Why Internships are Actually Important, Required or Not

We all hear that internships are a good idea, sometimes they are even required of us, but why are they so important, what do they have to offer and what do you do if you are already out of college?

One thing to keep in mind is that there are two different types of internships: experiential and academic. Experiential is strictly for experience purposes. These internships are not for credit, but instead give you an inside look at what it would be like to be in your field of interest in a real world atmosphere. Internships that are for academic credit, are just what they sound like, you get credit for so many course hours based on how long your internship is. Many times with this type of internship one must complete a paper or portfolio concerning the work that they have done.

Another great benefit of an internship is the ability to network with people in your field of interest. Making connections is a key part of being successful in finding a job at any point in your life. When networking, you may work with people who could write you a letter of recommendation or be a reference for a future position. Many employers look for a wide variety of references, not just from professors or a short summer job.

It has been proven that students with internship experience, whether experiential or for credit, usually receive more job offers with higher pay, than those students who do not. Thus it is a good idea, whether it is required of you or not, to do at least one internship.

Internships are the most useful because of one specific reason: the on-site, field experience that you will get from seeing the action. There is only so much you can learn about your field in the classroom and from reading a textbook without actually seeing how it is done in real life. Also, it gives you a look into whether this is what you really want to do. You may think that you have an idea of where you are going, moving forward, but may find that once you are actually in that environment that you don’t really care for it. Better to figure this out early on, rather than waiting until you are actually searching for a job or when you do get a job.

Internships are not only beneficial for students both young and old; they are also beneficial for employers. Interns can provide a fresh perspective to the company and propose new and creative ideas that may not have previously been thought of. Also, (I know this may seem cliché) but many students are more familiar with technology and use of social media than the older generations and can be helpful in figuring out ways to use these so that they are most beneficial to the company.

Interns are also great for additional help with projects that may need some extra attention or time. Projects are great for interns because they are an easy way to ease them into their position and it gives one area to focus on so it is not so overwhelming. Another great benefit of having an intern is that it is almost a trial period to see if you would like to hire the student in the future. You are able to work with them for an extended amount of time, see how their work ethic is, and what their strengths and weaknesses are first-hand.

Hiring interns is also a way to give back to the community. Although it may not seem that way, by giving younger or less experienced people a chance to work with your company you are enhancing the workforce and the student’s experience. This is especially true for small businesses.

Last, but certainly not least, internships are a lot of fun! You get to meet a lot of new people who are eager to help you learn more about what you love and you get to experience it first-hand. What could be better than getting an up close and personal look at what your future could be? Give it a try!


Cassandra Rudd is currently a junior double majoring in Psychology and English. She spends most of her time doing a lot of homework but also enjoys listening to hip-hop/rap music and spending time with her family and friends. She currently works on campus at the Office of Career Services as a Head Work Study and at the Academic Resource Center as a Writing Fellow. After graduating from Nichols, she is hoping to go to graduate school and pursue a career as a Forensic Psychologist and possibly work with the Federal Bureau of Prisons or the US Marshals. She says “You may be wondering why I am also an English major when I am going into the Psychology field, and the answer to that is simple: I love to read and write. I have always enjoyed both of these disciplines and they both can translate in any type of career field.” Writing blog entries connects her interests and work at Career Services and skills as a writer. The mission and purpose of this blog is to give students access to important career information no matter what their year, major or level of experience.

Fall Classes End, the Job Search Continues Through the Break

Although we are all looking forward to the upcoming winter break and all the relaxation, shopping, family time, and holiday fun that will come with it, the job search is something that is important to stay on top of, even if all you want to do is enjoy ‘the most wonderful time of the year.’

Jobs are constantly being posted and offered every day. You never know what you could be missing so it is important to keep on it, even if you are taking a break for the holidays. As we all know, the job market is not the best right now so it is important to look around every chance you get and to be a step ahead of the others. Other than commonly used sites like Indeed and Monster, Road to Success is a great resource that Career Services uses to post thousands of job opportunities and career events.

The break is also a good time to do some research on potential employers or graduate schools that you might be interested in. Make a list of the ones you like the most and focus on these to help clarify your search. It is always a good idea to “do your homework” so to speak and get background information about a company, (their mission, CEO, goals, etc.) or for graduate school you can research what department you are interested in and contact professors and program chairs to begin networking.

Take some time to look over and update your resume. It is important to keep your resume current and make sure that all of your information is correct. Don’t forget to add in any new clubs or awards you have received this semester! If you are looking for an easy way to build and format your resume, check out Optimal Resume.

Volunteering over the holidays not only will make you feel good, but it is good for your resume too. Take some time to help at a local food pantry, help man a Code Blue shelter, or volunteer to wrap presents for Toys for Tots. Your future employer will see that you are interested in helping others and being involved in the community.

One very helpful aspect of the job search is networking with professionals in the industry you are interested in. Winter break opens up your schedule for time to make connections that could potentially be helpful for any level of your career: internships, graduate school, entry-level positions, and even once you’re a professional in your field. Take a look at LinkedIn for networking opportunities near you.

If you think you have a pretty good idea of where you are headed with your job search, even if you have gone through the interview process, it is a good idea to create your plan B scenario for the future. Unfortunately, sometimes things do not go as we expect and with the job market being very competitive right now, it is important to make sure that you have a backup plan so that you do not leave yourself in the dark.

One thing that may also be a good idea is to go shopping for professional attire that you may need. It is always good to have dress clothes not only for presentations you may have for class, but for professional job interviews and networking events. Remember that black and navy are really good basics to work with!

Last but certainly not least: Relax for a little bit! The job search is stressful, so make sure that you do actually take some time to relax and enjoy time with family and friends.

 


Cassandra Rudd is currently a junior double majoring in Psychology and English. She spends most of her time doing a lot of homework but also enjoys listening to hip-hop/rap music and spending time with her family and friends. She currently works on campus at the Office of Career Services as a Head Work Study and at the Academic Resource Center as a Writing Fellow. After graduating from Nichols, she is hoping to go to graduate school and pursue a career as a Forensic Psychologist and possibly work with the Federal Bureau of Prisons or the US Marshals. She says “You may be wondering why I am also an English major when I am going into the Psychology field, and the answer to that is simple: I love to read and write. I have always enjoyed both of these disciplines and they both can translate in any type of career field.” Writing blog entries connects her interests and work at Career Services and skills as a writer. The mission and purpose of this blog is to give students access to important career information no matter what their year, major or level of experience.