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Meet the Intern—and Re-make the Internship (Idea #2*)

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Feb 22, 2012

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/2581218229/sizes/m/in/photostream/

The Adult Intern.

When people shift careers, whether by choice or necessity, they often want a test-drive. This has been true for decades. Yet, we retain the notion that internships are for the young. This idea is outdated.

It's 2012.

People change jobs and entire careers more often and we need better on-ramps.

(Would you enroll in a training program to prepare you for a new industry if you'd never worked in that industry before?)

The depth and duration of the current recession has brought more coverage of the issue in the mainstream media, though even well-respected reporters seem to have a hard time with the idea that adults can be interns.

Let's change this. Let's redefine, rebrand or come up with an entirely new way of thinking about internships for adults (career-tern-ships? trial-secondments?).  And then let's create some great ones...

* This is part of a series of entirely subjective posts intended to inspire greatness among applicants to the Workforce Innovation Fund. The opinions and perspectives expressed here are not those of Social Policy Research, the US Department of Labor (USDOL) or anyone other than the author. Please steal the ideas you find most promising.