Internships gone wrong

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Between instructions being barked at you at a pace a recording machine wouldn’t be able to keep up with and men & women walking around with severe looks on their faces, in their impeccably-ironed-perfectly-cut suits, the internship game is one where you roll with the punches or you get risk getting run over.

Now, as a young individual with little or no work experience, it seems so important what these people are doing, glamorous in a way. You’d love to play work. You want to tell people you love your job, although you can’t understand how someone can enjoy writing boring e-mails, ordering papers that look exactly the same, or speak to people about things that could easily put you to sleep.

However, moving away from the fair expectations of an intern, the corporation’s expectations are nothing short of demanding.

An intern is a short-term liability for a company. Handled in the wrong manner, an intern can produce long-term-grave consequences to the entity that has chosen to give them the internship.

Companies risk incurring expenses of enormous amounts after an internship gone wrong. For the company, the intern becomes nothing more than stationery. Used for the simplest work, the company is not concerned to train or educate the individual, but to get things done.

Internships have gone wrong. They have become a business, a prostitution of European Funds, a way of companies to get work done at little expense or sometimes paid through diverse funds and incentives sponsoring the “educational experience” of the individuals.

At a loss, the interns. The full of expectations, doey-eyed, fearfull & excited interns, being passed from one person to the other, hardly understanding what is happening to them. To them it’s a haze.

We become guilty of getting so enthralled in work that we forget about what is more important: the people around us.

I admit, I have been on occasion guilty of it. If I have managed to be extremely laid back in my personal life, allowing everyone to make the choices they want with no expectations from my end, I have to confess my biggest sin is work, where at times I risk resembling the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story.

However, work environment can’t be controlled..
So, my concern is, if at work there will be pressure, where will the student be able to find support? In a strange country, new people, little money, lots of responsibilities.

I have had the recent experience of an internship company sending interns to Malta without prior checking of the companies they are sending to, interns ending up working in bars, as hostesses or waitresses…

These companies have accessed European Funds, sending interns to a foreign country without even having a representative there. We, the corporate environment, believe we’re doing these students the favor.

We miss out on the background story: students ending up alone in a foreign country, doing internships that teach them little & frustrate them a lot, faced with a “figure-it-out” attitude from the highly busy new acquaintances around them.

With no one who can take care of them, lend a hand, offer a suggestion. A sick intern is liable to pay a a small fortune in medical expenses should they be ill and sent on one of the internships organised in hippy-fashion-spur-of-the-moment-no-insurance-kind-of-thing.  Interns become the new-age legal meat market being traded on an international level.

I am, of course, exaggerating. Still, point being: we forget to put people first. We forget it often. We get lost in our important lives, with responsible attitudes and manually tailored clothes. Lost in our plans of the future, striving to meet others’ expectations, to live up to the impressions of our professional selves, that we forget: at the end of the day-we’re all people. We’re so beautiful. We need the same things.

Thus, I digress. I can’t sort out the way European Funds are used anymore than I can tell my employer how to decorate his house, but I know I can/ we can make things better, starting with the individual.

Remember there’s an individual there. Remember to treat them as a person, and don’t reduce them to a work tool. It’s a small common courtesy we sometimes overlook and makes all the difference to that person, even though it costs us nothing. This is applicable to everyone in our lives.

No one should be reduced someone to what they do, where they come from, what their past is, who they know, what their material situation is. Internships companies have become a business. If we’re aware of this as individuals, we should not let the business become our definition.

Let’s start with the common courtesy, it’s often more than enough. People don’t need much.

Light & blessings all,

R

Filed under: My life Tagged: amazing, beauty, big, blessed, essence, friendship, I love people, individuals, interns, life, little, love, more important things, nothing is so serious, open, positive, priority, reminder, souls, things

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