The word “intern” brings to mind the idea of young whippersnappers in the infantile stages of their career learning about their desired field by working for little to nothing. However, a recent Reuters article explores a new trend in interning that may find college kids trembling in their new work shoes: older adults taking internships in between jobs in order to stay competitive in today’s challenging job market.

Reporter Alexandra Alper spoke with 55-year-old Elizabeth Romanaux, who is described as “brave” for taking on a gig as a PR intern for a firm in New Jersey after losing a managerial job two years ago. “You have to suck it up sometimes and do what a 17-year-old would happily do and be happy about it,” she said in regards to the time she spent interning this spring. While data on the ages of interns is scarce,  Alper cites a number of career counselors, recruiters and graduate school advisers, along with employment stats that point to the likely continuation of this trend.

Employers don’t want to hear that you’ve been off work for over a year and haven’t gone back to school or found part-time employment in your field. Internships prove the opportunity to get hands on training without paying expensive tuition fees; the National Association of Colleges and Employers, an employment research group, also states that six in ten internships lead to employment. The increased number of mid-career employees taking intern positions can be trouble for recent graduates in need of entry level positions.




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  • sunshyne84

    Nothing wrong with that. Sometimes people just realize the job they’ve been doing for years just isn’t fulfilling and want to do what they were meant to do and interning is a great way to get into a new career field.

  • BluTopaz

    I had to get laid off in 2008 for me to finally start interning in the field I studied for. And yeah, having an intern orientation with a group of 20 somethings is humbling–but I’ve done a few since the depression started and made great contacts in my new field. I recommend it to anyone, and your point about employers wanting to know you have kept busy is spot on.

  • They’re lucky to get selected. It’s really difficult to get paid internships after you’ve graduated because there definitely aren’t a lot available unless you’re still in school or willing to work for absolutely nothing. I’ve been turned down for numerous internships just because I graduated just last May or I wasn’t eligible for them, except some unpaid ones of course. SMH

  • African Mami

    Imma keeps it real real! I hate it when EMPLOYERS have the nerve NOT TO be understanding when your resume has gaps of employment. Especially at a time like this. Yes, we are told to suck it up, be optimistic and go volunteer at some shelter or some shitty place but let’s keep it real real. When you have a family to support, and friggin bills to pay, VOLUNTEERING does not make sense….maybe I’m crazy, but if there is something I avoid like the plague is doing something WITHOUT getting paid! Hell nah! I REFUSE to do that, with a capital R! If that makes me uncompetitive so be it! Urrrgh.