Who should consider an internship?
|If you are interested in a particular profession, you can consider completing an internship as a way to determine if that career field is a “good fit” for your skills and interests, gain real-world work experience, and begin the networking process.
For additional information about internships, visit the Career Center, and speak with the Assistant Director of Student Connections or pick up a career guide—refer to the internship section of the guide for additional assistance.
Benefits of an Internship
Gain valuable work experience.
- An internship provides the opportunity to gain hands-on work experience that cannot be gained in the classroom. First-time job seekers and career changers may not be desirable candidates, but companies are willing to train them as interns and give them the experience needed to obtain a job.
Get an edge in the market.
- Employers are usually more concerned with your work experience than your qualifications, and internships are often the only way to get the work experience you need to secure a job, so they are a vital part of your résumé. Many employers prefer or limit hiring to applicants who have had an internship or relevant work experience; in many of the more competitive job markets, internships are essential to set you apart from the others.
Decide if this is the right career for you.
- If you are not sure if this is the right career for you, doing an internship is a great way to try it out. Internships are generally short-term, so you can test your future career without committing long-term and find out if it is a career that will satisfy you.
This is an opportunity to network.
- Internships are a great way to meet people in your field. Even if you have experience, knowing many people never hurts. An internship allows you to meet people who might help you land a job later or give you contacts in the industry in which you want to work. Plus, references from people in the industry will add weight to your application.
Transition into a job.
- Employers see interns as prospective employees, and many finish their internships and continue working with the company full-time. Think of it as a really long interview, after which you have proved that you are a capable and hard-working employee. Just as you are giving the industry and the company a trial run, they are doing the same for you.
Apply classroom knowledge.
- An internship can be seen as the pinnacle of your undergraduate education and give you the chance to use the skills you have learned in the classroom in a real-world setting. It is a chance to prove the worth of your qualifications and to show that you can perform in the role you have been given.
- Getting experience is a great way to build your confidence. More so, if you have an impressive résumé, you will be increasingly confident in your chances of securing a job. After completing an internship, if an interviewer asks if you know how to do something, you can replace “um, yes, I think I would be able to do that,” with “absolutely,” and supplement your assertion with examples.