The Value of Internships to Recent College Graduates
Internships are an extremely important addition to a college student’s resume-arsenal.
An internship can be paid or unpaid and can be a great opportunity to develop industry-specific skills, gain real-world work experience, test-drive a chosen career path, establish professional network connections and allow a recent college graduate to gain an advantage over their peers by developing character and professional development.
University graduates have spent 4 years learning vast amounts of information across a variety of subjects. They have narrowed their interests to a specific area and been instructed by the top professionals of their field.
A veteran college student has learned how to perform certain duties and what will be expected of them as young professionals. An internship allows that same student to put their knowledge into real-world application.
By spending time in the work environment a student is given the opportunity to develop some quality portfolio additions and participate in events that students without an internship have no access to.
College students who are interested in finding a quality internship should evaluate their career goals, and find an internship that can help them achieve those goals.
Not all internships are paid or are with well-known companies, but one should consider the long-term benefits of smaller organizations.
At a smaller firm, the intern is usually responsible for more duties, but this is an opportunity to DO more. While searching for an internship, a college student should approach employers rather than wait for them to find you.
Most organizations have many different prospects for a single internship, but you will have to prove your worth before and after you are given a position.
Completing an internship allows a college student to test drive their chosen career path. Most recent graduates have never actually worked in their field of interest. Internships allow a young professional to experience everyday life in their future career.
The subtle etiquette of a work environment is a big change from campus life and the more experience a person gains the more at ease he or she will be when it comes time to apply for professional jobs.
Applicants that have spent time producing in an office can easily show their value. This value is apparent through quality portfolios, glowing recommendations and the confidence that can be gained through hard work at a paid or unpaid internship.
When planning for an internship it is best to consider the rest of your school load. Many students choose to complete their internships during the summer semesters when their course load is much less.
Another method is to plan your internship around classes that are less strenuous on a student schedule. If you still choose to complete your internship during the spring or fall semesters I would suggest informing your professors and internship boss about your full schedule.
This shouldn’t be used as an excuse, but instead, a notification that you will have to adhere to a strict and regimented work schedule.
Another tip, don’t fall behind. Murphy’s Law will ensure that you will inevitably have many deadlines coincide with each other. This problem is compounded to disastrous proportions when you are behind on school and work assignments.
This creates a situation of sink or swim. A college student who is taking classes and completing an internship at the same time must reorganize and re-prioritize their life, or fail and waste all the time, money and effort it took to come this far.