Summer Paid Internships

Fri, Feb 26, 2010

Internship Information

Matt Lurie, an English major at Emerson College in Boston, was ready to do something big last summer when he applied for an internship at Padosa.com, an organization that helps small businesses become more environmentally friendly. Tired of spending too much time not doing much, Lurie unlisted the help of Craigslist and sent his resume to a job he thought seemed interesting.

Getting hired

After sending an e-mail, Lurie talked with representatives from the company by phone. Finally, he drove to interview in-person and he was soon offered the job. “The whole process was strangely easy, and I’m thankful it worked.” he said. “This internship is unique in that I barely searched for it and didn’t expect to get it.”

Job Duties

While the hiring process was a surprise, he soon learned his job duties would appeal to one of his hobbies—writing. “I wrote a weekly news round-up, as well as news commentary, country energy profiles, and how-to guides. My other responsibilities included making sure articles had the correct tags, so people would find relevant articles when they searched the site or Google.” Lurie said. He also had many editorial responsibilities, such as posting, editing and fact-checking articles, which appealed to his interest in writing fiction. “I wrote two to ten articles a week, depending on how long and involved the articles were and how many days I worked.” he said.

Paid summer internships for students

But the effort wasn’t in vain. Unlike many other internships out there, Lurie got paid two hundred dollars per month for his work.

Exciting schedule

The schedule an intern will be asked to work often varies by company. Padosa required Lurie to work, “fifteen to twenty hours a week from late morning into evening, either three or four times a week.” he said.

There was no regular, 9-to-5 schedule, however. He was free to work on his own time. “Sometimes I would work on articles before or after I was “on the clock;” it was a remarkably malleable, adjustable job.” he said.

The perks of an “e-internship”

Since he studies English, Lurie found excitement in writing opinion pieces as part of his regular work. “It was excellent to work by myself on my own time to write about something that mattered, and I’m lucky to have had that job so early on in my life.” he said. Having the motivation to work, an “e-internship,” was harder to find, though.“At times, it was challenging to motivate myself to finish an article by the end of the day. Working at home has its perks, but it can be deadly to one’s energy levels and focus, ”Lurie said.

Not your typical internship

While the experience was different than the standard office internship, Lurie found fun in motivating himself by challenges. “The most challenging thing I ever had to do was to edit an article that, in its rawest form, had so many grammatical, syntactical, and factual issues it was near-impossible to read.” But with the writing skills he learned over the course of the internship, he was able to turn the article into something readable. “It is surprisingly rewarding to transform that kind of writing into a readable how-to guide.” he said. By the end of the summer, and two and a half months later with Padosa, Lurie had a new set of skills in his knowledge base. “I learned how to work by myself, and how to use the Internet as a resource. I learned how to write more journalistically, for an audience I otherwise would not have realized exists.” he said. More than that, he made contacts that could help him get a job after he graduates college. “I became friends with my managers, and gained experience working with someone to generate ideas, rather than simply my own.” he said.

Advice from a former intern

Lurie is confident when offering information about what other students can do to land summer internships.“Don’t freak out.” he advises. “Look for a job that interests you, but try to be open-minded.” He stresses the importance of being optimistic and friendly about new opportunities. But he also says students should talk to who they know about possible intern experiences. “Ask friends and family members for help. Realize that one job leads to another, and another. Never give in, never give up.” he said.

What you do now can benefit your future

Lurie’s internship with Padosa may have led him to his current internship. He currently interns at a publishing house in Boston. He credits getting the job with the connections he made at Padosa. Overall, the skills he learned last summer are still helping him succeed, even if the job duties are a little different. “In terms of my responsibilities, the internships are completely different, but the patience and professionalism I learned at Padosa has stuck with me.” he said.

By Kelly McLendon. Kelly is studying Environmental Policy and Journalism. She can be reached at mclendon.kelly@gmail.com.

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