5 reasons why you should participate in college student internships Although attending college is crucial, the reality is that nothing makes you more desirable than experience. In high school, you probably had the idea rammed down your neck.
Consider this: Whom would you rather have working for you—someone with a 4.0 in school but no prior experience—someone with years of expertise and a good reputation?
It’s likely that you’d pick the applicant who had prior experience working in the industry.
Internships for college students are crucial because they give you the hands-on experience you need to not only learn about the business, but also to determine whether this is the appropriate job for you (more on both of these in a minute).
I understand that you value your time and may not feel like you have time for yet another activity, but I assure you that it will be worthwhile in the long run.
Here are my top 5 reasons why you should participate in internships as a college student, however there are many more.
1. They instruct you on how to prioritize. Although including a second activity in your calendar may seem difficult, doing so actually improves your ability to prioritize. Due to the fact that you have less time to fidget and idle, it may even increase your productivity and decrease your tendency to delay.
There are many internships for college students available both the academic year and summer, so there’s a good chance you can find one that works with your schedule. The choice to continue with summer internships is entirely yours, but bear in mind that you’ll likely be required to put in longer hours and face stiffer competition given how popular summer internships are.
2. Internships with college students expose you to the “real” side of your major. There are just some things you can’t learn unless you immerse yourself in the subject. Reading written material, reading through case studies, and knowing the rules in your chosen major are all good and wonderful.
Internships for college students expose you to the realities of your field of study.
I’m referring to experiencing both the positive and negative aspects of what it’s like to really work in that area. You can discover that while you detest some aspects of your job, you appreciate others. If you didn’t take part in the internship, you probably wouldn’t learn about this else!
3. They assist you in networking and building your database of professional connections. Employee referrals frequently receive more interviews than outside applicants. Why? because a person who has previously been employed by the company is endorsing you. This immediately improves your reputation (and often at the top of the resume pile).
This is why networking and developing business relationships while you are still in school are so crucial.
But in order to build those relationships, you’ll need to prove your worth and show that you’re serious.
While having fun while working is encouraged (since it will keep you sane), you should always arrive at your internship prepared to work hard, pick up new skills, and put the information you’ve learned in class to use.
Additionally, don’t be hesitant to approach coworkers and request a business card or a LinkedIn connection. Make an attempt to stay in touch with these people after you depart by calling them at least once every few months. When the time comes for you to start looking for a full-time job, you’ll have the “in” because you already have contacts in place.
4. The experience aids in determining whether or not this field is a good fit for you. Participating in internship programs for college students is one of the best ways to determine whether the career path you’ve chosen is the appropriate one for you.
Even while your major may appear fantastic on paper, really working on it is a whole other experience. What you anticipated would require more interaction with people can turn out to be more of a desk job.
Additionally, you might find that you prefer some aspects of the profession to others. Because majors like business and communication studies are so diverse, you can discover that you prefer to crunch numbers even if you don’t work in sales.
In light of this, you ought to make an effort to take part in at least two or three internships that expose you to various aspects of your area. The more work history you can provide to a potential employer, the better!
5. You will leave with practical skills and a revised resume. Your CV will seem much better if it includes internship experience! College grads who didn’t work or volunteer throughout their studies frequently fill the gap with noteworthy projects, talents, and academic accomplishments. Even though they are nice to have, nothing quite says “hire me” like actual work experience.
You might discover during your internship that you have good communication skills, a knack for using technology to study, or are an expert data cruncher. When it comes time to compose a cover letter and resume highlighting why you are a good fit for the position you are seeking for, learning and practicing these skills will help you sell yourself more effectively.
HOW TO BEGIN SEARCHING FOR THE BEST INTERNSHIP Nearly every institution provides a career center with a list of internships and part-time jobs for college students. Be sure to periodically check the list and apply to any positions that catch your attention!
There are a ton of sites to look online as well. To gain some direct links to websites that can assist you with your search, I suggest reading my piece, The Best Places to Find Internships for College Students.
Finally, don’t be hesitant to contact a business directly to inquire about potential internship positions.