May 5, 2012
Author: Emilija Georgievska
If you look up the word “intern” in the dictionary, you will be given the following explanation:
“A student or trainee who works, sometimes without pay, in order to gain work experience or satisfy requirements for a qualification.”
Although I am quite sure that all of you are familiar with this term, I feel obliged to define it and give it an appropriate introduction. The first association with the word (if you are a fan of “Grey’s Anatomy”) is the assistant physician or surgeon in a hospital, at least in an American context. The more broad usage of it refers to any kind of pre-work experience, usually connected to the particular field of study of the student, which takes place during the ongoing university attendance. In the past, doing an internship was seen as something optional, an experience that would have a positive influence on a person’s professional prosperity and probably something that not many people were able to gain access to. Nowadays, on the contrary, the experience of being an intern has become even obligatory (for those universities using the Bologna System). Nonetheless, this valuable experience also paves the path to finding a proper job that will certainly lead students to at least two internships. Students undertake the role of an intern not because they are confused or they do not know what to work in the future, but because the companies themselves require their new employees to have gone through the process of gaining the work ethics during their course of studies.
With the ‘constant instability’ of the global economy and millions people being left jobless, alternative solutions to the problem must be found. That is why internships have become so popular and omnipresent – they represent a chance to enter the professional world and to hopefully stay there. Being a pressing issue, countless discussions on the topic of youth unemployment are held. Almost a month ago, this issue was brought up on the EU Summit in Brussels, where EU leaders discussed a plan to guarantee all young people either the work, training or further education within four months of leaving school. What came out of that we still do not know, but at least we know that there are plans to improve the current situation.