Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Confessions of a jobbridge intern

So last year I finished college and off I went off into the world looking for work. I applied for job after job after job. In the rare cases where the company bothered to give me feedback, I was told that I was lacking experience (the viscious cycle of working to get experience and need experience to get work). After a few months on the dole, I decided to start looking at Jobbridge - the much critized National Internship programme.

Why you might ask? Well for one I needed the experience and I wasn't going to get it while I was on the dole. Secondly I was bored sitting at home doing the odd bit of freelance work and emailing off CVs. An internship would get me out of the house, build up my experience and give me a small bit more money in my back pocket. And if something better came along in  the meantime, I could easily take up that offer.

I've finished my internship with Avvio at the end of last month and I must say it was a very positive experience. I got to work on some interesting projects that helped me develop my skills (both development and design wise), I got back in a daily routine and I got to work with some amazing people who accepted me as part of the team. They didn't look down on me for "just being an intern". At the same time, they gave me the guidance I needed to improve myself, I got to sit with coworkers in other departments to get a broader view of how the company works. They respected the fact that I didn't get paid that much (e.g. I wasn't expected to pay for things like Sports & Social nights-out) and I was given a bit flexibility in regards my work hours.

At the end of my nine months, I was offered a contract which I accepted. Before the offer I was asked if I would be disappointed if I wasn't kept on. I replied that while I would miss my coworkers, I had gained a lot from the placement and that I was in a better position to find work than I was back in January so I could be happy about that.

I'll admit, the scheme isn't perfect. In fact there are a lot of problems that need to be fixed but from my point of view it worked. I got the experience and a lot of the knowledge that was holding me back from getting work. I can now apply for jobs and feel a lot more confident about my application. 

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