Minority Women Internships

It is more and more common to see a company, organization or government agency that has an internship program that is specifically for women and minority students. Companies such as IBM, Nationwide Insurance, NASCAR, and even Google were amongst the first to do so. Such minority internships were created for two reasons: To help a company diversify their staff, and to offset the effects of years and years of racial and gender discrimination.

Specifically, such programs are for African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and women of all races. Many question whether or not women need such programs, but they forget that women (including white women) have also been victims of a system that did not allow them advance to leadership positions. Therefore, they too are a minority group because they also are underrepresented in corporate America.

When accepted into such an internship program, a student should view it as a prime opportunity to work for a company that 30 years ago may not have hired them. Here are four tips on how to make the most of a minority internship:

1) Understand what an internship can lead to. Starting off as an intern can lead to you being hired full-time, and getting promoted. It's not uncommon to hear about a CEO of a company who started out as an intern. Even better, there now are more women and minority executives in Corporate America than ever before. That could be you!

2) Understand that you still have to work hard. While many companies have programs that are designed to assist women and minorities, it doesn't mean that gender and racial discrimination don't exist any more. Continue to work hard, so that no one will ever have a legitimate reason to keep you from moving up the ladder.

3) Remember that diversity works. You were brought in to the program to help diversify the company's staff. This means that they realize that diversity adds a valuable component to the workplace. So be yourself, and never feel like you have to change your culture or viewpoints.

4) Keep diversity alive. If you start off as an intern, but are promoted to a position whereas you can make major decisions - remember to take action. Never allow your company to forget the power of diversity. It's been proven time and again that a company's implementation of diversity marketing, diversity recruiting, and supplier diversity can and does create more revenue to their bottom line.

Although minority internship programs are not new, more and more companies are noticing why it is very necessary. Students who occupy the positions in those programs should be responsible and professional, so that those programs will always exist for future generations.

About the Author

Dante Lee - FindInternships.com (www.findinternships.com) is a free online datable of internships and student jobs.