Whether an internship is paid, for credit, unpaid or not-for-credit doesn't change its value. Internships are investments in your future. Often, students are reluctant to pursue internships because they worry they'll be stuck doing menial tasks like getting coffee or making copies and let's face it- no one wants to work for free. The truth is, although not all internships pay in cashthey do pay in other ways.
Here are just a few reasons why internships are investments in your future:
1) Real world experience: Joining a company as an intern gives you the opportunity to work hands on in a professional environment. As an intern you're not just there to get coffee or run errands but you're there to gain actual work experience. Internships help by teaching you more about the career path you are pursuing. Think of it like this – internships are a way to test drive possible jobs and explore different career options.
2) Networking: Internships often give you the opportunity to attend meetings and events. By interacting with professionals you gain new connections and learn how to communicate in a professional environment. Personally, my internships have introduced me to a lot of useful resources and have given me the opportunity to meet a variety of professionals in my field. Networking has helped me acquire references and find new job opportunities. Internships can even provide you with a professional mentor.
3) Resume Builder: As a college student I know the importance of a strong resume. Without a solid resume it can be tougher to be considered for a position. And how can you have a strong resume without any experience? Internships are key to building experience as a student or recent graduate. Employers are much more likely to hire someone with internships and work experience rather than someone with a generic resume, lacking experience.
4) Time Management: As an intern you'll become a master of time management. When you're working in a fast paced professional environment you need to know every minute counts. Time management is vital in every circumstance whether you're attending meetings, finishing tasks on deadlines, making phone calls, picking up your boss' dry cleaning or walking their dog (just kidding about those last two).
5) Career Foundation: Internships provide you with the building blocks you need for your future. Many internship opportunities help set the foundation for your career. It is important that you choose you internships based on your interests and career prospects. As an intern you have the opportunity to get your foot in the door with a company. Keep in mind, employers often use internships as a recruitment tool to test out future employees and in many cases, companies hire interns after graduation.
Internships are great tools to improve your chances as a job applicant and help make you a better potential employee. So make the investment in your career and look into becoming an intern.
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