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The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

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Internships are a great way to get work experience

An internship during college is a great way to learn about fu- ture careers and gain on-the-job training. Internships are generally project based and may be paid or unpaid positions.

I believe the internship experience is extremely important and all college students should be required to do some type of internship, as opposed to just theoretical learning as internships provide hands-on experience.

According to Indeed.com, โ€œInternships can help you gain valuable work experience, fulfill college requirements and give you material to add to your resume.โ€

Currently, some, but not all majors at California Lutheran University are required to do an internship or independent study. Credits can be earned for completing an internship and are based on the number of hours worked during the semester.

Under the new IDEAS General Education requirements, experiential learning or internships will be integrated into all majors, according to Cal Lutheranโ€™s Academic Services website.

โ€œCurrently, not all majors require an internship, but that is going to change in the next year. As a part of CLUโ€™s current strategic plan, they will make experiential learning mandatory for all majors,โ€ Executive Director of Career Services Cindy Lewis said.

Lewis said this new plan will benefit all students, and Career Services is thrilled about the goal.

Internships also help students learn about careers they are interested in, as well as finding out about jobs they ended up not liking as much as they thought.

โ€œSecuring an internship helps you figure out what you like to do and what you donโ€™t like. It also gives you needed skills for your field to help you obtain your first full-time job,โ€ Lewis said.

Senior and Communication major Kacie De Silva, who is currently doing an internship with the LA Rams football team, said her internship experience has helped her sort out her career pathway.

โ€œI think doing the internship definitely has been a good indica- tor for finding out what career I want to go into,โ€ De Silva said. โ€œAn internship also assists students to find out what you donโ€™t want to do so youโ€™re not using your time in the future and you can learn that now.โ€

While completing my own internship, I found many positive take-aways from the experience. My confidence, teamwork and organizational skills have improved as a result of the position.

De Silva said internships provide the opportunity to build relationships with prominent people in an industry of interest.

โ€œNow that I have established all these personal connections with people in my industry, whether it be head of marketing, head of guest services, or human resources, now I have access to professional leadership if I need it,โ€ said De Silva.

Cal Lutheran Professor Dru Pagliassotti, who teaches an internship course, said students should be proactive during their internship by asking questions and using the opportunity to find out what a career in a particular field is like.

โ€œI think the more information that you can pull out of your internship, the better youโ€™ll be when you actually start looking for a job,โ€ Pagliassotti said.

Pagliassotti said companies interested in hiring an intern are looking for students with certain qualities; good communication skills, the ability to work in a team and time management skills.

Internships are valuable to students as well as employers, because they allow the company to see if the intern is a good fit for a permanent position.

โ€œMost employers like hiring their interns since they are already trained and they have both had a chance to get to know each other,โ€ Lewis said.

The benefits of securing an internship or at least some types of experiential learning are numerous, and can be what students need to assist them with their career choices.

Pagliassotti said a lot of students pick up skills during their internships that make their resume stronger, and said a number of students have told them that they have received job offers from the place they interned at.

โ€œAlso, an internship is a great way of testing out a job before you have to commit to it full time,โ€ Pagliassotti said.

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