Internship: A False Start or a Career Start?
BY CHELSEA DOWDELL
Many of today’s students are wondering the same thing – is it even worth it to go through an internship during your final academic years? More so than that, the prospect of “working for free” is frightening for most, not only because of the time investment, but also for the fact that they have bills and tuitions to pay.
Graduate students are going through the same thought process, and the question still remains: “Are internships worth the hassle?” Does anyone actually develop a successful career after going through an internship or is it another false glimmer of hope in today’s saturated employee market? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of going through an internship and see if this program is capable of starting your career and pointing you in the right direction.
One of the many benefits of going through an internship is growing your industry network. Even if you know many colleagues and professors who operate in your field of expertise, knowing people who have been professionals for an extended period of time is invaluable. Networking doesn’t just increase your chances of landing a job and starting your career. It can also benefit your professional development.
Your social circle is now comprised of industry experts who have connections and knowledge around the world. Having these benefits is much better than applying for a position without knowing who or what the industry is all about outside of college text books.
Many college courses encompass practical exercise and experience in visiting professional offices. While these insights into your future employment are good, they won’t help you in landing a particular position. Being an intern, you will be in charge of many different areas of work which affect the main position you are looking for in a lesser or bigger extent.
This means that you will gain insight into the whole industry process and become verse in different areas, not just your college major. Being a graphic designer with print and web design knowledge is much better than being a graphic designer only, wouldn’t you agree?
One of the major flaws of today’s education is the lack of soft skills development courses. The word “courses” should be used lightly however, since the best way of developing soft skills is actually working in a team environment with other people. This teaches us many valuable lessons about trust, work division, team dynamics and most importantly – the importance of working together and communicating.
Many industry experts are professionals and know everything about their fields but their social skills are poor in comparison. Going through an internship will allow you to develop your social skills in a working environment with very little risk involved. As an intern, you don’t have the same level of responsibility inside the company, so practicing these skills in an internship environment is not only beneficial but recommended.
The biggest hurdle that many graduates are going through is how to explain that they lack any working experience when they apply for a job. Starting your career is more than graduating and applying for your dream job, and many people learn this the hard way. This means that internships are vastly beneficial in upgrading your resume and adding very valuable points as to why an employer should hire you.
While interviewers will be interested in what you have to say and how you answer their questions, getting to an interview will take more than luck. Using services such as RewardedEssays.com to write and format your resume will prove extremely helpful if you have trouble writing such papers. Internships will also help you develop an industry way of thinking and answer the interview questions with much more precise and intuitive answers, so it’s a definite plus to go through one.
The best and easiest way to land a job in any profession is by being recommended. While professors might recommend you and write you a letter, the most effective way of gaining a recommendation is by earning it from an internship. If you have done well and your superiors are happy with your performance, you might earn formal and informal recommendations depending on what your future steps may be.
Putting a good word in for you with affiliate companies and professionals is a great way in starting your career the way you want it to. Not only have you proven yourself capable, but you have industry leaders backing you and pushing you further. This is an invaluable part of going through an internship and a sure way of landing your dream job along the way.
Depending on your future steps, there are multiple ways of landing a full-time employment after your internship is over. Believe it or not, this decision will mostly be out of your hands, depending on your performance. If you have done well, the employers might offer you a position and insist that you stay onboard for an extended period. While this is a perfect scenario, it doesn’t always play out.
Many employers take interns in because they are there for a limited time and plan to move on afterwards. This all depends on the type of company and work you do for them, and these interactions don’t have a clear pattern. Whatever the case, an internship will help you gain future employment with that or other company much more easily than you would fair without it.
As you can see, the benefits of going through an internship program as a graduate or student are multiple and all of them can be used to jump-start your career. The answer you are looking for is “yes”, and you should use any opportunity to apply what you have learned in university in a real-life environment.
While it may not be paid and it may not be easy, an internship is the best way to hone your skills and learn valuable insight into how everyday life will be once your studies are finally over. Don’t shy away from opportunities and grab any chance you get – it can only benefit your career to go through such an experience.
Chelsea Ann Dowdell is a writer and blogger. She writes about things she really cares about.
You can contact her on Gmail