In college, you hear a lot about internships, and at some universities and institutions, you are even required to complete an internship as a prerequisite for graduation. There is a purpose for this and a reason why interning is required and/or suggested in college.
There are several reasons why I believe internships are significant and beneficial. Based on the experience I have had with interning, I would say that it not only helps you gain important skills, but it also connects you to the field you want to work in and the level of growth you gain is priceless.
Another reason why I believe you should intern and I would highly recommend it is because it reveals to you whether or not you would want to have that specific career. Because you are so hands-on, you really get a feel for the career and the people you would potentially work with. Why work somewhere or attain a degree when you don’t know if you really want to have a future in that job field or career path? It is very revealing when you intern somewhere because you see the ins and outs of the job on a normal, day-to-day basis, and you can ask questions of those who have the career you possibly want to have.
There may only be one or two downsides to interning, which may be the location and/or it being voluntary, but again, in the long run are worth it based on the level of experience you will have by the end of your volunteer time.
Before interning myself, I never quite understood the value and worth of it. You don’t realize that this should be a priority until you actually volunteer and get the hands-on experience for yourself. I encourage you to ask your career center on campus or counselor at school to help you navigate a fitting internship. I hope you find this information useful and applicable to your educational and professional journey.
Five Reasons Why Internships Are a Must
1. They expand your knowledge and experience in your field: When you intern, the hands-on learning will teach you beyond what you can imagine. You can learn by experience, which is most vital when applying for a job, versus how many awards or places you have worked. If you decide to pursue this job in the future, you will be ahead of the curve because you will be able to reflect and also recall information from your internship.
2. You will network and connect with your industry: Whether you are choosing a career as a nurse, doctor, lawyer, journalist or even youth leader, it is wise to get a perspective in that field prior to applying, so that you can see if you truly want to do that once you graduate. A bonus is that once you attain your degree, you will have personal contacts you can connect with after graduation.
3. They are worth your time: You may think, “I don’t have the time or money to work for free.” This may seem true initially, but if you are really serious about investing in your career, then it is worth the energy, the time and the volunteering in the long run. Obviously, don’t get taken advantage of, and if you are really discovering you would be miserable in that field of work, consider a different internship and speak to your school counselor for a referral. Find what you are passionate about, stick with what you apply for if possible, be faithful in the little and it WILL pay off.
4. You may land a job: If you are consistent, diligent and a hard worker, you may just in fact catch the eye of the manager or boss in charge of your company. Businesses are more inclined to hire someone based on a referral or someone they know within the company than a complete stranger who may not have as much experience. The job market is much more competitive nowadays, so again, I am all about internships.
5. You experience the greatness of serving: Not only do unpaid internships coincide with volunteering, but they are representative of service. Jesus speaks of being great by becoming a servant, and I can’t think of a better place, other than your church/youth group, to start learning how to be a servant than helping further a mission by interning. Most likely, even if you aren’t paid, you will get school credit, but again, to drive this point home, you really cannot put a price tag on what you will learn. Be teachable, be humble, be observant, be open…God will do Ephesians 3:20 if you can just gain the revelation that Jesus spoke of regarding being a willing vessel and giver to others.
PI Girls, do you think you will intern at your future dream job? Do you think that it would be beneficial for schools to make internships mandatory?