A Practical Guide to Internships
Did you know that 71% of employers say they prefer to hire job candidates that have relevant experience? They do! And according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) Job Outlook 2013 survey, 57% of those employers preferred that the relevant work experience come from internships. Yes, internships are important.
You can also gain work-related experience through classes, volunteer activities, student organization participation, and part-time jobs. An internship is another highly valuable opportunity to gain experience that’s unique in its connection between academics and work.
So what exactly is an internship?
Here are some characteristics:
- short-term, professional work experience with a learning component
- an opportunity to gain work-related skills that build upon your academic coursework,
- a potential extension of your academic learning.
What’s the timing of an internship?
Students can intern during the fall, spring or summer semesters or even year round, and internships can be full-time or part-time. While students traditionally intern during their junior or senior years, internships can take place as early as their freshman year. Some internships are available for graduates.
Do I get paid?
Internships can be paid or unpaid. Unpaid internships are commonly offered for academic credit. Some paid internships offer academic credit as well.
How will an internship benefit me?
An internship can help you . . .
- Gain work-related experience in conjunction with your area of study.
- Decide if a job or industry is truly right for you.
- Get hired more easily. Some employers recruit directly from their internship pool after the internship gives them a chance to assess your performance.
- Test the waters at an organization and see if the culture is a good fit.
- Develop marketable skills and facility with the language of your target industry.
- Build your confidence and self-esteem.
- Develop relationships with professional contacts for future networking.
- Get more out of your college experience