Entering my junior year of college I knew what my dream job would be, but I didn’t fully acknowledge how hard it would be to get it. Many people who graduate college with an undergraduate degree have little to no work experience that pertains directly to their major. I knew that getting a job offer relating to my major with no work experience would be very difficult so for me, working an internship was a necessity.
Lauren Berger “The Intern Queen” wrote “All Work, No Pay: Finding an Internship, Building Your Resume, Making Connections, and Gaining Job Experience” which highlights the importance of internships.
Berger states that internships are the most valuable experience for all college students. Students who have completed internships are more likely to receive job offers than students who have not completed internships. Statistically, students who have completed internships are also offered higher salaries.
An internship gives you hands on experience that you simply cannot learn in a classroom. It also gives you the opportunity to learn from your mentor or boss. Mistakes are common and completely normal. use them as opportunities to learn and make corrections.
Internships prepare you for the corporate world after graduation. After completing an internship and learning from your mistakes you are far less likely to make those small mistakes after you are hired. Also, mistakes made in an unpaid internship are more acceptable than in a paid position.
One of the most important aspects of an internship is the opportunity to network. Make it a point to meet as many people as possible. “Your ability to keep in touch with and nurture these contacts will be crucial to your long-term career goals” (Berger, 2012, p. 7).
Lastly, do not be discouraged by an unpaid or low-paid internship. You may have to “work for free” but you will gain such valuable experience that will help you in the future. There is no price tag for the learning experience of having a great internship.
Did you complete an internship in college? If so, what was the most valuable lesson you learned? Leave us a comment below.