Why You Should Integrate an Internship Into Your Degree
BY ANTON LUCANUS
During the summer holidays of my freshman year, I undertook a short 3-day internship doing communications work for Impressive Digital. Although I was only there for 3 days, I experienced rapid personal growth, both from professional and personal perspectives. Most importantly, I learnt that sitting an entire undergraduate degree without sitting at least one internship is a huge missed opportunity.
Internships are the new way of volunteering. They provide students with an opportunity to develop a strong understanding of what is expected of them in the field and whether they enjoy what occurs on a day-to-day basis. While some people do not believe internships are important, or there is not enough time during the day between studying and classes, there are some aspects that should be considered.
One topic is experience. It is great to have a degree or diploma, but to have one with experience is an asset that employers are starting to focus on. Why is this important? It comes down to the job market. With colleges and universities graduating higher amounts of students than ever before, taking part in an internship can be a big step towards long-term employment. Internships can increase the post graduate employment potential of students by 75%, which makes them well worth considering as an option.
What else can be learnt from an internship?
Relationship building. This goes beyond face-to -face interactions and is extended to the kinds of communication that are often forgotten about. An email, a phone call or even a message via social media all influence and contribute to the relationships that you build every day. Building a strong relationship with managers and co-workers during an internship is important and can have strong ripple effects. It is essential to begin long-term planning for your desired career during your college years. This includes maintaining contact after the internship has ended, regardless of its length. Strong communication can lead to future networking opportunities, full-time employment offers, and a coveted reference. An internship combined with a reference and a solid education is more likely to result in not just a job, but also a fulfilling career.
Work experience. Internships increase your ability to enter your chosen field with confidence. Participating in an internship helps in overcoming first day nerves and breaks down the barriers that exist between the education system and your dream entry-level position. Often a primary consideration for undertaking an internship is the opportunity to gain experience in the field without long-term commitment. This can be the greatest educator of all, and it’s a chance to determine if your education and chosen professional environment are a good fit.
Increasing future salary expectations. When applying for entry-level position, one of job seekers’ most pressing questions is: “What is a reasonable wage?” Being a fresh graduate can limit your potential wage. Internship experience not only enhances employability, but it also increases wage expectations. The experience of students who have been in the field, know the job, and have established relationships is unmatched by student without internship experience. As a result, those who have been through internships demand higher wages.
In closing, participating in an internship goes beyond learning. It is about establishing relationships that connect to future job potential and professional opportunities. Internships develop confidence through experience and build trust with future employers. This confidence can be carried into almost every aspect of life.
Many educational programs, including those at Stanford, offer internships or the ability for students to procure their own work experience and have a notation placed on their transcript. Considering everything above, as a student, it is worth seeking an internship that connects strongly with your character and personality and matches what an employer is seeking. Combining these factors will develop your skills, intellect, and global outlook in more ways than one.
Byline – Anton Lucanus is the Director of Neliti. During his college years, he maintained a perfect GPA, was published in a top cancer journal, and received many of his country’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarships. Anton writes for The College Puzzle as a means to share the lessons learnt throughout his degree and to guide current students to achieve personal and educational fulfilment during college life.