Sell yourself to the man for free
By Maggie Wrobel
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
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
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