Why Students Should Consider Doing One or More Internships

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Internships provide a link between academic learning and professional employment. Because many employers require new hires to have completed at least one internship, many applicants will find their resumes stuck at the bottom of the pile if they haven't completed at least one internship during their four years of college.

Some college students even go the extra distance and do an internship abroad, an undertaking that substantially boosts their credentials. It is recommended that students try several different internships in order to get a good sense of what it’s like to work in the particular field they're interested in. This experience allows students to see what it’s like to actually work in the office and see first-hand what the industry is like. They also get a chance to evaluate the different types of jobs in their chosen profession that best match their skills and personality.

Acquiring Knowledge and Developing Skills Gets You Hired

Internships afford you the opportunity to meet people already working in the field, gain valuable references, and get exposure to the working environment. These are just three good reasons why students should consider doing one or more internships during their college years. Because many employers use their internship programs to train young people and then select new hires from the internship pool, it’s crucial that interns do their best to prove to the employer that they have what it takes to be successful in the job. Internships are a way for students to build their knowledge base and increase their skill set while increasing their chances of getting hired for a full-time position in the future.

Internships Increase Your Likelihood of Staying With the Company 

Not only are employers looking for individuals with relevant experience in the field, they are also looking for people who have had exposure to the field (and the company) and who understand what it’s like handling the nitty-gritty of a particular job. Even some of the biggest names in the business hire from within. Union Square Cafe, in New York City, is a top-rated Zagat restaurant known for hiring marketing interns. And, according to the National Organization of Colleges and Employers, 90 percent of returning interns (those who came back for a second internship) were offered full-time employment.

Doing an Unpaid Internships Versus Getting a Paid Job

Students are often faced with the dilemma of deciding whether it's better to do an unpaid internship or find a job that allows them to make some money. There is no easy answer to this because this is a highly personal situation. If you are able to do an unpaid internship without any undue hardship, the experience will provide valuable work experience and may lead to a full-time job with that company, or, at the very least, will help you get a similar job with a synergistic company.

Students who cannot afford to do an unpaid internship might try combining the internship with a part-time job to sustain themselves over the course of the internship. Especially in today's remote-driven world, many internships allow students to work remotely part of the time, and to complete tasks during off-hours like evenings and weekends. Even though an internship is unpaid, the right one will provide valuable experience that paves the way to a future employment. However, many of the large global companies offer paid internships and you may be able to have the best of both worlds.