Subject: Can You Intern After Graduating?
Let’s paint the scene: you have finally completed 3-4 years of continuous assignments, exams, quizzes, staying up all night finishing off 10,000 word essays and attending house parties. You bought a dress you couldn’t afford from Karen Millen or another middle of the range brand, attended your graduation ceremony and covered it with an oversized gown, threw your cap in the air, and told that you will be destined for greatness. And then you are thrown into the real world...so, now what?
If you are anything like me you spent most of your degree fixated on getting a 2.1 because apparently NO ONE WILL EVER HIRE YOU WITHOUT IT (note: not true). I was unlike many organised, have-it-together young women who were busy interning and climbing up the intern-ladder during their vacation time. Instead, I was more focussed about earning money waitressing at a beach cafe in my holidays. If you are a clued up student that has a string of internships lined up throughout your holidays, we salute you.
However for those, who like me, left it until a bit later in life to join the interning game, do not fret. It is totally fine to intern after university – it does not matter if you are 22, or even 42 (we love you Robert De Niro) . The main thing is that you will be getting your foot in the door and not falling into a post-graduate job that you really are not passionate about even though the money may be good.
So long as you have some sort of direction for your career path, the best thing that you can do is to take action. Reach out to companies that you love, tell them why you love them, and ask if they have any work placements or internships available. Even if they cannot accommodate your request you will be on their radar and your initiative will be noted. Enthusiasm counts for a lot here.
A bonus of interning after graduating is that you are more mature, can handle a heavy work load, and it may mean more to you as you aren’t distracted with being a student anymore. Believe me, I have learned way more about myself and my professional goals in the years after university, instead of during my studies.
The benefit of interning whist at university is that you may have financial backing from a student loan or your parents, so whatever your situation is, it may be slightly easier. So if you are interning after university, it might be wise to set up some side jobs such as being a receptionist at the weekends or waitressing in the evenings. It may be a lot of hard work and you will need to keep a rigid schedule, but there is no better feeling than knowing you are working towards your dream career.
Remember when Chandler Bing quit his job and began interning at that advertising company? The moral of that story is that it is never late to start interning.