The other night I watched More than a Game, a documentary about LeBron James and his legendary St. Vincent-St. Mary high school team. The documentary depicts the team’s growth in knowledge, experience and teamwork, both on and off the court. And as I watched the movie, it occurred to me that LeBron’s high school basketball experience was really the internship for his professional career.
This is what an internship is meant to achieve–growth in knowledge, experience and collaboration.
Watching the documentary, it was clear from early on that a professional basketball player, without a doubt, was what LeBron was destined to become. Unfortunately, unlike LeBron, many of us don’t have that singular talent, passion and calling at such a young age. I’m a college career counselor working with students as they start thinking about the imminent job search, and the most frequent refrain I hear is: “I don’t know what I want to be. How do I choose?” This is actually a great question, though, and one that all of you should ask yourself.
Many students sit back and take a hit or miss approach to defining their career. This can be a costly process as you jump from one area of possible interest to another (switching majors and jobs along the way!). A better approach is to define areas of possible long-term career interest and pursue internships and job opportunities that match your preferences–likely spelling success for your career pursuits.
A great way to start the process is to take the Internship Predictor on internships.com. The results should provide you with a starting point for exploring your options. And don’t forget–enjoy the journey. It’s a luxury to have the time and opportunity to make good decisions about your chosen career.
When you have a moment, let me know how your search is progressing!