Many of you in college are aware of the importance of internships—and if you’re not aware yet, it’s vital for your future that you know about this. In my early college days, I didn’t understand the significance of volunteering in my field of work through school. Thankfully, my university required me to do an internship, and if it hadn’t been mandatory, I highly doubt I would be where I am today in my career.
My experience with internships truly gave me valuable lessons in life. By interning, I was able to see the ins and outs of a television network, and I decided I wanted to be part of it for life because it was so fulfilling. Four years after volunteering on occasion, simply through just showing up and being teachable, I was hired as an official TV personality. I did two semesters of interning for school credit and decided to be part of the network even after the internship was over. Yes, it took time and effort in stepping out, but it was worth it.
The Benefits of an Internship
Why internships are so critical in a successful career is that they get your foot in the door and give you the experience you will need in order to be hired. The benefits of an internship are that you get hands-on practice and you’re able to observe whether this career path or job is something you are truly passionate about.
If you’re looking to be hired at a specific company that is competitive, you are more likely to be hired if you’ve already interned there. The reason you will have a greater chance of being hired is because the company and the employees will already know you and be familiar with you as a person, plus they will know your work ethic.
According to CNN, Melissa Benca, the director of career services at Marymount Manhattan College of New York City, said, “Internships have become key in today’s economy… Graduating students with paid or unpaid internships on their résumé have a much better chance at landing a full-time position upon graduation.”
How to Apply for an Internship
If your college doesn’t have a program for you to be able to access different companies and organizations, it’s important for you to begin to research and consider opportunities on your own. Go to your dream company’s website and see if they have internships or other opportunities. You may be able to ask a college counselor to help you navigate as well. Your college website should also inform you on how to navigate interning through the campus.
Remember that many internships are through the school and are unpaid. If you work more than part time for a company, it is important that you be paid. You do want to be paid for your time, but of course an hour here or there for volunteer work is okay—just make sure if you are interning for college that you get the school credit, or inquire about pay.
How to Choose the Right Internship
First and foremost, do not pick a company you cannot picture working for in the future. Make sure to value your time and to not take a spot at a company where someone else may really want an internship or job. It’s important to evaluate what your future career goals are and where you realistically picture yourself, and then find a good match for a career opening via interning and eventually working.
I wish you the best of luck on your journey through not only college, but in learning incredible skill sets throughout your internship opportunities. You can do anything you set your mind to, and remember to always follow your passions and strengths. The best is yet to come for you in your life!
[Sources: internships.com; smc.edu/studentservices/careerservicescenter/internship/pages/why-be-an-intern.aspx]
PI Girls, do you have an internship currently? Are you seeking out a network or company to intern with? If so, comment below!