Internships are short term experiences that can give you real life perspective on the different careers you would like to pursue. Potential employers, and increasingly schools themselves, are insisting on internship experience before you graduate. Not convinced about the importance of internships? Here are 5 reasons why you should have one before you graduate.
Take a Test Drive
An internship can be a great way to test drive different careers or even different jobs in your field of interest. Use your summer or after class hours to pick up an internship and try out jobs you are interested in. Experience in the work place could help you determine if your dream job was just a fantasy or something you would actually like to pursue.
A big advantage of an internship is the direct contact you will have with professionals working in your field of interest. Being a productive and positive intern can open up opportunities for good references and future jobs. To take full advantage of your internship do not just focus on the skills you are learning but also get to know the people with whom you work.
Whether or not your internship turns into a career you would like to pursue, it is an opportunity to gain valuable professional skills. Knowing professional phone etiquette and how to use a photocopier can make you a more appealing hire down the road. Your internship should also teach you some basic skills pertinent to your field of interest, if you decided to continue down that career path.
In a competitive job market, an internship can also be a great addition to your resume. An internship shows a focused experience in your field of interest that you may not get through classes or a part-time job. Take time to list the different skills you learned on your internship to show how your internship experience makes you a good candidate for future jobs.
Making the adjustment from college student to professional adult isn’t always the easiest. To say you won’t have the same freedoms in the workplace as you did in school is an understatement. Having an internship while you’re in school can help making that transition to working adulthood be a lot easier.