Thursday, November 03, 2005

Just A Question

Is it okay to claim student internships as "professional experience"? More specifically, is it okay to ignore the word "intern" and say that you "once worked for" or "once worked as" or some other categorization. I wonder how real professionals who have worked hard at their careers and to attain their employment feel about an intern publicly laying claim to something others have worked years for. Something about that doesn't sound very correct.


Blogger Shawn said...

I am sure this question is purely hypothetical, eh ethan?

Actually, the employers I've worked for have considered internships as "professional experience." Getting a job right out of college often requires some professional experience and most people obtain it that way.

11/03/2005 03:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, but if you intern at a law firm filing papers, and then suddenly say that you have had 'professional experience'. Should you be allowed to practice law as a lawyer?


11/03/2005 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger Reach Upward said...

I suppose that the perception is that the word intern denotes something less than professional, and that there is a desire to avoid that perception when applying for a job. It's OK to aptly describe what one did while interning, but I believe that in the interest of integrity I would keep the word intact. It's possible that an HR person or interviewer might discount the value of such experience (although, that has not been my experience), but no job is worth diminishing the integrity of the applicant.

11/03/2005 04:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my experience applying for federal employment governmental internships are required to be listed as professional work experience when applying for jobs with security clearances. So, if it is good enough for the FBI or e-QIP background check then it must be acceptable on a resume.

11/03/2005 04:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It all comes out in the interview. Regardless of what you call it (your student work experience) any decent manager is going to ask you about it and will find out or realize it was an internship. You could say you were a Staff Assistant for a semester - its the same thing really. It just comes down to how salient the experience was to the position you are applying for and the needs of the organization.

11/03/2005 04:43:00 PM  
Anonymous OZZY FAN said...

Always be upfront and honest about what type of position it was. Intern is a good word, generally I look at interns as people who are dedicated and want to succeed.

To hide that experience was from an internship would be a negative.

11/03/2005 05:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the internship has some relevance to a person's profession or course of study, it seems valid to claim it as professional experience, as long as it's identified as an internship.

I was a summer intern at a software company while I was in school. The selection process was fairly competetive and the company is well-known in my field. That line on my resume probably has probably drawn more comments at job interviews than any other.

11/03/2005 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Sofi said...

Independent of whether an internship is equivalent to 'professional experience,' highlighting two of said internships on campaign literature really only highlights Janneke House's lack of experience.

There. Didn't that feel good to finally name her?

11/03/2005 06:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interns often work without getting paid... and often do the work most people in this area won't ever experience... not only is is right... but critical for a resume. Some interns get experience some polititions will never have... like Eric Jergensen.

11/03/2005 07:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AS I understand it, one of Janneke's "student internships" turned into her role as interim director of the ZAP program. I have heard of internships turning into entry level jobs but never straight to the directorship of a program.

I have also heard county councilman Jim Bradley refer to Janneke as the one who "saved" the ZAP program.

If these were my experiences in an internship I would definitely be listing them as professional experience.

11/04/2005 10:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Gary said...

If the work you do as an intern is related to the work you're applying to do now, then it certainly is professional experience. That doesn't mean, though, that you should try to cover up the fact that it was an internship. Rather, be clear about the fact that it was an internship, and also be clear about what the actual work was and what contributions you made while doing the job.

11/04/2005 12:42:00 PM  

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