Many college students may find after graduation that the job market now asks for more than just a Bachelor’s degree. Recruiters are expecting candidates to have experience fresh out of school and most will be looking for that experience through internships. Internships have become the new normal for college graduates. As a newly graduated student fresh in the job hunt, you will want to have not just a college degree on hand but also a plethora of internships to show off to recruiters. Here are some reasons why interning is an important supplement to your college degree:
1. Gaining Valuable Experience – Internships are one of the best ways to gain real-world experience in the field of your choice. Recruiters are often searching for applicants that already have experience working within an established company through an internship. Experience as an intern shows your future employers not only that you are familiar with a professional work setting but that you are eager to learn and be flexible.
2. Resume Booster – A resume with one or more internships listed will likely put you a step above other candidates that have no internships. This goes along with gaining valuable experience as the more you intern, the more experience you have to list in your resume. An ample resume can help you stand out from the sea of applications that many recruiters receive and internships are an easy way to gain work experience. Your resume is also not just a place to show off what you know but also who you know. Internships are also a great place to meet people that you can list as recommendations or references on your resume.
3. Networking – Another key reason internships are so important is that it gives students opportunities to network and to network with the right people. Everyone knows that who you know in the industry matters just as much as what you know and internships give students a great way to get to know professionals in their field. Networking opportunities such as internships can help put you on the fast track to getting your first job out of school.
4. Opportunities For Hire – Internships are often a great way to get your foot in the door for open positions later. Many hiring managers will look to their interns if positions open up as they already have the experience of working with teams and are already familiar with the office culture. Hiring interns allows managers to offer job positions to people they have already trained as well as cut down on the interview process.
5. Earn College Credit – Many internships offer students college credit in exchange for their time. This means as a student you can gain valuable job experience and have it count towards your degree. Earning that extra college credit often means students can get to their graduation deadline quicker.
6. Develop New Skills – There are some things you just can not learn in the classroom and interning can help you learn skills that happen in a real-world, professional setting. The days of interns running to get coffee or office supplies are long gone, as many companies instead choose a more mentorship approach to with their interns. Students often get to sit in on meetings and help teams accomplish goals or projects.
7. Try Out A Field – Many students go into their degrees without ever experiencing what actually working in the field might be like. Interning gives you the opportunity to try out a field and see if it is right for you.
There are numerous benefits for students to intern and in today’s highly competitive job market, interning has quickly become the new normal. Interning is not confined to one industry either; many companies and organizations in virtually every industry offer internship programs. There are also many internship programs that have the added benefit of paid stipends or even going abroad. Overall, students can only benefit from interning both while in school and after graduation.
This article was contributed by guest author Nick Rojas.