A student’s first internship should be filled with new experiences that help them become a more competent young professional. As an intern, of course, you want to make sure your internship provider is going to task you with relevant work and not just photocopying, but there are other qualities to look for in an internship as well. The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra had a countless number of qualities that led me to choosing them for my 2015 summer internship.
Here are five qualities that might persuade you to do the same:
1. The schedule
The first qualification I searched for was a flexible schedule. Sometimes you get a first internship that isn’t so structured, and it teaches you how to be the master of your own destiny. Other times you have a strict schedule at which you learn the importance of being able to follow directions properly.
This summer I didn’t get either of those. I got the perfect balance between the two: an internship that worked with my schedule and was based on meeting a set number of hours for the entire duration, rather than weekly.
2. A Self- Made Goals List
Here at OPO (officially an unofficial term we aren’t supposed to use, but let’s go with it) we believe in planning ahead. That’s why at the start of your internship you and your supervisor will create a goals list. This list will consist of three goals/projects you want to achieve throughout your time at OPO. It’s not a task list by any means; you have all the say in this, so speak up. I suggest taking the liberty of trying new things.
Take me for example–I had three big goals: handle social media, write press releases, and create ablog post. My advisor stayed true to my goals and together we accomplished all three.
3. R.E.A.L. teamwork
You will have the support of your internship team, your supervisor and the rest of the staff as well. Interns are invited to meetings and encouraged to share ideas. The nonprofit world is different than an industry or corporate setting; you really are needed to reach an overall goal. Drew, our operations intern said it best: “Each Philharmonic staff member not only treated me with respect, but also had the inclination to make me feel like a fellow employee.”
4. Professional development courses
As part of this internship, you have the option of attending professional development courses offered by The Edyth Bush Institute at Rollins College. Usually these classes can be several hundred dollars, but for your benefit and education the orchestra will cover these. There are classes for a range of interests, from social media to fundraising.
5. And if you love a little free music….
If a flexible schedule, being involved in tasks that match your interests, the support of the entire OPO staff, and paid-for courses at Rollins aren’t enough to get you interested, then the comp tickets just might.
If you’re not required to work an event (which is pretty awesome too) then you can definitely attend it. Just give the staff a heads ups, bring a friend, and enjoy the music.
Like Ruby, our education intern said, “My favorite part of the internship would be… all of it.”
Marketing and Communications Intern