Are you deciding whether or not to do an internship during college? If so, you are not alone. Many college students struggle with this decision. On one hand it would be a good experience for your future, but on the other hand it means a couple of months of free or low-pay work. This may have you wondering if it is really worth it. Well, according to NACE (National Association of College and Employers), an internship is not just something to consider, it is crucial to helping you land your first job.
NACE’s latest study shows that 70 percent of employers today require their new employees to perform an internship prior to employment. What makes these positions so important that employers now require them? To provide some insight, here is a look at the top benefits of doing an internship while in college.
The first obvious benefit of doing an internship is the immense amount of hands-on experience you will receive. You will finally be able to put into practice the various things you are learning in the classroom. You will expand you knowledge in your specific field and build upon your skillset. This experience can be included on your resume and will certainly put you a head above other applicants that do not have any real-life experience.
Internships are also the perfect place to make business contacts that may be valuable to you throughout your professional career. Whether this is the number of company employees you will work with during your internship or even other interns, you will be building a professional network that could help you greatly in the future. This makes it crucial that you pay attention and keep track of everyone you meet during your internship. You never know when you may need to contact them in the future for advice, a recommendation, to close a deal or many other business-related dealings.
If you are getting close to your graduation date, you know how important it is to land your first job. A stellar recommendation from your internship supervisor could make the difference between getting the job or not. This is because your supervisor can vouch for your work ethics and your ability to take what you have learned and turn it into practice. This also means that you have to work just as hard at your internship as you would a paid position because their recommendation is so important.
Tips for Finding an Internship
Unfortunately, there are companies that hire interns to do tedious tasks such as clerical work or filing. Although companies need these tasks done, filing and similar duties do not help interns expand their knowledge and learn important resume-building skills. For that reason, it is important to be careful about where you choose to do your internship. Here are several tips to consider when looking for the right internship for you.
Search Early – You should start looking for an internship well before the end of the semester. The earlier you start your search, the more options you will have available to you. If you wait too long, you may be forced to take an internship you do not necessarily want.
Job Description – Only apply to internships that provide a comprehensive job description. The description should lay out exactly what you will be doing and what hours you will be working. Try to find an internship that matches closely with your career goals.
Reputable Company – Working with a reputable company also decreases you chances of being stuck doing a bad internship. Make sure that the company has offered internships before because this makes it more likely that you will be working on projects that build your upon your skills.
With all of these great benefits, it is easy to see why doing an internship during college is not just a good idea, but a necessity. With that in mind, start planning as soon as possible. The trick is to look for reputable companies to work for that offer internships in your particular field of study. Take your time searching and you will find the perfect internship for you.
Byline: Written by the marketing team at Campus Special, a leading provider for online food ordering, small businesses, mobile couponing, loyalty, and more.