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I earned $5.75 an hour, but I got richer in experience.

Last May, I graduated from college, and by June, I'd become familiar with the most unwelcome phrase a grad can hear: "No, we can't hire you ... but you can apply for an internship here."

I never imagined that this would happen to me. Diploma in hand, I thought I was leaving my internship days behind and entering the real world of "competitive" salaries and paid vacation days. I sent out 50 letters to media companies, looking for work. Two months and 50 rejections later, my self-esteem was at an all-time low. When I finally called an advertising agency and heard the internship refrain yet again, I realized there were two choices: I could continue my job search, which could last indefinitely, or I could intern and gain experience. I made my decision right then on the phone. Swallowing my pride, I said I'd be happy to be interviewed for the internship. In August, I was offered the job, and started work for $5.75 an hour.

At first, it was extremely frustrating to think that I'd gone through four years of college in order to open mail and serve sandwiches. I wondered, would I still be stuffing envelopes at 25? Or 28? After a while, though, I was included in brainstorming sessions, attended computer seminars and gained access to a media library with dozens of publications that I'd never known existed. I had the chance to get a sneak preview of a career without any of the obligations - I could leave whenever I wanted.

By proving that I could juggle both the gofer work and more important assignments - like doing research for accounts and helping to organize press conferences - I earned the respect of my employers, which definitely made up for my measly paycheck. Fortunately, I had some savings to fill in the gaps in my finances. I also worked on the weekends as a youth adviser and Sunday-school substitute teacher to earn extra cash.

The payoff came in January, when a permanent position as an assistant account executive opened up: They offered me the spot. The hundreds of résumés arriving each week reminded me that my chances would have been nil if I hadn't been a part of the agency and proven my ability.

Truthfully, I still don't know if I've found my lifelong career, but thanks to the internship, I'm a lot closer to knowing what I want than I was last summer. To those grads who are trying to find themselves in the gloom of Job Search '94: Mingle with the suits during the day, and flip some burgers at night. No matter which career path you take, you'll be glad you did.

By Adina Kalisb

Task 4. Guess words or word combinations from the text by their definitions:

  1. noun a job that lasts for a short time, that someone, especially a student, does in order to gain experience;
  2. noun (AmE; informal) someone who has completed a course at a college, school etc;
  3. verb to employ someone for a short time to do a particular job;
  4. verb to make a formal request, usually written, for something such as a job, a place in a university, or permission to do something;
  5. noun payment for your work which is high enough to be compared with the payments of others;
  6. noun the act of not accepting someone for a job;
  7. verb to be much lower or worse than ever before;
  8. adv for a period of time for which no definite end has been arranged;
  9. verb to ask questions in order to find out whether a person is suitable for a job;
  10. adj making you feel annoyed, upset, or impatient because you cannot do what you want to do;
  11. verb to push or put something into a small space, especially in a quick careless way;
  12. noun a meeting when a group of people try to develop ideas and think of ways of solving problems;
  13. adj not expected or seen by people;
  14. verb to try to fit two or more jobs, activities etc into your life, especially with difficulty;
  15. noun boring work like delivering messages;
  16. verb to make a bad situation better, or replace something that has been lost;
  17. adj very small and disappointing in size, quantity, or value - used to show disapproval;
  18. noun an advantage or profit that you get as a result of doing something;
  19. noun nothing, zero;
  20. noun a feeling of great sadness and lack of hope;
  21. verb talk to lots of different people.


Task 5. Use the examples from the text "My life as an intern" to illustrate the ideas from 5 previous texts. Do it in your copybook and be ready to present it.



Getting Started | CAREER AND PERSONALITY | Matching Personality to Career | Become broadly literate. | Be willing to change and adapt. | REVISION | LOOKING FOR A JOB | Unsocial hours; late shift; take a break; set up a business; bed and breakfast | JOB-HUNTING | JOB SEARCH METHODS |

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