Landing an internship in college can help set you up for immediate success in the job market once you earn your degree. That’s a fact.
Only 30.7 percent of graduating seniors without internship experience received a job offer after graduation compared to 42.3 percent among those with internships, according to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The research also found that interns got higher salary offers.
If your university has an internship program, you should be taking advantage of it. Besides the aforementioned benefits, a solid internship sharpens your understanding of your target industry and helps you form positive working relationships with professionals already established in the field.
Keep an open mind when it comes to accepting an internship, and be ready to commit your summer months to it. Doing so will help put you ahead of the game.
One trap many new professionals fall into is taking internships based on convenience. Maybe the office is nearby. Maybe the hours are flexible and the workload light. This is the wrong approach if you’re looking to set yourself up for future success.
Internships should be interesting and challenging. They should require heavy collaboration and your involvement in major company projects. This type of work experience is invaluable in preparing you for your first real gig. By the time you are hired, you’ll look back on your internship experience as highly instrumental.
While internships are ideal if there is monetary compensation involved, that’s not always the case. Working in a great environment that opens new doors for you may be worth it, even if you’re not getting paid.
If your dream company is offering an unpaid internship, think of ways you’ll be able to supplement your income during the summer. Consider some weekend work or ask your parents for a loan to float you through the duration of the internship.
Preparing yourself for working without pay may be difficult, but you could reap the rewards by earning relevant experience and forging invaluable relationships with the right professionals.