The hot internship topic of the past few weeks has definitely been, "Adult Internships" also termed, "non-traditional internships". Are adults getting internships ? Are increased layoffs resulting in increased internship interest ? Are those who graduated school years ago even allowed to intern?
As your "Intern Queen" I figured it was my job to get to the bottom of this. In Los Angeles, I recently watched a segment on CNN entitled, "Adult Internships". The segment discussed the number of companies offering adults internships. I personally deal with over 400 companies on a daily basis. These companies are usually not open to viewing anyone's resume accept for currently enrolled college students. Even getting them to take a look at highschool student's applications can be a difficult process. Many employers actually use my site to get away from sites like Craigslist who tend to attract adults looking for a "career change" at 40 plus years of age. I was naturally skeptical of this new trend of "Adult Internships".
However, after speaking with several adults who ARE participating in internships in Los Angeles and in businesses around the country, I have to agree that Adult Internships ARE a growing trend. Employers are going to have to start finding ways to open their doors and internship programs to people of all ages.
WHY ADULT INTERNSHIPS ARE A GROWING TREND IN TODAY'S ECONOMY
1. INCREASED LAYOFFS. Becuase of the steady increase of layoffs in today's economy, adults have been left in "transitional periods". If they can't get job offers in their industry they are left to think of other options. Many adults are saying they would rather have an internship and keep busy while they're on the 'job hunt' than sit around and sulk.
2. THE "PASSION" CAREER. Afer being left with a not-so-great severance package, many adults are just fed up with their previous industries. They are looking back at their lives and questioning why they didn't go into other careers/businesses. Many people are starting their own companies and going after different types of jobs. This a time for everyone to go after what they really want and an internship is the best way for ANYONE to get their foot in the door.
3. NETWORKING AND RELATIONSHIP BUILDING. Internships are a great way to connect with individuals who you might not normally connect with. Internships are a great way to build up a new strong rolodex. As an intern, you are constantly meeting new people, helping different executives, and getting your name out there. Putting great relationships into place as an intern, can garauntee first knowledge of new jobs and company information that outsiders might not have.
4. THEY ALREADY "GET IT". One common problem with highschool and college students interning, is the lack of workplace/realworld knowledge. Young interns often don't understand when to speak and when not to speak, when to give ideas and when not to give ideas. They don't understand the politics,professional manners, and boundaries of the workplace. With adult interns, the chances of these problems is significantly decreased.
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