March 18, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 88  

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CAMPUS LIFE

Sell yourself to the man for free

By Maggie Wrobel
Gazette Staff

Imagine slaving away all day without getting paid a cent for your hard work. Sound crazy? Hundreds of students do it every summer and guess what? They enjoy it.

Internships are becoming an increasingly popular way for students to gain practical experience in their field of study or explore outside interests beyond their degree. With the variety of internships available around the world, finding one to suit your particular needs and interests should not be too difficult.

The web is an excellent place to begin your internship search, as most companies and organizations advertise their recruitment for interns `on their websites. Don’t be afraid to contact a particular business even if they do not have internship information listed on their site — few people refuse free, eager helpers that are willing to listen and learn.

According to the Canadian Careers resource website, most internships range in length from two months to two years. Though some internships are paid, most offer just the priceless experience that can ultimately lead to either a paid position at one’s place of internship or a better job with another company.

Although commercial businesses often offer internships, there are also educational organizations out there that cater strictly to students studying at the post-secondary level. The Association Internationale des Etudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales (AIESEC) is one such example. AIESEC is an international, student-run, non-profit, educational foundation made up of students and recent graduates of post-secondary educational programs with an interest in commerce and economics.

AIESEC offers international traineeships to over 5,000 students each year, in hopes these “will provide practical learning experiences for thousands of young people as trainees, and which also provide an incredible learning experience for our members and involved stakeholders.” The association works with more than 11,000 different organizations around the globe in order to provide students from all walks of life with a variety of internship opportunities. There are chapters of AIESEC in over 83 countries, including Canada and the United States.

For students on the road to a degree in English, there are several internship options, including summer internships with major Canadian newspapers, including the National Post and The Globe and Mail.

Harper Collins Canada, one of Canada’s most renowned book publishing houses, also offers a summer internship program that allows students to take a close-up, first-hand look at the publishing world.

No matter where your interests lie, doing an internship allows you to make invaluable contacts and, above all, experience the working world first-hand before you’re faced with taking the plunge.

—with files from
www.canadiancareers.com
www.aiesec.org

 

 

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