Guest blogger: Amber Shelton
Upon graduation every college student strives to do everything in their power to be the ideal candidate for their future employer. Good grades, recommendation letters, and internships are examples of accomplishments employers seek out but many people question how far each will take you. Internships can be a great resource for students and allow them stand out in front of their competition.
According to a survey conducted from November 11, 2011, to January 13, 2012 by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) the number of internships is expected to increase by 8.5 percent in 2012 and the average wage rate for interns with a bachelor’s degree is $16.21, which is a 2.8 percent decrease from last year’s average of $16.68. The top three activities that encompass employers recruiting techniques include career fairs, on-campus recruiting, and on-campus information sessions. These engagements prove to be the most successful for hiring new interns. Not only do internships give students an edge in the job market but they also provide a number of other benefits including:
- Build new skills: Internships give students the chance to not only learn new skills but also help them understand how to apply skills they’ve already learned in the classroom to workplace situations.
- Network with colleagues: Meeting new people in an unfamiliar environment may seem scary at first but in the long run it will only benefit students. It is a great way to gain access to information regarding new jobs, especially ones that are unadvertised.
- Obtain recommendations: Who wouldn’t like a letter of recommendation? Letters of recommendation will help future employers realize a candidates potential.
- Decide if this is the right career path: It is easy to continue down a path in college without realizing what that career will look like once someone is actually in the workforce. Internships give students the opportunity to learn about an environment before making a commitment.
- Get your foot in the door: If the intern decides that the company they are working for is the right place for them then they are already a step ahead of future hires. It can be an easy transition to hire on interns and it saves the company money by not having to train someone completely new. According to the NACE the overall percentage of interns turning into full-time hires has hit an all-time high at 58.6 percent between November 11, 2011 and January 13, 2012.
As an intern myself, I have developed many new skills and learned things about myself I wouldn’t have otherwise. I have connected with some awesome individuals and learned how the corporate world works. I wouldn’t take it back for anything and I highly recommend anyone contemplating doing an internship to go through with it.
BIO: Amber Shelton is currently an intern at Trupanion, a pet insurance company based in Seattle. This will be her last year at the University of Washington and she looks forward to what doors her internship will open.
Amber Shelton: Communication Department
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