Graduation (it is right around the corner!) means saying goodbye to classes and hello to full time jobs. As much fun as it sounds to step into the adult world, there is one more thing you need to do before graduating; complete an internship. An internship is not just about gaining experience, it’s about putting yourself one step in front of the competition. If you’re not too keen to the idea of interning, you might want to read this blog and think twice.
Here are seven excellent reasons to work an internship:
1. Build Your Network
As you enter the adult working world, landing your dream job may not be as easy as it seems. By completing an internship, you build your network of personal and professional references. You may not want a job in the field or with the company you intern for, but the people you meet along the way may know or have just the place in mind for you. Keep in contact, send thank you cards, and set up informational interviews with these people that you meet!
2. Resume Building
Adding an internship to your resume automatically puts you into a different pile than other job applicants. You can also use the contacts you make at the internship to review your resume. They will know just the right way to word things, what else to add to your experience, and what information is unimportant or could be removed. Editing and reviewing your resume may seem like a large use of your time, but it will always benefit you in the end.
3. Learn Your Desires
Just recently, I completed an internship in the field that I had always dreamed about working in, along with a good friend of mine who was chasing the same goal. What did we learn? I loved the internship and everything about it, but my good friend absolutely hated it. This is another beautiful thing about internships. You don’t know if you really like something until you try it. This opportunity gives you that experience with less of a commitment than accepting a full-time job (and it saves you time to start rethinking your career move). Or, you can learn that you really like what you’re doing – which will give you much more motivation to achieve it. Learning more about ourselves is something that should never be taken for granted.
4. Test Your Skills
After just graduating from college, you will not know everything about the field that you want to step into. Internships let you test your skills and knowledge, while learning new skills and tools to apply on the job. Take every opportunity and do not hesitate or step away from a new project that requires learning something new. The point of internships is to learn and gain experience. These skills will serve you in the future and it will look even more impressive when you already know how to do it.
5. More Money
This experience boosts your resume, boosts your list of skills, and could potentially boost your bank account! This may not necessarily apply while you are completing the internship since most are unpaid, but once it is completed, the internship experience could prove your worth in terms of a slightly hirer salary than most starting positions would normally allow.
6. College Credit
There is required homework of course, but completing an internship for college credit can be one of the most fun and meaningful ways to work towards completing your degree. Some college major programs even require college credit to be earned through an internship for completion. However, if your major doesn’t require this – college credit is still probably an option I recommend looking into.
7. Job Opportunities
Many companies have created internship programs designed to hire the interns as full-time employees after graduation. Find the right company and find the right job! Start researching which companies you’re interested in and set up informational interviews with someone in the company or the position you’re aiming to be in. Once you’ve done these things, start applying and use the name of the person you had an informational interview with as a reference!
The reasons listed above are only some of the reasons why you should seek an internship while a college student, but they should be pretty convincing I think! Share your internship stories with us in a comment below!