Internships are often viewed negatively by recent graduates due to negative stereotyping about interns – namely the belief that interns don’t do anything except make coffee and photocopies. While the tasks assigned to an intern may not be the most challenging or interesting, internships can provide value beyond the actual tasks an intern is assigned.
Because some internships don’t provide compensation, many people discount them as an activity not worth their time. The truth is, the value they provide is often worth more than the pay that you could get from a part-time summer job unrelated to your field of interest.
1. Experience a professional working environment
Obtaining real-world working experience is essential, especially if you’ve never been employed. When you intern in a new workplace, you’ll gain first-hand knowledge about how a professional environment works.
Through interaction with co-workers and your supervisor, you’ll begin to ‘learn the ropes’ as they differ depending on the employer’s process methods.
2. Receive Credits for College
During the regular school year, college students may be averse to taking on an internship due to heavy class schedules. During the summer – instead of using the time to play – take advantage of your smaller class load, or your break from classes, to engage in an internship. And, if even when summer internships don’t pay, they often offer college credits – reducing the number of college hours you need to complete your degree and allowing you to graduate sooner.
3. Interns are potential candidates for a new hire
Getting hired by the company where you’re interning is probably the best, and most sought after, benefit of an internship. Whether the internship is paid or unpaid, it’s advantageous to do the job correctly and to the best of your ability. You’ll also want to fine-tune your communication skills and style to create positive relationships with other employees. Managers and supervisors will be watching how you interact with others. Specifically, they’ll be monitoring your performance to judge how well you are able to:
· Work under pressure
· Take the lead on assigned projects
· Make decisions and complete goals
· Collaborate compromise to facilitate group decisions
4. Build your resume with hard and soft skills
For college students, internships are critical to future job search success. They provide the information you need to fill out your resume with relevant experience. When you’re adding internship information to your resume, dig deep into that experience and pull out the stellar information that sets you apart from other candidates. The only thing you don’t have to mention is if the internship was paid or unpaid—this is something the employer doesn’t need to know.
5. Build and practice new skills
Gaining new skills is the best reason to pursue an internship. It’s necessary for anyone entering a new career to build the specific job skills required by their desired role and then spend the time necessary to perfect those skills and talents in order to successfully land a new position. All jobs require experience in certain skills, no matter the industry or position.