By LAURA MILSTEAD
Earning a college degree can be one of the most stressful processes of a young adult’s life. Even so, graduating without having a job lined up, or without having work experience to put on your resume, can be even more daunting. Because of my recent internship experience, I believe that interning is one of the most beneficial things you can do during your college career, and every student should look into applying for some.
Internships provide invaluable work experience that cannot be gained in the classroom. They allow you to take what you have been learning and apply it in a real-world setting. Not only does an internship give you experience, but it can also help you to better prepare for your future.
“During my internship, I received advice on things to do in college that employers would value. One of my coworkers who hires in their department looked through my resume and helped me to create something that looked more mature so I could stand out from the competition,” said senior communication and digital studies major Lauren MacWha.
This goes to show that many of the organizations students are completing internships with actually care about the student and their future and will do what they can to help them beyond aspects of the internship.
An additional benefit is that you may even be able to secure a job by the end of your internship. Imagine the weight that would be lifted from your shoulders at school knowing that you have a job lined up after graduation.
Since an internship is not an academic requirement for all majors, many students may just overlook them.
An internship can also expose you to what it’s like to have a job in a particular field. This could allow you to see if you really have an interest in that line of work. You may think you want to go into a certain field, and then after completing an internship, realize it is not for you.
“I feel comfortable and honestly really excited to be some kind of marketer for my career. I know for sure I am sticking with marketing,” said senior Damon Cox. This is a highly beneficial aspect of interning– it can help you realize you have chosen the right field, or the wrong one.
Senior business administration major Andrea Luna is doing an internship concurrently with her classes this semester. She said, “my internship has really provided me with more of an understanding of how businesses work and the variety of ways a business can be run. I have been doing research for my organization and have learned so much about ways small businesses can get certified. This has helped me understand more about business administration and all the work that must be put in to have a successful organization.”
Senior Andrew Leonard, a double major in Spanish and international business, said that an internship is something he thought of doing; however, he just never got around to doing one. He wishes he had, as it would have allowed him to become more aware of his skills and interests so that he could find a job that he actually enjoys.
It is never too late to pick up an internship. It is easy to find a company that has a program, and if you are having trouble finding one, check with your department because some have internships available on site. Last spring, Lauren MacWha completed an internship through the Communication Department. If you are worried about it interfering with your schoolwork there are options to avoid this conflict. As MacWha said, you can do an internship at any time of the year, so inconvenience shouldn’t be a factor in your decision.
For those that do not know how to begin their internship search, or simply would like help with the process, should visit the Center for Career and Professional Development. They also offer resume reviews and help with interview preparation, which is helpful for applying for internships. Students can make an appointment with the career center or visit their website for resources.
Internships open doors for students. They’re a great way to network, gain experience, build your resume and even earn academic credit.
“If you are not thinking about doing an internship, you should reconsider,” said Cox. “It can open up a whole new world for you. Plus, you are building connections and gaining experiences and that’s never a bad thing.”