For today’s blog, let’s examine the definition of the word commitment. According to webster’s, the definition of commitment is, the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc. When you officially accept an internship offer, you are making a commitment to that company. You are agreeing to dedicate a specific amount of required hours to that opportunity with a company. During the school year, most students are committing to 12-15 hours per week at an internship. Over the summer, the time commitment might be a little higher, depending on if the opportunity is paid or unpaid. And just like anything else (clubs, jobs, family events, or friendships), that commitment should be taken seriously. When you accept an internship, I encourage you to do a few things:
1. Ask for the start date and end date of the internship. Before going into an internship, you should understand when it starts and when it ends. Ask if there are any holidays when the business is closed (that you should be aware of).
2. Look at your personal schedule, your school schedule and syllabus, your club or greek life calendars, and speak with your family. Are there any commitments that you have over the next 8-12 weeks that are going to conflict with your internship? Is there is a family wedding, a spring break trip, a conference through a club at school that might interfere with your internship? Make a list of these dates, make sure they are dates that conflict with your internship, and speak to your new internship coordinator about these before the internship starts.
3. Ask Your Internship Coordinator To Be Excused. Politely ask your internship coordinator if you can be excused from your internship on the days when you already have existing plans. Make sure you don’t say, “I’m taking these days off.” Always ask. Although your internship coordinator might sound frustrated, this is much better than surprising the company with dates you need off in the middle of the internship. Besides the days that you ask to be excused from the internship, there really shouldn’t be other days requested off unless it’s an emergency. If you have class projects, tests, or other events pop up, try to work them in around your internship if possible. Remember, you are doing this internship to get a professional reference and experience on your resume. If the company doesn’t find you to be consistent and reliable, they won’t want to recommend you to the decision makers at their company or at other companies.
When you agree to participate in an internship, you make a commitment. Don’t take that commitment lightly. An internship can be an amazing experience and can truly change your career path. Make sure you show your supervisors that you take the commitment seriously.