Why Internships Can Be A Great Place to Find Mentors

In this article, we take a look at why internships are a great place to find professional mentors.

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Internships are a great way to make professional connections, and possibly even set yourself up with a job after graduation. Some people are internship hesitant. Why work for free, right? Especially not on top of trying to juggle college coursework.

It’s true that most internships are not compensated, and that most people who are eligible for them already have a lot on their plate. Nevertheless, the opportunities that come with them can be significant, especially when you make the right connections.

In this article, we take a look at why internships are a great place to find professional mentors.

Experience


One of the main reasons that internships are a great place to meet mentors is simply because that is where mentors are located. Where else are you going to find someone with so much experience in your area? (Apart from PushFar)

A good mentor will have been around the block a few times, developing the skills you are looking to hone yourself. Try to form relationships with people who both have the benefit of experience, and a willingness to take the time to pass it along.

Like-minded Individuals

Interns working for companies that align with their professional goals are likely to meet like-minded individuals at their internship. It tends to be easier to make connections with people who have a similar background and goal set as you do.

Not only does this improve your odds of finding a good mentor but it also suggests that the people you connect with will understand what you are trying to achieve, and be able to give you very specific insights and recommendations.

Just like you, they’ve started at the entry-level, and worked their way up.

Business World Connections


Naturally, a mentor that comes from an internship may eventually become a valuable business connection. It’s very common for people to transition from interning to working full-time for a company. If you have a good relationship with the existing staff it will make the business more inclined to hire you.

Even if you don’t wind up working for that company, your mentor may be able to introduce you to other people or offer good advice on where to find work.

The Potential for Confidence

College/ students may enter the professional world with lots of ideas in their heads, but little idea of how they will play out in an office. Taking ideas and turning them into professional actions can be a daunting thought for many people.

Mentors have the benefit of experience. Not only can they provide suggestions, but they can also help interns make the leap from idea to action by acting as a safety net. It’s easier to take risks and try new things with the understanding that there will be someone to help you if there are mistakes made.

As interns experiment with their professional responsibilities, mentors can help them develop the confidence they need to make a strong impression when they do finally join the workforce full time.

How Do You Find a Mentor?

You can make a point of talking to the people who are working in your office. Ask them questions about what they are doing and why. When you have concerns of your own, be sure to bring them to people who are experienced and friendly. Over time, you will begin to develop closer relationships with certain people. These will be very good candidates for your mentor.

It's also worth keeping in mind that some programs are specifically designed to connect recent graduates with mentors. These programs may work slightly differently than traditional internships, as the emphasis is on establishing a relationship between the intern and the experienced employee.

What program you select will ultimately depend on your goals, as well as the resources you have available to you in your community.

Interested in an Internship?

Internships are a great way to get your foot into the professional world. While they don’t usually pay money, many can provide college credits, making them a great way to kill two birds with one stone.

Even people who are in the process of getting their MBA may be eligible for professional internships. If you are interested in taking advantage of these opportunities, speak with your college advisor to learn more about the sorts of opportunities they can connect you with.

If you find yourself unable to find a mentor within the workforce during your internship, you can use a mentoring platform such as PushFar, where you can find a mentor for free in your industry.

This article was guest written by Andrew Deen.


PushFar: The World-Leading Mentoring Platform
At PushFar, we run the world's leading mentoring platform, offering free mentoring for more than 50,000 professionals, students and entrepreneurs. We also licence our mentoring software into hundreds of organisations, globally, to support internal mentoring programs. So, whether you're looking to become a mentor, find a mentor or run a mentoring program, PushFar are here to help.
 
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