Internships are an extremely important addition to college student's resume-arsenal. An internship can be paid or unpaid and can be a great opportunity to develop industry-specific skills, gain real-world work experience, test-drive a chosen career path, establish professional network connections and allow a recent college graduate to gain an advantage over their peers by developing character and professional development. Here are some essential reasons to consider a summer internship at a startup.
Real World Application Knowledge
A pre-final year college student has learned how to perform certain duties and what will be expected of them as young professionals. An internship allows that same student to put their knowledge into real-world application. By spending time in the work environment, a student is given the opportunity to develop some quality portfolio additions and participate in events that students without an internship have no access to. College students who are interested in finding a right internship should first evaluate their career goals and then search for an internship that can help them achieve those goals.
Test Drive Their Chosen Career Path
Completing an internship allows a college student to test drive their chosen career path. Most recent graduates have never actually worked in their field of interest. Internships allow a young professional to experience the everyday life of their future career. The subtle etiquette of a work environment is a significant change from campus life and the more experience a person gains in a specific industry, the easier it becomes to decide upon a career of your choice.
Internships open the door for many networking opportunities. The adage, "it's not what you know, but who you know," applies to many job hunting situations. Take this for example; two recent graduates are looking for a job. Student A has superior grade scores but has not professionally networked at all. Student B has average grade scores but has spent countless hours participating in clubs, student organizations and volunteered their time in exchange for hands-on experience. Student A has to put in applications everywhere in the hope that someone will see the value in his or her resume and mock portfolio. In the meantime, student B gets a phone call from a former internship colleague who has a position available. Student B has an advantage because he or she has already proven their worth to the prospective employer.
Work Experience and Portfolio Additions
A college internship is a valuable source of work experience and portfolio additions. Including a professional internship experience on your resume is an excellent way to set yourself apart from other recent graduates. An employer automatically knows the prospective employee has been "battle tested" and will be able to perform basic office duties with practiced ease. This is more evident, in my opinion, with internships at smaller organizations. These internships allow the college student to take on more responsibilities rather than getting coffee and making copies at larger, better-known organizations.
College is a perfect place to learn self-reliance and independence. An internship is an ideal place to put those qualities to use. During the college years, students mould their intellect, whereas, during an internship, they begin moulding their characters. A right combination of the two can have a massive impact on the rest of your career. Procrastination during classes may get you through your lessons, but procrastinating in the real world will teach you a lesson! One must find the motivation necessary to focus on the job at hand. If a boss assigns a project, then it must be a top priority.
Insights on Financial Values
Internships can be paid or unpaid. The vast majority of them are unpaid, and for a reason. Employers see unpaid or low paying internships as a good way to ease the strains on a budget. The term unpaid can be misleading, though. Rewards gleaned while interning can come in the form of money and work experience. Both rewards have value and substance in the real world. Hands-on conferences and training sessions can be expensive, and an intern is getting similar results for free. In order to devote the amount of time that is needed to be successful at an internship, sometimes it is necessary to quit all other jobs. Most college students, and recent graduates, are already struggling financially and this is often a sticky situation. If a paid internship can be found, then the previously mentioned burden can also be avoided.
Finally, an internship is a good opportunity that can be very beneficial to one's future career, but if not taken seriously, can greatly hinder a young professional's entrance into the work world.