Thursday, 20 October 2011

a better path to job experience

USA Today suggests "Skip the internship, go to camp".

I have discovered the perfect summer job. In this job, I am part of an organization that gives me duties that are critical to its long- and short-term success. Supervisors give me responsibilities such as interacting directly with customers on a daily basis, and they fully integrate me into the professional hierarchy. To top it all off, I am learning legitimate skills that will help me develop professionally when I move into the workforce. This mystery job I speak of: camp counselor. These are only a few of the many potential benefits of being a camp counselor, and I offer them not only to praise the occupation, but also to offer a propositional alternative to the profession’s biggest competitor: internships.
For the most part, interns do work that is wholly unrelated to any sort of day-to-day task that full-time employees fulfill. Indeed, not only do most offices give interns mundane tasks that the aforementioned employees would never do, but they are also given tasks that will only be taken over by another intern. In short, interning in any office, regardless of the field, will likely mean you will be performing more secretarial duties than industry-specific ones. 
Internship has always seemed a way for companies to gain free labourers.  When my wife was a business student, she interned at a bank.  The bank had her bowing at the customers as they arrived.  What does that teach about banking?

As a camp counselor, I was directly responsible for the health, well-being and education of 10-16 children.  It would be great training for people in education, social work and even medical majors.

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