Internships are Cool. College Drools.
Imagine you are a college student today. You are majoring in something you believe you will be able to get a decent job in. For the next four years, some changes in your majors, and a couple thousand in debt, you are finally able to graduate. With a new degree in one hand and a weak resume in the other, you go in for an interview at the agency of your dreams. Your future employer, reviews your paperwork and looks you straight in the eye and says “Sorry, you’re not fit to be here.” As you leave the office someone from your school enters the same office. You wait a bit thinking there’s no way they will get the job. They walk out with a big smile on their face. You ask how they got the job. They reply, “They were really impressed with my internships that I had over the past four years.” You leave disappointed wishing you would have interned during college instead of worrying about having a perfect GPA.
College (n): An institution that requires too much money for a basic degree
This is a common scenario in today’s economy. Recent college graduates searching for a job are usually denied because of their lack of experience outside of the classroom. Employers turn down many recent college graduates because they all come in with the same credentials. Nothing sets them apart from the rest of the pack. A high GPA may seem like it will get the job done but in reality, fifty other applicants have the same GPA. Employers would rather hire someone with a low GPA with two internships under their belt rather than someone with a 4.0 with no internships.
This is where college begins to fail its students. Being able to study, or more likely memorize, is not an example of work ethic. Those potential employers are searching for someone who has effective communication skills, discipline, and are able to manage their time well. This lack of preparedness sets the recent graduates back five steps. Now they are forced to work odd, low paying jobs in order to hopefully gain enough experience that is worthy enough to be recognized and taken seriously.
Internship (n): A program worth doing while in, or after, college
Why participate in an internship? Even when you don’t get paid for it?
1. It helps you figure out what you want to do with your life
From freshman year to senior year, the average student will most likely change their major at least three times. There is doubt about how their future careers will be like, etc. Being able to participate in an internship in something you are studying can help you either feel confident in your major choice or direct you to a new path. It is better to waste time at an internship than it is x amount years in doing something you regret majoring in at college.
2. Higher chance of finding your dream job
An internship allows you to gain practical experience that you can use to get employed after graduating. Internships teaches its students the “lingo” of the workplace, while also teaching effective communication skills, how to network and manage time well.
3. Shows that you are dedicated to learning in your field
This was mentioned in under the “College” section of the blog. Having interest in the industry by participating in one or more internships, whether or not your GPA was fantastic, conveys to your employer that you are fully dedicated to the given field. Dedication is a sign of commitment.
4. Learn more skills than what college can teach
Being able to learn outside of the classroom is always a plus. Internships are able to teach more than just the hard skills that colleges focus on. Soft skills are also taught. These include being able to work with a team, time management, and work ethic.
Employers are looking for candidates who can easily transition from being students to working as a full-time employee. Having internship experience can ease that transition. The more hours invested in learning about your industry outside of school can show your employer that you have the determination and skills for that position. College drools. Internships are cool!