Imagine walking into your first job interview feeling totally prepared and confident. You’re relaxed and calm because you know what you’re doing.
This past summer, I had an unpaid internship that gave me work experience and a taste of what the real work force is like.
At my internship, I managed social media accounts and shared educational, informational and entertaining aspects of the company with their audience.
Internships give employers a chance to test the waters and see how you perform in the company before they hire you for a job.
Employers can learn more about you by observing your behavior as an intern than they can learn from any resume or interview.
“I currently intern for an e-commerce clothing brand and I have learned so much about the back end of the brand that customers don’t get to see, like how to maintain the website and how we decide what products and brands to work with,” said senior communication major McKenna King, who is working at her “dream” internship.
Internships can teach you a lot about your strengths and weaknesses. Your supervisors can give you helpful feedback on how you are doing and what you need to improve on.
King said the benefit is that she has experience and skills that she will take with her to other jobs in the future.
“I do think they [internships] add a lot of value to resumes and they show commitment/interest, so in the long run I think that they can only benefit you when applying for future jobs,” King said.
According to an article on MasterStudies.com, written by Alyssa Walker, it’s important to think of your resume as your introduction with a company – your first impression.
“A solid internship will prevent your resume from ending up in the trash heap. A summer internship or a longer one will show a prospective employer that you mean business,” Walker said.
Although internships can take time away from paying jobs, I believe they give invaluable work experience.
“Of course I want to get paid for putting in 15-20 hours a week, but I also remind myself that I have to have an internship to graduate so I don’t really have a choice,” King said, referencing her major’s internship requirement.
Students usually can’t get a paying job of their choice until after graduation. On top of that, they usually spend years working their way up in a company to their desired position.
“The internship is worth it for me to potentially have a job when I graduate,” King said.
Internships provide great opportunities to get your foot in the door of a company or field, and to start networking with professionals in your field.
According to the article “8 Benefits of an Internship” on Fremont College’s website, experience from an internship can only help – and not hurt – your future in the work force.
“Exploring is an important part of the college experience, and internships are a great way for students to acquaint themselves with the field they are interested in,” the article states. “Taking on an internship while in college allows students to work in their desired field, helping them decide if the field is right for them.”
King said it’s like dipping your toes into the type of job you think you want, and getting reassurance that it is something you enjoy doing.
When you’re ready to go on that official job interview, your internship will have provided you with the skills, experience and confidence to make it successful.
Find the right opportunity for yourself and jump on it. Whatever your interests may be, really make an effort to look for something interesting to you.
Overall, internships are a positive experience for students to explore future career options.
I was fortunate to love my internship, and can’t wait to dive into another one.