As college students work their way through school, they inch closer to the coveted graduation date and full time job. Along the way there can be constant pressure about getting an internship or not, and the question of whether it is really worth it? These are very good questions that each student thinks about, especially as they transition to upper-classmen status.
Why Are Internships In College So Important?
- Experience: Students that have internships acquire more well rounded experiences and also get to see first-hand how companies work. This provides a valuable understanding of the business and industry in which you want to work in once you graduate.
- Company Expectations: Most companies expect college graduates to have some level of experience, even with entry-level positions. An internship provides the all-important “experience” all students’ need. The more internship experience you have, especially if you decide to intern with multiple companies throughout your college years, the more credible your background will look on your resume and when you are in front of hiring managers for an interview.
- Resume Builder: Make sure to find internships that are relevant to your major and add them to your resume. This provides a great foundation in your desired industry and will propel you above other college graduates with no internship experience. TIP: Your resume should have all internship experiences on it that relate to your degree program.
- Glimpse Into A Full-Time Job: As a college student, you may know what type of work you want to do when you graduate, but you may not know what the day-to-day looks like. An internship provides a glimpse into what the work is like and if you will like it or not. Internships provide real-life exposure to the work world and business without committing an entire career. You may also discover that you do not like a certain type of business and your internship may help you change directions if needed.
- Gain Confidence: You may not have the experience yet, or even the confidence to do the job you think you want, however, most internships train college students on-the-job and provide a fantastic learning experience for them to build their confidence. This confidence shows, especially if you are in the middle of a phone or in-person interview.
- Build Your Network: Building your professional network is just as important as building your experience. Internships allow students to connect with professionals that are involved in similar work. It’s important to build your professional network. These connections can be very important for you when looking for a job. A good way to keep your connections in one, simple location is LinkedIn.
- Reference Letter: As you build your network with the people you are working alongside in your internship, you may be able to ask them to be a professional reference. This is critical because companies ask for references in the hiring process. (Tip: Using friends and family as a reference is not good business practice).
- Get Hired: An internship is ultimately designed to get the student a job offer. However, before you get an offer, students must go through the process of applying for and working with companies that offer internships. This can be a multi-year process from the time you enter college all the way through your senior year. This process can and does lead to valuable experience that students want and need. If you perform well in your internships as a student, the company may end up offering you a full time job when you graduate.
“Internships are a proven way to gain relevant knowledge, skills, and experience while establishing important connections in the field.” - AboutCareers
At ENC, we’re committed to developing students and professionals in their chosen discipline so they can be well equipped to enter the professional world. If you want to learn more about ENC, contact our Admissions department or the division of Adult and Graduate Studies.