Internships provide real world experiences for those looking to gain the knowledge and skills required to enter into a particular career field. Even though internships are typically short in nature, it’s an opportunity to take your classroom experience and apply it to real world situations.
Why is an internship important? Now a days, most students graduating from college will have done at least one internship in a professional setting. In fact, according to a recent survey done by Experience, out of 338 respondents, almost 38% held at least one internship; not only that, they also believed that an internship helped them get their full time job after graduation.
The internship process offers students many advantages, such as:
- Gaining an understanding of the professional work environment, expectations, and social norms
- Getting your foot in the door
- Learning valuable work-related skills
- Opportunity to working for a future employer
Most importantly, I believe that the internship process is a great opportunity for a student to realize his or her likes and dislikes within the workplace. For example, I have a friend who was hired as an intern this past year and when he finished the internship, he realized that he didn’t ever want to work in an office. However, he really enjoyed working with a team of employees. That experience was pivotal, because if it wasn’t for that experience, he wouldn’t have known that the office life wasn’t for him. It most certainly guided his career.
Aside from discovering what you like and don’t like, it’s important to realize what you’re good at and not so good at so you can exploit your talents to the best of their ability.
As for you, while you are in your internship, take notes on your experience and observe your surroundings; that way you can decide where you want to spend your 40 hour work weeks.
Work hard, be open minded, and enjoy the experience! If you have an internship experience you’d like to share, please add a comment!