Alexis: So the first question is, what is your best tip for someone looking to do a internship?
Shelby: Oh boy, what a question.. there was so much I learnt and also so much I didn’t know going into it. My one piece of advice I would give to especially younger people is to be flexible with the work and always know your worth as a person. Internships are hard and you might feel efforts aren’t paying off, but try to see the positive in every situation and take advantage of the opportunity you have. You’re working with trainers, ask them a million questions, be curious but at the same time don’t devalue what you already know. Also one big thing is internships are known for being pretty rough and can leave some being treated poorly by their employers, remember just because they’re more successful right now doesn’t mean they’re on a high pedestal. We’re all human, understand it’s not normal to be treated unfairly just because you’re an intern. The work is tough but it can be one of the best, most educational experiences of your life. Oh, and network like crazy!
Alexis: Wow! I totally get what you are saying! Now for question number two, What age would you say is the perfect age or ideal age to do a internship at?
Shelby: I was 24 when I moved to the US to intern. I would say my maturity helped me a lot take advantage of the opportunity, and not not get taken advantage of. Like I said, interns are bottom of the totem pole and I had an instance where I had to put my foot down to unsafe, unsupervised work. If I was younger I might not be able to stand up for myself. I also was old enough to help in ways I wouldn’t have if I was younger. I think anything over 20 for a longer internship is ideal, you have a bit of life experience already to help you along the way through your internship journey. There’s ups and downs, at least I had ups and down during my trip and being an independent person before you go, I feel will help you through a lot better.
Alexis: And the last question is, What would you tell people to look for when searching for a good internship for their self?
Shelby: Ask questions before you go! Figure out exactly the living and work situation. You want to be well prepared and know what you’re getting into before you dive head first and move there. What you though your plan was might not be what ends up happening, which is ok, always be flexible to change. Be professional! Show up as a positive ball of energy and prove yourself as an eager, driven, hard worker that you are.. that sort of stuff goes a long way.
Alexis: Thank you so much for taking a few minutes to chat with me, I really appreciate it!
Shelby: You’re very welcome!