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Advice, Students' Voice, Top Stories October 16, 2012

Are you going to intern somewhere this summer? Or are you planning to do that after your graduation? Never done it in your life? Are you willing to improve your “internship hunting capabilities”?

If so, you are just looking at the right column!

For two months I will be telling you everything about the internship, both in terms of technicalities, like the CV and the cover letter, and of attitudes, like energy and autonomy.

In a midsummer’s time: a midsummer’s internship guide. Last – but not least – focal point is: X-ray your aptitudes!


X for X-ray your aptitudes

There’s a place in which everybody spends almost half of his/her life. Even the globetrotters. Can you guess it?

Well: it is the workplace. For this reason, it is vital picking the right job to pursue – at least – professional achievement. One secure way to do that is: choosing a job consistent with your aptitudes. Essentially, aptitudes depend on personality. Work-related aptitudes define people’s behaviour at work. Basically, there are two models to classify them:

  • The Dynamic one: it evaluates which phase/phases of the decisional process (perception, thought, decision) is/are prevailing in the you;
  • The Static one: it observes the areas of excellence in individual’s aptitudes on the basis of the classification of brain areas performed by the neuroscience: cortical system (linear vs. metaphoric thought); limbic system (linked to pleasure, sadness, emotions management); cerebellum (core of moderation and elegance); encephalic trunk (accumulates and releases energy previously gained thanks to different stimuli).

Warning: don’t try to do that by your own: needless to say, you’re going to be not objective, biasing your self-evaluation of your aptitudes. Instead: do personality tests (like MBTI) and ask psychologists to do that for you.


Y for Yearning of Collaboration

You’re doing an internship you like very much and you’d really like to be hired later. How to achieve that?

Showing your commitment and your willingness to work for them are the milestones to win this challenge. Rules of the game:

  1. Work hard;
  2. Make proposals and being helpful with your boss and your colleagues;
  3. Act coherently with the Company Culture;
  4. Be well-mannered: ultimately, honey is the best device to catch flies, isn’t it?

Follow these rules and… break a leg!


Z for Zero Arrogance

It’s the most important thing to bear in mind in every moment of your internship: before, during and after. Why?

Because having attained high school diploma, bachelor, master degree or even a Ph.D. doesn’t make you an expert at work. I don’t mean you “student work” is useless. Instead: in the career world, you’re going to do something different, that statisticsly speaking, you haven’t experienced
yet. As a consequence, you should:

  • Try to learn by doing yourself and by looking carefully what the others do, taking the most skilled as an exemplum for you (see Sense of Responsibility in the previous issues);
  • Absolutely avoid arrogance! Replace it with modesty and enthusiasm towards learning.

Eventually, as the famous Italian playwright Eduardo De Filippo explained us last century: “Exams never end”. Working life is a good example of that, apart from life in general.

PS: there’s a last item to make the most of your internship: Luckiness. Unfortunately, it bites your internship in an unpredictable way. Thus, it is useless providing tips concerning Luckiness, since you can’t manage it. But be careful: if this moody lady knocks at your door with a good opportunity during your internship, don’t let her go so easily: just catch her as soon as you can!

At this point, this column is over. But your career is starting. Hoping my tips might be helpful, I wish you all the best for your internship!


By Valentina Magri, MA student in Management at Bocconi University

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