Getting My First Internship as a Community College Student

Back when I was in community college, I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in the Human Resources field. The idea of being in the business world and working with people, recruiting them, and trying to find solutions to their problems sounded really interesting. My major was undecided, but I was pretty sure I was going to major in HR once I transferred to a four-year college. I always felt that I needed to be ahead of my classmates and other students who are planning to become an HR person. Hence, I began thinking about finding an internship. 

After having conversations with myself, I decided to get an internship. I went on, which I became very familiar with after completing 3 HR internships and using the platform on a day to day basis, and searched HR internships in NYC. Since I had no experience, I knew it would’ve been hard to find a paid internship. I still applied for them, but the majority of them were unpaid. One day, I received an email from a startup tech company based in Downtown, Manhattan. I was excited because this was going to be my first internship at a tech company (a small one though). We set up an interview date and time. 

The interview day, I wasn’t nervous but felt the excitement once I arrived at the office location. The interview was way more relaxed than I expected. Since it was a small startup, the CEO of the company, a young and ambitious woman, interviewed me. It went well, and after some paperwork, I started as the only HR person at the company next week. I was responsible for posting jobs, setting up interviews, evaluating employees’ performances, etc. I interned there for roughly three months, and I was still a full time student along with the part time internship. Even though I wasn’t getting paid, I enjoyed working there. Since it was a tech company, my colleagues were mostly software engineers and designers. Now I wish I learned more from them about web development and design. Overall, I was satisfied with my experience, and I built a good relationship with my manager who was also the CEO. 

I do not regret getting an unpaid internship back when I was in community college. Even though I no longer major in human resources, I believe like it was a useful experience. I had a chance to work with other professionals in an office environment, and I had experience interviewing candidates, which I enjoyed a lot. When my fellow friends/students ask for my advice, I kindly tell them that it’s never too early to start. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll find out what you want to do with your career. 

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