Thousands of students are interning this summer, but what do they think about their internships? Read some of the experiences from Baltimore-area interns. Then share your own—whether they're from this summer or from years past—in the comments below.
Kabish Shah, mechanical engineering project intern at Whiting-Turner
When I was looking for internships, I was looking for paid internships, because there’s research that says it’s really unlikely to get a full-time position with an unpaid internship. Definitely paid experience really helps, because you’re giving your time, and you want some kind of incentive from that.
Working with the engineers is the best part, because I have friends who are not engineers and they think that engineers think in a different way. So being around engineers with the way we think and do things is really nice.
I believe in giving back to the community, so being a student at UMBC and working on a project at UMBC, I feel like I’m giving something back to the school, and I’m really proud of that. Those skills that I learn at school are helping me here to succeed in everyday projects like I can see the use of the things. All the crazy math stuff that every student hated, like, ‘Why do I have to do that?’ I can see why I’m doing it now.
It's like you might have $1,000 pen, but if you don't write with that, it's just a pen. Even if you have a $2 pen and you keep on writing, that pen is more worthy than the $1,000 pen.
I just literally cannot wait for the day to move my graduation tassel from right to left and schedule an interview for full-time employment with Whiting-Turner, start as a project engineer.
Karen Hegerich, human resources intern at Gallagher Services
I don't mind being an unpaid intern. I guess that's the point of being an intern—to gain experience and see if you really want to do it, so I think that the work I do is fine for being unpaid.
What I do is prescreen candidates for the jobs here to work with individuals at Gallagher Services in open interviews and over the phone. Everyone that works here is really friendly and very open to showing me around and teaching me. This is my first HR internship, so they’re really great teaching me all the ropes of HR.
I'm learning about different programs on the computer and how to interact with a bunch of different people. Everyone has a different goal and you have to help them. The internship has reassured me that I still want to do HR. I just really enjoy it.
Kelly Wright, media marketing intern at AOL
This is my fifth internship since I got out of high school. Everything I've ever done was always in a different field just so I can get an idea of what I want to do when I graduate.
We're college kids, and we have books, rent, groceries, gas—there are a lot of things we need to pay for. It's still a regular job. Yes, you can get credit for it most of the time, but credit's not going to buy you books. If you're working hard, you definitely deserve to get something.
Everyone in the AOL office is just so friendly. People come up to me everyday and ask me how I'm doing. I work with Google Adwords a lot. I help build out Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization campaigns. We do a lot of auditing so we look for search query words that people search on a daily basis and figure out what are the best words to optimize. I use programs and search engines that I didn't even know existed before every day.
Descriptions have been slightly edited for readability purposes.
About this series: As part of our jobs reporting, Patch is profiling people with internships throughout Maryland, focusing on the issue of paid and unpaid positions. What do you think about paid and unpaid internships? Let us know in the comments below.
Editor's Note: This story was written by a paid intern at Patch.