7 Reasons You Should Get an Internship
This post is part of a series. We recommend reading How To Curate the Perfect LinkedIn Profile
prior to this post!
While college courses offer a foundation of learning from which you will grow, having experience in the professional world is extremely beneficial. You might enjoy classes in your major, but course content does not always translate to job descriptions and responsibilities in the real world. In addition to that, your major might not be a direct gateway to a career after school, so having internships is a great start to figuring out what kind of job you actually want.
For me, I was able to learn what aspects of my internships I enjoyed and which ones I didn’t like so much. By doing this, I was able to narrow my job search and be more confident about my future career plans. Here are some of the most important things you will do and get from almost any internship you do.
1. Gain professional experience
Jobs usually require pertinent experience, and even some internships require you to have experience beforehand. That’s why it’s great to have multiple internships stacking your résumé with plenty of experience for when you apply to entry-level positions. On top of this, professional experience ensures potential employers that you are mature and can act accordingly in a professional environment.
2. Leave your comfort zone
It takes a while to get comfortable on your college campus, but once you get used to only interacting with other college students, it’s important to avoid getting too comfortable. Interning somewhere off campus, where you interact with professionals and don’t know your way around, is a great way to get out of your comfort zone and prep for life after graduation.
3. Learn about the industry
What you learn in class does not always translate to what’s actually needed for a job in the same industry. Getting an internship gives you an inside look at what actually goes on in a certain industry, which may even impact whether you do or do not want to work there.
4. Learn from others
Working well in a team is a quintessential skill to have in today’s collaborative workforce. School group projects can function quite differently than professional teams, and internships can give you a glimpse of how to combine both.
As we discussed in College Networking 101, networking early is an important factor in getting hired straight out of college. Internships help you make sustainable connections that can help you professionally in tangible ways. Not only are the companies you intern for great additions to your network, but so are the clients and people you meet along the way.
6. Possibly get a full-time job offer
Companies that invite you to intern with them may be looking to hire you full time after graduation. This is especially true for companies that only hire interns going into their senior years; interns can be groomed into new hires and inducted into the company culture before they are even hired full time.
7. Get feedback on your skills
A very important aspect of your internship is the constructive criticism you get. Take this seriously; the ability to learn from your mistakes, which you will make many of, is a seriously respectable quality. Getting feedback on work you do in an internship is the best way to cultivate the skills you will bring into your profession after graduation.
For me, internships have been a great way to get away from the bubble of my college campus so that I could experience the real world. I learned what aspects of the industry I did and didn’t enjoy, which helped me narrow my potential career choices. I’ve gained skills and abilities that aren’t taught in the classroom and feel much more prepared to take on life post-graduation.
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