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Internship Question (considering quitting)

  1. Mar 30, 2012 #1
    Right now I'm at an internship for a startup company. (I'm a chemical engineering major) I've been there for 6 months. Overall it's been great experience for me but lately since I am part time I'm being assigned to more and more mundane tasks. Things a secretary could do. They assign the real stuff now to the actual full time engineers. Of course this makes sense, because some of these projects require someone there 40 hours a week.

    They also pay peanuts and there are no benefits of any kind.

    I've got six months of pretty good experience with the startup, surely that counts for something right? How much internship experience is ideal?

    Right now I'm considering going back to my old job at the hospital I worked for years at. (Someone else is leaving and I know they would take me back in a heartbeat). Despite having little to do with my major (I worked in a hospital lab) they treated me very well. I got paid decent, medical/dental, and tuition reimbursement all for just a part time job. On some nights I got paid to basically do homework too.

    I like a lot of the stuff I was involved with as an intern, but it is scary as hell not having medical insurance and right now I feel like I just need to take care of myself more.

    Is this a bad idea?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 30, 2012 #2
    For a little background, I am not a full time student. I am not a traditional student either. (I'm 26 and have about 2 or 3 years left before I finish my undergrad.) So money/time is a bit more of an issue for me since bills don't pay themselves. I also don't want to just quit and take out loans. That would be too much since I would have to factor in housing as well.
  4. Mar 30, 2012 #3
    So you have experience as a secretary, I don't know if thats ''good experience''
  5. Mar 30, 2012 #4
    As I mentioned in the post, that's only recently as the company has grown very quickly. I've been involved with experiments, data collection and analysis, failure analysis, and some small research projects.
  6. Mar 30, 2012 #5
    Some technical writing too.
  7. Apr 2, 2012 #6
    From Wiki ---- "Internship is a system of on-the-job training for white-collar and professional careers. Internships for professional careers are similar to apprenticeships for trade and vocational jobs. Although interns are typically college or university students, they can also be high school students or post-graduate adults. Rarely, they can even be middle school or in some cases elementary students.

    Generally, the internship works as an exchange of services for experience between the student and his or her employer. Students exchange their cheap or free labor to gain experience in a particular field. They can also use an internship to determine if they have an interest in a particular career, create a network of contacts, or gain school credit. Some interns also find permanent, paid employment with the companies in which they interned. Thus, employers also benefit as experienced interns need little or no training when they begin full-time regular employment."

    It sounds like what you got. An internship isn't a job. If you work out well, perhaps a job offer will follow graduation. At this point, you should ask yourself some questions: Do I like this company? Do I like this profession? Would like like to work here after graduation? Am I still learning anything? IMO, do not base your decision on pay and benefits as an intern, and base it on whether the internship is still satisfying the goals of an internship. If it isn't, move on. There are other companies that have training slots.
  8. Apr 2, 2012 #7
    This doesn't seem to be a luxury that he has at the moment, now does it? In an ideal world, he would work as an intern at this ChemE company (or some other one) and someone else (unfortuatley if he is like most people this "someone else" is the bank) would pay bills. However, he has wisely chosen to avoid debt and so now he needs a way to pay the bills.

    You said you worked nights. Is there any way that you could work nights in the summer and do an internship in the summer as well?
  9. Apr 2, 2012 #8
    Which decision will get you where you want to go when you graduate and have a degree in hand?

    Also, does your university have student health plans? If not, you could try buying one from a local HMO if you are in the US. They usually aren't too expensive if your deductible is high and that would give you a safety net just in case...
  10. Apr 2, 2012 #9
    Could you supplement with loans? Don't quit, but use them to cover some of the basics you need like insurance?
  11. Apr 3, 2012 #10
    To be honest that would mean me moving back in with my mom which I really would rather not do.
  12. Apr 3, 2012 #11
    Actually I acknowledge the fact I'll probably need them at some point but I don't want to completely rely on them. I still have a good ways to go and I'll get another internship at some point.
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