Internship after graduation? Yes or No?

‘You what?’ I held my phone tighter to my ear. ‘Gene, I can barely hear you! The train is too loud!’ ‘Uh, where are you going?’ my friend Gene asked slightly louder on the other side of the line. ‘I am going to Amsterdam. I have an interview. But never mind that now. What did you say earlier?’ ‘I said, I got the job at Assurance!’ ‘Really?! Congratulations!! That is great!’ ‘Well, actually, it is not a job. It is an internship?’ ‘A what?!?!’ Gene yelled into her phone: ‘I SAID: INTERNSHIP!’ In shock I had almost dropped my phone. ‘Thanks dear, I heard you the first time.’ ‘Then, why did you ask’, Gene’s voice mirrored her confusion. ‘Well, … .’ In that moment, I did not know what to answer her.

Fact is, I was astonished. A single question zoomed in my head at that particular moment, why would anyone go for an internship after graduation? Especially with three degrees, I thought, that one was qualified to go for the real thing, no? I tried to find my voice. ‘Uhm, you know, I was just wondering… why did you go for an internship and not a real position?’ You have all qualifications to find THE job, right?’ Gene laughed. ‘Seriously, San. You sound like I committed a crime. I accepted this internship, because I did not have one yet and because the company is great. Maybe this way I can get my foot in, you see?’ ‘Ah, you are doing it the sneaky way, ey?! Well, did they tell you that you might have a chance to start working there permanently?’ ‘Yes, they did. It is not guaranteed but there is a good possibility. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have accepted it. But dear, I have to go now. Good luck with your interview and let me know how it went. Bye. Schmatz.’

Hm. I leaned back in my train chair and gazed out of the window. Trees and fields were racing by and so did my thoughts. That is certainly brave of her to do an internship. A pretty smart idea too, I concluded. I certainly wouldn’t do that anymore. I thought back at the time of my glorious internship and how much I had learned there. A warm feeling snuck up inside. However, that was then, back in the days of my student life. No, I had made up my mind and it became crystal clear that for me, after graduation, it was certainly time to move on to the REAL thing.

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