Internships have become a must for college students. Employers need to make sure new hires have some useful experience.
When you apply for a job, you may look at the job requirements and think, “I don’t have the experience they want.” That experience can be obtained while you’re in school by becoming an intern. Post-graduation job searches have become more competitive, and you must stand out among your competition. Last year over 70% of interns were offered a job at the end of their internship according to InternMatch.com founder Nathan Parcells.
What can an internship do for YOU?
The experience can teach you what you want to do with your life
In the fall, I had an internship at a nonprofit organization. At the beginning of the internship I was excited and wanted to know what I was going to be doing. I started to realize that even though I enjoyed the people I worked with as well as the lives we were changing, this wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. I spend most of my time faxing paperwork, responding to emails, and calling doctors. After reflecting on the internship I thought that it may have been a better experience if I had worked in a different department of the organization. After leaving that internship I was presented an opportunity to come and intern at Media Two Interactive. These two companies are completely different and allowed me to evaluate what I like and don’t like about different industries.
Internships are a great way to gain extra college credits
Most colleges allow you to earn credit for your internship. I was able to obtain 3 credit hours and also fulfill a requirement for my major. Depending on the school or the department that you are trying to do the internship through, you may have to complete other requirements. I had to send weekly email to my school’s internship advisor, give 2 presentations to my “internship class” (the other students that were completing internships). Also, we all had to have our internship supervisor fill out an evaluation of our performance.
Internships are a great way to network and meet people
Building a network of “who you knows” through college student internships can pay off. Make it a point to meet as many people as possible. When applying for a job, it is really about who you know and who knows you. An internship allows you to meet people who might help you land a job later on and give you the contacts in the industry you’re trying to break into.
Meredith College’s AMA Chapter (American Marketing Association) had speakers come and talk about social branding. They talked about how to create your social brand, making your profiles: Twitter, Facebook, etc professional, along with other topics. Among these speakers was Media Two’s Morgan Siem. After the presentation I went and talked to her and the other speakers (Gregory Ng and Cord Silverstein). Later in December when Media Two was looking for new interns, she remembered me and sent me a Direct Message on Twitter… this lead me to where I am today interning at Media Two.
You gain real world experience
An internship provides the opportunity to gain hands on work experience that you just can’t get in the classroom. Graduates often enter their first real job without having previous work experience. An internship allows you to see how different companies function and what a potentially work environment may look like. You can learn how to appropriately dress, different companies and industries have different dress codes and rules. The nonprofit I worked for had a policy that you could only wear jeans on Fridays.
You can help build your resume
Internships can help you stand out to employers who often have a multitude of resumes to look at when trying to fill an open job position. Doing an internship in a specific industry, even for a semester, will make you to stand out; It can show an employer that you do have some experience in the industry. This can give you a leg up in comparison to those who don’t have any experience. Employers are usually more concerned with your work experience than your qualifications and internships are often the only way to get the work experience you need to secure a job, so they’re a vital part of your resume.
What about your employer?
We bring fresh perspective, tend to try new things, and will ask questions about how things work and why things are done they way they are. Allowing our employer to see possible changes in the way things are done and our brilliance. We can take on excess work and help accomplish what needs to be done. We are determined to succeed because we want to create a name in the business world.
Interns can be the future of the company. After completing an internship we already possess skills pertinent to the company, allowing us to be a potential future employee with little to no training. In terms of both today’s workload and tomorrow’s workforce, having interns is an excellent way to facilitate success.
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