Why Internships are Like Ice Cream

As students enter a new school year, I’ve been reminiscing about what was my impending college graduation in May 2000 and the decision facing me: What was I going to be when I grew up?

My desired field was writing. Since childhood, I’ve penned poems and stories, and even formed a rock band in sixth grade. I composed several songs and a few catchy melodies (well, that may be up for debate) on my sister’s Casio keyboard. But, when I considered career options, visions of ice cream danced in my head.

Although I’m a self-proclaimed Sugar Diva (one day, I’ll stop eating cereal and chocolate chip cookie dough for dinner), that’s not why I likened ice cream to job options. Imagine stepping into an ice cream parlor that offers a plethora of flavors, but doesn’t reveal your options. How would you know which flavor to choose? Similarly, I wondered how could I choose a career without knowing which options existed.

Fortunately, completing two college internships provided a taste of what was out there in the “real world.” My stint at a historical society involved research, while my role at a television station included serving as associate producer for a weekly community affairs show and writing commercials. Both internships helped me strengthen (and showcase) my skills, develop networking contacts and gain work experience to include on my résumé.

An invaluable resource today that wasn’t available at the time is Indiana INTERNnet, a free internship-matching program managed by the Indiana Chamber linking employers, students, high schools, colleges and universities. Its free online system connects Hoosier students with in-state employers (in a variety of fields and industries) for internship opportunities. Students can post résumés, search for internship openings offered by registered employers, access job and interviewing tips, and more.

It may sound strange, but viewing internships as ice cream flavors led me to a job I love. Check out Indiana INTERNnet. It just might help you sink your teeth into a new career.