The Value of Internships

Phoebe Young, Staff writer 

Internships are opportunities for students to work in professional settings, typically ones that they are interested in finding careers in down the road. Some internships are paid, and other times they are used for school credit, or solely for experience. Whatever the case, internships hold far more value than simply monetary and academic. They can introduce students to professional work settings, allow them to connect with potential future employers, help students improve their resume, and help students feel more confident in their abilities as an employee. 

One of the most beneficial aspects of an internship is the experience that is gained through working in a professional field. Very commonly, finding careers can be difficult, and students who are just leaving school often face difficulties when trying to enter the workforce. Oftentimes, employers want to hire employees who have previous experience in the field, and they may even require a certain amount of experience for the job. This presents difficulties for students who have only had educational experience, and have not yet been involved in professional settings. Internships present students with the opportunity to get job experience while still completing their education, and provide students with more potential job opportunities after graduation.

This looks good on students’ resumes, but it also allows students to feel more comfortable and confident in their own abilities within the workforce. New jobs can be intimidating, and despite the numerous diligent hours you may have spent studying a subject, it is never quite the same as working in that field. Being involved in internships allows students to have experience with the careers they have interest in before being fully immersed in them, and allows them to know what to expect once they move into a career. Confidence is a valuable trait both when searching for jobs, so having an understanding and background in any professional setting, especially one specific to your desired career, can put you at an advantage.

Even if an internship does not align with a student’s future plans, or said plans change over time, the experience and knowledge gained from internships does not go to waste. Essentially any internship will assist students in developing and mastering professional soft skills, such as time management, interpersonal skills, work ethic, problem solving, adaptability and more. These are skills that are not career specific, and can be transferable, meaning they can be applied in any career or field. Internships allow students to perfect these skills early on, so that they can be used in future careers of all kinds.

Not only do students get to experience life as an employee throughout their internships, their employers also have the ability to see how they work, and possibly decide to offer them a higher position later on. Internships allow you to get a foot in the door with potential future employers, and may even present you with a career once you leave. Employers may also be willing to recommend you to other businesses or companies within your field of interest, and having connections to employers and other professionals in a field can be extremely beneficial when job searching.

Internships allow students to learn about and gain experience in their field of interest. They are great steppingstones into choosing a career and joining the workforce, while simultaneously pursuing an education, and they can be infinitely beneficial for preparing for life after college.

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