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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    331

    Default Need career advice (HR)

    I’m hoping that the COTH members, with their collective professional wisdom, can help me make a good career choice.


    Here’s some background info on me: I graduated from my undergrad in 2008 with a degree in media communications and advertising. I then did seasonal job thing for a few years; worked as a wrangler during the summer and at the ski resorts during the winter. Basically doing absolutely nothing to further my career. I decided to go back to school and am in my second semester of getting my Master’s in Literature. I’m 24 years old.

    I was planning on working at the ranch again this summer (my forth season there!); I have my contract signed and everything. Just yesterday, however, I stumbled across a job posting for an internship position at Horse & Rider Magazine. It seems like a great internship that would combine my personal and professional interests: writing, marketing, AND horses? Yes please.

    BUT it isn’t paid. I rely on the money I make over the summer (about $10,000) to keep me and my horse afloat for the rest of the year. I also get free board for my beastie during the summer months, which is really nice. I have enough money saved up to not have to work for the summer, but it will basically deplete my bank account.

    Aside from the money thing, here are some of my considerations:

    1) Is it a huge professional no-no to go back on my contract with the ranch? They are like family to me, and I’d like to think they’d be happy for me if I got the internship, but I can’t say for sure. I’ve worked there for three years and would hate to lose that reference. Besides, I wouldn’t want to disappoint them.
    2) I LOVE the ranch. LOVE working as a wrangler. This is probably the last summer I’d be able to do this, and I don’t know if I want to give up a summer of pack trips and mountains for office work.
    3) And I know this is a silly consideration, but it’s still a factor: I’ve had an on and off again thing with a boy who lives near the ranch. It’s been inconsistent since we’re both in school and haven’t had the luxury of pursing anything. He’ll be out of school this May though. I don’t know where this is going, but I feel like this summer would be The Summer to Decide.

    Do I spend the summer living it up in the mountains for one last I'm-young-and-can-still-do-this-because-I-don't-have-responsibilities-yet hurrah and make some money now but will never lead to a real person job later OR do I take the internship that amazingly combines my personal and professional interests and will potentially lead to a job with the only real equestrian media conglomerate?

    Any thoughts or advice? I haven’t applied to the internship so it’s quite possible I won’t even get it. I just feel that if I apply, and they do offer the position to me, I should say yes. It might look bad if I try to get a job or internship there later on and my files say I rejected an offer from them before.

    Thanks for weighing in and sorry for the lengthy post!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,844

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sirbeastmom View Post
    Do I spend the summer living it up in the mountains for one last I'm-young-and-can-still-do-this-because-I-don't-have-responsibilities-yet hurrah and make some money now but will never lead to a real person job later
    This. Hands down. There will be a lot of people who will tell you it is time to grow up and that you need to make the 'responsible' choice to tie yourself down with the ball and chain. Don't listen to them. There is plenty of time for you to get a 'real' job later.

    You are in school, working on a Masters and this position allows you to make money to support yourself through school. I'm guessing Horse and Hound will be around for a long time. So, while you are enjoying yourself, maybe figure out how to make a contact & H&H so when you are ready, you have a path to follow into that organization.

    And ENJOY your summer.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2010
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    2,561

    Default

    I agree.....there will always be job openings somewhere in the horse magazine world. Your summers of experience might even be a good thing when you do go for one of those jobs. Your summer job pays to keep you and horse alive for the year while you further your education (and that will make you more attractive as a potential PAID employee in the future).
    Colored Cowhorse Ranch
    www.coloredcowhorseranch.com
    Northern NV



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 1999
    Location
    Cypress, near Houston, Texas
    Posts
    8,679

    Default

    Ditto.
    Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2010
    Location
    Horse Heaven
    Posts
    2,306

    Default

    A few thoughts...

    You don't have any internship or other related job in hand. There are also many paid positions. It usually takes time and many applications to actually secure a position. If you are really going to PAY to intern, find the best possible position.

    You do have a job that pays some nice money (esp. compared to a volunteer position). There are many "do overs" in life. This might not be one of them.

    If the job is really like a family, they should understand that you have to make the best career decisions for yourself. But timing is key...do they have enough time to fill your position with someone as qualified? And on the flip side in family-like positions, how you show integrity and honor for the position they offer you is also very important. If it's a illness or family emergency, making changes is more understandable.

    My 2 cents:
    Spend another magical summer. I was lucky and got to work as a river guide in the Grand Canyon out of high school. Putting off college was the best choice. Enjoy the amazing position you do have. Once you decide to start in a career, fully focus on it. It often takes lots of energy, research and luck to land a position -- paid or not!

    Good luck!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2005
    Posts
    99

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sirbeastmom View Post
    2) I LOVE the ranch. LOVE working as a wrangler. This is probably the last summer I’d be able to do this, and I don’t know if I want to give up a summer of pack trips and mountains for office work.
    I always tell our interns that they should follow their heart until they're 30. There's plenty of time after that to get slogged down in a real job with a real mortgage and a real car payment.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,844

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LJStarkey View Post
    I always tell our interns that they should follow their heart until they're 30. There's plenty of time after that to get slogged down in a real job with a real mortgage and a real car payment.
    Yes. 30 is perfect. There is nothing stopping someone before then from starting to put a little money in a Roth IRA to get the ball rolling on that. Even a very small amount benefits you because you started young. But everything else can wait.

    Unless you meet Mr (or Ms) Right. Then all bets are off.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2009
    Location
    a little north of Columbus GA
    Posts
    1,916

    Default

    Go spend the summer on the ranch. It doesn't have to be one or the other -- see if you can combine it with your other interests/career goals.

    Will you have any free time there? If so... spend some time writing about your experiences -- especially if you think this might be your last summer there.

    Does the ranch need any help with marketing? That's probably where I'd put my volunteer hours, rather than giving up a nice summer paycheck.

    There will be other internships and entry level positions. Do what you love.
    --
    Wendy
    ... and Patrick



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2003
    Location
    IN
    Posts
    4,240

    Default can you?

    Can you do an internship during the academic year?
    Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
    Posts
    4,680

    Default

    I say go to the ranch. An unpaid summer internship does not impress me as being particularly important to your career. In some industries, unpaid internships are often not very exciting. One of my daughters ended up moving furniture for the office when she did an unpaid internship with a biomedical research group.

    What are you doing during the school year to make your credentials impressive? A masters degree is nice, but I suspect you should be doing something during the school year to make yourself more marketable. Are you involved in any projects for a local paper? Are you getting a teaching certificate so you can teach high school literature while you are figuring out a career? Talk with someone who is in the business to figure out a good strategy to make yourself marketable. Maybe you could write a weekly column for a local newspaper or a travel publication while you are working at the ranch.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2009
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    944

    Default

    I agree with everyone else. Finsih what you have started (its a good thing to DO in life), go to the ranch. Let them know this will be your last year, leave on good terms. Finish your Masters, then take an internship. There will be MORE avaliable for you. These are GOOD HABITS to learn NOW and keep throughout your life. The internship at Horse and Rider sounds great but staying "on course" is better



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Posts
    148

    Post

    Coming from a writer - go to the ranch for the summer. You need experience in life to be a good writer



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2000
    Location
    Proud owner of one Lunar acre! (Campanus Crater, The Moon)
    Posts
    15,782

    Default

    Why is 30 the magic number? Why ever bother to grow up? Why not be Peter Pan? Who are you harming--as long as you dont' have kids and a spouse, you are free to remain unemcumbered by a mortgage, etc.

    Follow your heart. Do what you love. If the internship is unpaid, it will come around again.
    "Relinquish your whip!!"



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    Location
    down the road from bar.ka
    Posts
    35,684

    Default

    Well, 30 is as good as any and there can always be exceptions...but, at some point, thought must be given to supporting oneself with no parental aid/backstop with an eye on the future as that clock keeps ticking.

    I vote ranch but...why not talk it up with the guests more? You might meet people who can help you later. Not suggesting asking for jobs, just get to know your guests and let them get to know you.

    You never know.

    Oh, Horse and Rider (not Horse and Hound) and Practical Horseman as well as COTH advertise for interns almost every year. It is not that big a deal. Certainly not worth chucking the 10k you will EARN for a summer in the Rockies versus paying to be an intern at a specialty magazine with limited circulation.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2000
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    8,222

    Default

    Oh, Horse and Rider (not Horse and Hound) and Practical Horseman as well as COTH advertise for interns almost every year. It is not that big a deal. Certainly not worth chucking the 10k you will EARN for a summer in the Rockies versus paying to be an intern at a specialty magazine with limited circulation
    This. They seem to ALWAYS be advertising for interns - and if you have a job that's going to pay money for you to live off of, that is probably more worthwhile for right now - in this economy I would not deplete my savings to take an unpaid interning job at a horse magazine.
    ---
    They're small hearts.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    846

    Default

    Apply for the internship. If you get it, make the decision. If you don't get it, decision made for you and you'll never be answering the 'what if...'.

    If you do get the internship, well, then you have some choices- including the option of saying you did get it, but turned it down in favour of a salaried role. It will also give you some good contacts there. By the time you've been through the interview process you'll know some people there. You can turn down the role but say you'd love to write an article about ranch life or whatever, keep in touch with them and you never know what will come out of it.

    I'd also do both for now just to cover your bases... is the ranch definitely doing well enough to have a full booking this year? I'd have a chat and say that you've been offered the internship but you think you'd rather be with them - see what they say.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2010
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    245

    Default

    If and when you are looking for internships, consider a marketing internship with AQHA. The experience is excellent and the people who work for the association are absolutely fabulous. They offer three internships throughout the year that line up with school semesters (Fall, Winter/Spring, Summer).



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2010
    Location
    Down South
    Posts
    810

    Default

    Go to the ranch, especially as it may be your last time. There will be other internships, other job-related opportunities. This coming from someone who's been grinding away in a newsroom for a decade, trying to get to a bill-free point where I can walk away and find something fun, or at least a little more meaningful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Velvet View Post
    Why is 30 the magic number? Why ever bother to grow up? Why not be Peter Pan? Who are you harming--as long as you dont' have kids and a spouse, you are free to remain unemcumbered by a mortgage, etc.
    This is me, actually. Well, my outlook anyway.
    The dude abides ...



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 7, 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    678

    Default

    I have an idea. You go do the internship, and I'll go play on the ranch and with the cute guy



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