As a current college student, I have always valued the internship experience. I knew that in order to thoroughly prepare myself for life after graduation, I would need to gain the hands-on, real world experience that internships offer. I am in my second internship and I have gained so much more than another line on my resume. As a college student, I know there are plenty of reasons that one should seek an internship, but as a current intern, these are the top 6 reasons that I have found most important.
Internships provide you the opportunity to meet so many professionals and understand what they do. This not only helps prepare you for meeting with business professionals post graduation, but it also allows you to start establishing professional relationships for your future. Who knows, you could meet your future boss one day while in an internship and find your dream job. You don’t really meet professionals in the classroom, so you have to go out into the world to find them. Internships put you right where you need to be to start your journey down the path to success.
2. Hands-on Work Experience
The classroom teaches you all the fundamentals and key terms you will need to graduate with your degree. What it doesn’t teach you is real world, hands-on experience in your field. Hands-on experience is the only real way you will find out if your major is a good fit for you, and it’s the only way for you to actually learn how to perform the tasks of your future job. If it wasn’t for my internships, I wouldn’t have any blog writing experience or know how to determine what works for different social media accounts for different kinds of businesses. Not only that, but I’ve had the opportunity to explore the many different departments of a marketing agency. This allows me to find the right path for my future before I’m even handed a diploma.
3. Experience in Different Areas of Your Field
As I mentioned above, I have been able to see the internal side of the different departments within a marketing agency. As a marketing major, there are so many different routes I can take. This makes it difficult to decide which path I actually want to take. Before my internships, I had no idea what route I wanted to take, but because I decided to gain hands-on experience, I know the right fit for me and I have the experience to prove that.
4. Practice for Finding a Post-Graduation Job
The best way to prepare for your post-graduation job search is by searching for internships. You will know what the application process is like, how to perfect your resume for each specific position, and how to conduct yourself in a professional interview. I have only improved my resume and my interview skills by putting myself in actual situations. I have been rejected by internships and I have been given the opportunity to have to choose between two. I know that this will happen when looking for a job after graduation, but I will know how to handle it, learn from it, and continue to look for the perfect job.
5. A Glimpse of Post Graduation Life
Have you ever wondered what your average day will be like in your dream job? Have you ever wondered if you will even like what your average day will be like? Once you graduate, there’s no changing your major to something you’ll enjoy more. With an internship, you can see a glimpse into what the average day is like for a professional in your field. You may get excited to do what you love every day, but you may also realize that your major isn’t the right fit for you. This will allow you time to change your major to something you will enjoy much more. Luckily, I found the perfect major for me, but I wouldn’t know that if I didn’t get out into the world and make sure it was.
6. More Opportunities Lie in Your Path
So many jobs expect you to have experience when you graduate. They want a portfolio filled with all of your work so they can see if you will be a good fit for their company. If you just go to class and spend your summers by the pool, what will you put in your portfolio? They won’t care if you got an A in your 500 level course, nor will they care if you got a C in it. What matters to them is what you can bring to their company and how you can help them grow. They want someone with the proven ability to succeed in their field, and internships provide them with that opportunity. More opportunities lie in your path to success when you have more experience to learn, grow, and succeed.
The next time your professor preaches about how important internships are, they are only trying to prepare you for post-graduation. From a current intern, I know how important my internships have been to me, and I know that I will be prepared to take on the real world when they hand me my diploma.