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Thread: When to intern?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    When to intern?

    I know that internships and making connections are key in the tough field of planning. I know a few planners and have talked with them about what they do and am interested in eventually working as a planner for a local municipality. I was wondering when is the appropriate time to get an internship. I just graduated from high school and will be entering college next year. I am already very interested in planning and know a lot about it, aside from a lot of technical jargon and village codes and such. Do you think I should inquire about getting an internship now? Or when I start college? Or when I'm in my senior year of college?

    Any response would be appreciated. Thanks.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  2. #2
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    If you are absolutely certain that planning is the career you want to pursue thn the answer to your questions is to start interning now. Granted, you may spend the summer making copies and running for coffee, for no compensation, but there is no time like the present to start making those connections and to discover what planning in the “real world” is like. In fact, I wished I had done internships a little earlier in my career.
    Last edited by biscuit; 02 Jun 2005 at 10:31 PM.

  3. #3

    Ditto

    Quote Originally posted by biscuit
    If you are absolutely certain that planning is the career you want to pursue than the answer to your questions start interning now. Granted, you may spend the summer making copies and running for coffee, for no compensation, but there is no time like the present to start making those connections and to discover what planning in the “real world” is like. In fact, I wished I had done internships a little earlier in my career.
    I totally concur. You may take a pay cut from many jobs and make like 7 or 8 bux an hr. But in the end it will pay huge dividends with that valuable experience. I am speaking from personal experience in the engineering field. It's just part of doing your time......
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Dashboard's avatar
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    Start doing internships immediately. Solid internship experience is key in landing that first job upon graduating. Not only that but they hook you up with contacts.

    Start building that resume ASAP!!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Thanks everyone

    Thanks in some respect to your help and support, I am very close to securing a summer internship. It doesn't pay, but I don't care. I am definitely in it for the experience and because I just can't wait to be in the village hall, seeing what goes on all day, all the development proposals, the meetings, the telephone calls, the GIS, the zoning, the annexations, etc. As for the part-time job that actually pays...I am still yet to find it. But for right now, I'll go with this. I can pay my college loans back later, right?

    I don't know when I start though...things still have to be approved with the Community Development Director. But I'm crossing my fingers and can't wait to see what happens.

    Thanks again.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  6. #6
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    Thanks in some respect to your help and support, I am very close to securing a summer internship. It doesn't pay, but I don't care.
    .
    I took my first internship at no pay. That led to a full time planner job. The more experience you have the better - one summer of interning might be enough to lead to an extra help or consulting job while you are still in college. Better than delivering Pizza.

  7. #7

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    Early and often. I am looking at entry level applications right now and the principal distinguishing factor is the number and quality of internships, including volunteer, that people have done.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Lee Nellis
    Early and often. I am looking at entry level applications right now and the principal distinguishing factor is the number and quality of internships, including volunteer, that people have done.
    As usual, Lee says it best! If you really want to be a planner, intern now. And since it's early enough in your college career, if it turns out that planning isn't your cup of tea... then at least you could switch to some other major while it's pretty simple. I look a lot at internships and overall initiative to learn when reviewing resumes.

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