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Students Describe the Benefits of Internships

Students Describe the Benefits of Internships

Peter Vogt MC Career Coach

August 13, 2009

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to pursue an internship during college, the statistics alone should convince you to do one. Employers overwhelmingly point to internship experience as the most important factor they consider in hiring new college graduates for full-time positions, and they have a variety of self-serving reasons for feeling that way.

How do you benefit from taking part in an internship? Here’s what a few of your fellow students and recent graduates had to say:

Gain Industry Knowledge You Won’t Learn Anywhere Else

“Being able to talk with people working in the industry I’m studying to work in is priceless,” says Jared Smith, a 24-year-old junior at Shasta College, beginning his second Web development internship for Redding Electric Utility in California. “I was able to spend the day in the control room at the power station, which was amazing for me. I was also able to see the data that is going to be important to me in my career. I learned about things I’ll never find in the classroom. Now I can focus on my studies and strive for the knowledge I’ll need in tomorrow’s workforce.”

Accumulate Evidence of Your Abilities

Eugenia Sozzi, a 21-year-old senior at the Catholic University of America, majoring in human resource management, says her recently completed internship at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, DC, “Gave me many opportunities to test and refine my skills.” She spent her summer creating, implementing and managing a new internship program for the organization.

As a visionary, she says, “I had to create a program from scratch, setting down its foundations through a mission and vision statement and creating the core aspects of the program accompanied by the supporting details. As a saleswoman, I needed to sell this program to the supervisors and directors who had better things to be doing than supporting this program and even allocating resources to it.”

Now, Sozzi says she can demonstrate her leadership talents to future employers, her ability to work well with different types of people and her skills in seeing projects through from start to finish.

Make Critical Professional Contacts

“One of the benefits I took away from my internship was the personal references I can use when [future] employers ask for them,” notes 22-year-old Michael Charron, a recent communications graduate of Worcester State College who interned for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette newspaper during his senior year. “That’s important, because now I have an actual reference letter from a work-related person rather than a family friend. Plus, I’ve also been able to do some networking and get prospective leads on other workplaces that might be hiring.”

Your Confidence Will Improve

Michelle Jost is a 22-year-old senior at the University of Wisconsin at Madison who will graduate with a degree in conservation. She’s interned as an animal educator at the New England Aquarium in Boston, as an assistant for Natural Health magazine in Boston and as an attractions hostess at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida.

“How have my internships benefited me?” says Jost. “I’m in the process of finding a job right now, and my resume rocks! I’m not concerned about finding a great position in the field I want. I’m going as a Disney-trained, internationally published educational presenter who has the New England Aquarium as my main reference. So I have the confidence of someone who’s been in my field for several years, and I have the names, references and organizations to back me up.”

Possibly Land a Full-Time Job

Forty-seven-year-old Wendy Stubbs is now a career development specialist at the University of South Dakota, thanks in great part to the internship she completed at the USD Career Development Center last year as a graduate student. Meanwhile, 24-year-old September McIntyre, who just finished her master’s degree in public relations at the University of North Texas, landed her new job as a public relations specialist for BSMG Worldwide in Dallas following a six-month internship with the company.

Research shows that 85 percent of companies use internships and similar experiential education programs to recruit for their full-time workforces.

Like this? Check out these related articles:
Maybe you can get paid at an unpaid internship
Which internship is best for you?


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Unaccredited Cate

    almost 4 years ago

    An internship helped me decide my career...up until that point, I was considering a related field that I later figured out was not a good fit for me. Thanks to interning, I'm involved in a graduate program I absolutely love!

  • M_4974f11c6c614adda387c5e45f1bebab_max50

    gg21

    almost 4 years ago

    4 comments

    I love the fact that internships helps you figure out the route to go in and helps you get a full-time job in your major easily by putting it on your resume, but what if your having a major problem finding one around your area? I been looking for one for about two years and I graduate in June 2011.

  • Superhero_logo

    Frank_Ball

    about 4 years ago

    19756 comments

    Please keep your comments on topic to the article -- Any comments posted with embedded links leading outside MonsterCollege that are potentially dangerous and infected links will be removed and the poster's account will be banned from MonsterCollege. Thank you.

  • Just_me_max50

    Tesa1289

    about 4 years ago

    2 comments

    I really liked this article, it makes me feel better about getting unpaid internships! My first internship really helped me figure out if that area is something I wanted to pursue. Get as many internships as you can in college and it really helps you narrow your focus and figure out where you strive and what your passion is.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    rhygin

    almost 5 years ago

    16 comments

    This is a great article as I used just focus on money making summer jobs and, while it acheived those goals, it did not help my career. Get the internship!

  • Google_image_result_for_http___1

    Sophomoric

    about 5 years ago

    6 comments

    Intern till you get in