What is an internship?
An internship is an experience where students, while enrolled in institute, can gain realistic learning experiences through work. The internship must have an educational value for the students employed. The work experience may be paid or unpaid.
Why do an internship?
What’s the sense of an internship anyway? Why not think strictly of school now and your career later? You’ve got enough to worry about as it is! Wouldn’t it be cheaper to hurry and finish school, then become a fulltime professional? Why divert energy to the working world now?
What does an internship do for you anyway?
Get a head start into your field – A key advantage of an internship is to gain experience in order to break into a field. Many employers will hire only experienced people. That leaves new college graduates trying to figure out how to begin in their chosen fields. Participating in an internship is one way around this obstacle.
Explore a career – Are you trying to figure out what you want to do with your life? How can you know for sure? You can take a class and see if you like a type of career. You can read about careers or hear somebody talking about what they do. These are all great things to do. But the experience of actually doing a job and seeing what it is like from the inside is incomparable.
Pay attention to how it feels – Is the work environment interesting, or exciting? Do you like the type of people working in this setting? Do you like the work tasks you will be doing once you are a professional?
Another way that the internship may improve your class performance is that classroom curriculum may become more meaningful. Material that you are learning in class may relate to your internship assignments. This may help you see the value of your class lessons.
What else can an internship do for you? – It can provide references. When you are an intern at a company, people get to know you and your work. They may take a personal interest in you and your career. When it comes time to look for a job, these individuals can act as references for you. They know the quality of your work, your work habits, and your interpersonal style.
Make contacts for your future – The people you meet at your internship are potential networking contacts. These people can introduce you to others in your field that may have opportunities that are just right for you.
Lead to a higher salary – When you take the time to complete an internship, you gain valuable experience. This experience can justify asking a future employer for a higher rate of pay than if you were applying for the job with no experience. You can explain to your future employer that you have gained specific skills on the internship and probably will not require as much training as somebody who has not completed an internship.
May turn into a job – Some employers use the internship as a way to evaluate potential new employees. You can never assume that an internship will turn into a job, even if you are a wonderful intern, but it is sometimes a possibility.