Internship Experience Is More Important Than Ever for College Graduates

Many college students are often too busy juggling homework, family, friends and work that they often do not think about internships. In this economy, internships should be a top priority for college students. Having an internship on a resume gives recent graduates a competitive advantage over other college grads applying for the same jobs. Employers believe that many graduates without internship experience do not have the practical skills necessary to excel in the job market.  Internships are beneficial because they give students the experience and skills they cannot learn within a school setting. Below you will find helpful information about internships.

When is the best time to look for an internship?

The best time to start looking for an internship is before junior year. This gives students two years before they graduate to get an internship. It also gives students enough time to try out more than one internship to get more experience. Many companies start internships over the summer, so it is best to start your search as early as March to get a head start.

Where do you look for an internship?

The first place students should look is at their college’s career center. Many local companies will post internship opportunities there. Employers understand the importance of an internship and want to give college students the opportunity to apply first.  Also check websites such as Monster, Career Builder and Craigslist for other internship openings.

What should I be looking for in an internship?

When considering an internship, make sure it is in the field of work the student wishes to go into after graduation. Many majors have a list of career fields that students should consider working in with their degree. These types of internships will surround students with mentors that they can learn the ropes of the business from. Location is another factor you need to consider. The closer the internship is to the campus, the more hours students can put in. Also, being closer to internship makes it easier for students to work around your class and study schedule.

Do all internships pay?

Not all internship positions pay and by law, employers are not required to pay interns. Though whether an internship is paid or unpaid there are many things that students need to consider before they decide if an internship is worthwhile. What students should base the internship on is how much the experience is worth to them. Sometimes an internship is such a great opportunity that money does not matter. Realistically getting paid is a plus but it all depends on what your needs are at the time.

Benefits of an internship:

The most important benefit of an internship program is that interns have more experience and more likely to find a job after graduation. Internships teach students time management, discipline, and effective communication skills. A lot of the times internships can lead to a full time position. If a full-time position is not offered, students are able to build a social network of references from the people they worked with. These references can give the student letters of recommendations that could help them find work elsewhere. Lastly, internships can teach students more about what they like to do and what you don’t want to do.

Remember: It is a BIG mistake by not obtaining an internship, so make sure you squeeze one in while you still can!
Imagine you are interviewing for your dream job. You are nailing all the questions. Suddenly, the hiring manager asks for your Facebook password to review your profile