An internship means an unparalleled opportunity to taste the professional world firsthand. It’s about actually experiencing an industry in its day-to-day function—rolling up your sleeves to take part.
Interning doesn’t simply introduce you to discipline-specific skills: It can also be a major source of general inspiration. Working alongside your colleagues-for-a-season, you’re not just learning the ropes of a specific business; you’re studying how professionals got to where they are—what little decisions they made along the way, what setbacks momentarily stalled them and how they were overcome, what guiding vision has kept them centered.
Tips for Success, Gained as an Intern
Take 16-year-old Kenta Nomoto, who interned with a Boston-based tech-entrepreneurship company. Nomoto found the experience hugely galvanizing, as he related in a journal entry reflecting on what he’d learned.
His biggest takeaway? “Motivation and passion” are the keys to success in any venture. “As I interacted with many of the startup CEOs,” he wrote, “I was fascinated by their passionate love for their company and [how] even through adversity, they strived to overcome those obstacles to stand out as a start-up company.”
Nomoto was impressed by the dedication and vision of the entrepreneurs working to incubate their ideas into full-blown businesses. Observing the mentorship process, the young intern gleaned valuable insight into how nascent CEOs produce comprehensive business plans and hone their pitches.
“The best part of my internship was being able to sit in on individual company meetings and take notes,” Nomoto wrote. He participated in all aspects of the process, even conducting a little product-testing with an educational technology start-up that provides technological solutions for automatic assessments.
Nomoto’s initial apprehensions about interning proved short-lived. “At first I was quite nervous, since I was the only high school student who was there as an intern,” he admitted, “but very quickly I began to feel comfortable.”
Nomoto’s fulfilling time suggests the tremendous value intrinsic in any internship—whether or not you ultimately work in the particular industry. “Even if I do not end up as a startup CEO in the future, I recognized the importance of being motivated and passionate about what I do,” he wrote.