One of the best parts of my summer is the week I read the papers written by students who have completed a summer internship. I know there's a lot of controversy about internships, particularly unpaid, and whether they're exploitive. Certainly the "unpaid" aspect is a problem for most students, and in some workplaces, students do serve as an unpaid labor source. (We try to root these employers out and don't encourage students to work there.)
What the critics miss is the invaluable array of experiences, skills and contacts that our students make during these internships.
Plus, the fun they have.
One student ended up covering the Stanley Cup playoffs, while another learned some valuable lessons about trust (or lack thereof) in the media working at a small local newspaper. Other students built their communication/social media skills working for the baseball teams in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. Their experiences drumming up excitement and covering the teams sounded straight out of Bull Durham, a great baseball movie that still holds up.
But I digress.
Each semester, I ask interns to offer some advice for fellow students. Here they go.