Internships are in demand. Why? Because it’s now an employers’ market, meaning that job candidates need to have qualifications, relevant skills and experience under their belt in order for their CV application to be taken seriously. But for all the graduate job seekers, the only feasible way of attaining relevant industry work experience is to intern at a company that is ‘reputable’ and relevant to their specialisation. This is, of course, easily said than done, and for many bushy tailed graduates, landing an internship can become more of a nightmare than a dream come true.
According to internshipratings.com, a number of highly reputable and large scale organisations have come under fire from current and past interns who have taken to the site to vent their frustrations. Internshipratings.com is a website dedicated to internship reviews and ratings by real interns who have experienced internships at said companies. The top 5 rated internship companies are listed as follows (also check out their websites for possible internship vacancies!):
The worst rated internship company at present on the website may come as a surprise to many. Not only is this a highly profitable and reputable firm, but it is traditionally a first choice amongst new grads seeking a challenging and rewarding internship. Take a look at the list below...
Worst rated internships
#1 Cosmopolitan Magazine (New York)
#2 Signature Direct Magazine (L.A)
#3 PR Consulting (New York)
#4 Proenza Schouler (New York)
#5 Kenneth Cole Productions (New York)
Some of the most noteworthy remarks regarding the worst rated internship program with Cosmopolitan were that interns regularly had to work through their lunch, with 12 hour work days being ‘the norm’. Oftentimes, interns were expected to do menial tasks, run irrelevant and non-work related errands for senior staff and in some instances, had to pay out their own pocket without reimbursement.
Most interns that have ranked their interships on internshipratings.com have cited that having a healthy balance between workload and school work/personal life is vital for a successful internship. And who can blame them; most are unpaid positions requiring very long hours with very little respect in return.
How can you tell if your internship is a joke?
Does your internship experience rank amongst the best or worst rated programs as listed above? Here are some signs that your internship is amongst the worst...
You are asked to make tea for the person who makes the coffee.
You are not there to be a beverage boy or girl. If you are getting tea and coffee requests more than a couple of times per week, then things aren’t going that good.
You are given menial tasks which drain your energy and enthusiasm.
Let’s face it, if you are working for an unpaid internship you will need all the motivation you can gather to get out of bed each day and run errands for the big man, for free. But when these errands are menial tasks that a monkey could do, it begins to take the biscuit. You should be learning something new on a regular basis during an internship. If you aren’t – get out of there.
You are given no training.
Training is the core to any internship program. Without it, you are simply staying ten steps behind the rest and will be unable to progress at any pace without making errors and becoming stressed with the whole experience. Training is a must; if you are not getting any direction, then direct yourself out the front door.
You are not getting compensated.
While many internships these days go unpaid, almost all provide some form of compensation or ‘expenses’ to cover any costs incurred by the intern getting to and from work, and for any work related costs the intern may have to pay during the day. If you are not being covered for these basic requirements, it is unacceptable. There are plenty more internships in the market – start your search now!
Have you ever interned? Where did you complete your internship program? If you have any horror stories of your time as an intern we would love to hear about it! Simply post your experiences in the comments section below.
Image source: Lode