“Why Intern?”

Why Intern?

Whether an internship is paid, volunteer, or for school credit, really doesn't change its value. Studies show that roughly 70% of college graduates participate in some sort of internship, gaining relevant skills, experience, and insight into their field.

Some students are reluctant to pursue internships because they worry they'll be stuck going on coffee runs or filing all day long, and if we’re honest, no one wants to do meaningless work for low/no wages. But the reality is that although not all internships pay in dollars, they do pay in other ways.

Here are just a few reasons why you may want to consider an internship as an investment in your future:

  1. Real-world experience: An internship gives you real-world experience in a field you are pursuing. This is a great way to explore various career paths and specialties, as well as learn what you can expect when it's time to enter the workforce. Internships can provide valuable insight into what you want from a job and, more importantly, what you don't want, increasing your chance at a good match when you accept that job offer.
  2. Building relationships: Internships often give you the opportunity meet and build relationships with professionals in your field. Those personal connections can help you build a list of references, find new job opportunities, provide mentorship, and meet other interns on a similar path. People need people.
  3. Resume development: Internships are key to building experience as a student or recent graduate. Employers are much more likely to hire someone with a relevant internship and work experience than someone who lacks any practical job knowledge. Don't forget to include volunteer, leadership, and outreach efforts on your resume as well. Many employers desire a complete picture of the impact and character of their candidates.
  4. Soft Skills: Internships are an excellent introduction to the workplace readiness skills needed for any professional environment. Meetings and presentations will help you hone your communication skills. Working on projects will teach you the finesse of time management and the importance of teamwork. Leadership and problem-solving may be required to complete certain tasks. All skills acquired beyond the classroom.
  5. Career Foundation: Internships have the potential to set the foundation for your career. As an intern, you may have an edge over other candidates when applying for jobs because you know the job and the decision-makers know you. Did you know that many employers use internships as a means to test out future employees? An internship could be your foot in the door.

Internships provide an excellent opportunity to obtain experience and skills needed as a new employee within your field. They can also give you critical insight into the career options available to you. So even if an internship doesn’t yield a paycheck, consider the other benefits you can gain. You never know where it might lead you.