have! Ultimately, internships are extremely important in helping place you in a job when you graduate. If you can intern in a smaller company, you will typically have a greater opportunity for hands on experience in your field. Also, you will have a better opportunity to develop relationships with your colleagues. However, formal mentoring programs are normally available only in very large structured organizations.
I would not turn down an internship because of a lack of a formal mentoring program. Instead, ask questions in the interviews, make sure the job is related to your field. Then whether the program is formal or not, look for opportunities to learn from those around you. You can take the initiative with someone whose career has progressed as you would like yours to progress. But, don't be so picky that you miss it - internships are vital. If necessary, take what you can get!
I would say so! A lot of internships don't allow you to grow very much when you get there, which will be a waste of time. Some internships positions won't say that they will offer mentorship, it is something you should always ask in the interview. Trust me on this one, you don't want to be at a place where they don't really have time for the interns. You are there to grow and hone down on your skills. If they don't have time for you, then you will never get to shadow someone doing what you want to do in the future.
Learn as much as you can about prospective internships! The semester before I graduated college, I had an internship that did not follow through on it's promises. Unfortunately, I did not get to experience all the things I was looking forward to. I believe the most important part of an internship is the experience. Your expectations and learning objectives should be communicated effectively to the supervisor of your internship.
On another note, I think it greatly depends on what type of person you are and the perspective you would take on the situation. An internship without a mentor could be a great opportunity to develop your leadership skills; if that is how you choose to approach it. Whichever internship you choose, be confident!
Well. I am a personal teller at TD Bank. I have been working for that bank for two years now, and when i started out i had a summer internship. there was no mentor ship, but after six months with them they decided to keep me on as a partner and asked me to join a student training program. I am happy were I'm at now and enjoy working were i do. I make good money. I feel the most important thing to think about when looking for an internship is to think about were you would like to end up in a few years and if you are comfortable working for this business, whether your paid or not, have a mentor ship or not does not really matter, if the place likes you there a good chance they will hire you anyway. I hope that answers your question.
I would say yes. Unfortunately, most internships might lack direction of development plans at the beginning, if ones brings solution and good work ethic, must of the time a position opens open. The whole idea of an internship is to know from the beginning your personal goal of going into that particular company. Once that is identified, you can keep track of your goals and bring back to your mentor as to what are your expectations of your time in the company.