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Can Companies Overcome Their 'Intern'al Dilemma?
By: Victoria Hoey
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Need some more experience and don’t have a dime? Well, get your resumes ready, cause it’s internship time!

This spring will be the first big wave of interns since the groundbreaking lawsuits against FOX Searchlight and Condé Nast last year. The bad news is: Condé Nast has permanently “discontinued” its internship program. The good news is: Nearly 97 percent of employers plan to hire interns in 2014 (according to preliminary results of NACE’s 2014 Internship & Co-op Survey), and many of those employers are happy to pay and offer some very unique experiences.

Here is a breakdown of a few types of internships and what they offer.

The Virtual
Finding the right company to work for is a challenging process. Many qualified candidates already have a full class schedule and/or a full work schedule on their hands. If they live on campus, they probably won’t have a car, and if the economic downturn of American employment has forced them back to their parents' house (and the Rugrats-themed bedroom of their youth), location can be a factor. Virtual internships offer more flexible hours, focusing on a weekly average rather than a daily minimum, and geography is not a factor. Of course, this is the job for the more mature college student or self-sufficient young professional. You have to be prepared to take video conference calls, answer emails at lightning speed, and be able to juggle a hectic schedule without a babysitter, but it’s all worth it if you get to eventually land that dream job.

The Part-Time
Some companies refer to this as the “Eight-Hour Internship,” in reference to how many hours per week you are expected to work. Many applicants pass these up because they think that they won’t be challenging enough or they don't meet their college requirements, but don’t be fooled. The Part-Time internship can be a fast-paced, hyper streamline of information and comprehension. With only eight hours a week of work, you have to learn to work efficiently, ask questions as soon as they arise, and plan on having quality one-on-one time with your mentor. Even if the format doesn’t meet your college requirements, it is a great way to gently get your foot in the door with a company and your success can still lead to a full-time intern position or future job.

The International
These opportunities are frequently offered by major American corporations in conjunction with their international offices. Google is famous for sending interns to work on new and emerging markets all over Asia, and this year there are rumors of adding Poland, the UK, and Ireland to that list. Other companies that focus on outreach projects are a great way to make a difference while you learn.

Most international internships will help you find a place to live, apply for a visa, provide a mobile phone for calling home, and some will even provide basic health care. You don’t have to be a world traveler to travel the world. The transition between an American work ethic and that of another culture might seem a little off-putting, but it is always short-lived, and you learn to communicate and work as a team while adapting to each other.

Whether you are still in school or are looking to change your career, there is an internship out there for you. All it takes is a little research and planning. (Ahemm; you are already on a great site to do both of those things.)

Have a happy and productive Internship Season, everyone. We look forward to seeing you in the job market.


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About the Author
Victoria Hoey is a recent graduate with degrees in copywriting and advertising.
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