For college students and people who are looking to join a new career path, it can be very difficult to get a respectable, well-paying position right out of the gate. Instead, many people find it useful to apply for internships in their chosen field so that they can combine learning about their new career with gaining practical work experience. If you think an internship is something you might be interested in, this article should provide you with some basic knowledge on the subject.

If you're going to apply for an internship, you should be under no illusions about how much responsibility you're likely to have in your job. It is most likely that you will have none. Interns, as the lowest rung on the office totem pole, will spend most of their time assisting their supervisor by doing menial tasks like answering the phone, picking up the dry cleaning, and making coffee. However there should also be opportunities to learn.

As an intern, you'll likely be passed off from one department to the next or from one employee to the next in order to learn the most about your chosen job field. If you intern at an office in Toronto, bookkeeping, marketing, sales, human resources, and reception work may all be on the menu. In addition to learning and helping the regular employees out with their work, you will also likely be given opportunities to complete tasks or contribute to projects independently as a test or learning experience.

Some companies don't have formal 'internships', per se, but provide a lot of on-the-job experience for assistants who assist their manager on the job. A perfect example is with the home inspection business. Bill Bunker of HouseMaster Home Inspections in Boca Raton FL has done thousands of home inspections and has seen just about every situation imaginable with the various houses he's inspected. You can't get this sort of experience from a course -- it has to be on-the-job.

John Orchard of Orchard Electric near Ilderton Ontario is often looking for assistants who want to get immersed in the electrical contractor business.

MoraisTech Solutions Inc. puts a lot of time into constructing Revit tutorials and instructing interns, so often their ultimate goal is to have a competent employee that they can hire on for good after the internship is over. This is the main benefit to taking an internship for most people - it gives them a foot in the door with the company they want to work for.

Although you'll be working as hard or harder than the other employees and attending all the same team building seminars, as an intern your pay level will be well below theirs. In fact, in some highly sought-after industries (such as film or publishing), companies see taking you on as an intern as doing you a favour, so you might not even be paid for your work at all.

Internships are sometimes advertised on job websites or the company site, but your best bet for finding an internship is to apply through a university co-op program or to apply directly to the company you would like to intern for.

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