is the squandering of learning opportunities the new in-thing?

What does an internship mean to you?

I used to love internships that allowed me to learn, experiment and run a project with autonomy. Best thing of all was the short-term commitments – which meant that I wasn’t afraid to work long hours because there was a visible end to all of it. If you had really hated the internship, at least you figured that out before starting on your full time role!

But something has changed in the air; or has always been prevalent without my knowledge. The younger generation I know of today has unfathomable expectations of an internship arrangement. They except and embrace the concept of being the photocopying girl, errand boy and the likes of such. Any form of responsibilities would be shun; any project assignments would be “too much work”. All based on a universal excuse of “I am only an intern!”

It shocks me to realise that this mentality is still prevalent despite increasing competitiveness. I recalled how I’d met wonderful internship bosses who had kindly shared tips and tricks of their industry. At times, the advice were applicable as life-skills – how to create a tracking system, how to organize your files for better processes, how to handle difficult clients etc – every possible piece of useful information that my mind could store, I’d brought along with me across various jobs and situations.

As I was reading “Three pieces of career advice that changed my life” today, the third advice got me thinking about the above situation. What struck me was this question that we should ask ourselves tirelessly: Do you want to push paper or build products that can make a change?

And to everyone, happy 12-Dec-2012-12am! 🙂

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3 thoughts on “is the squandering of learning opportunities the new in-thing?

  1. Wow, did you write this at 12/12/12 at 12 am? Pretty cool. I’m not sure why people have become so entitled and lazy. Do you think this same thing was being said about the younger generation 30, 50, 70 years ago?

    • Haha maybe I didn’t think about it from that perspective! I guess someone in the previous generations must have wondered why we were behaving like sloths, always sitting in front of a 13″ screen and typing frantically rather than setting up a business or something 🙂

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