You may have several opportunities to take an internship during your college career. While you might be tempted to take a summer vacation before the fall semester, you gain many benefits when you opt for an internship instead. You might give up some free time over the summer, but you end up in a strong position post-graduation due to your efforts. Speak with your university's career services center for more information and resources on internship options for you.
1. Hands-On Training
You get to put your classroom knowledge to work through an internship. An internship allows you to move away from reading about concepts in books or practicing them in controlled lab environments and you get a taste of the real world through an internship.
2. Immersive Experience
You spend your work hours around people involved in your field and they show you what daily life is like in this type of job; from the environment you work in to the tasks performed.
3. Networking In Your Field
The people you know can get you far in your career. You can form lasting connections to people who may put you in a position to find your dream job once you graduate.
4. College Credits
Some college programs consider internships worth several credits, which helps you move closer to your degree. The practical knowledge you learn also helps you better grasp classroom concepts.
5. Gaining Company Knowledge
Did you get into an internship at your dream organization? You can learn the systems, processes and other information that could give you an edge when you apply for a position.
6. The Potential For A Job Offer
If you do well and leave an impression at your internship, some companies may want to hire you right out of college; allowing you to begin work in your field immediately.
7. Learning About Your Field
You gain perspective on what a career path truly looks like and the common situations you might encounter. Much of what you learn during an internship often includes information that you wouldn't learn in your courses.
8. Resume Building Work Experience
Many industries have a competitive job market, with hundreds of people applying for a position. Internships help your resume stand out compared to other recent graduates and entry-level job seekers.
9. Job References
Another way you can leverage internships for your job search is through references. You gain professional contacts and connections that look great on an application.
10. Discovering Your Interest In The Field
You can explore a specialization to determine whether it fits with your expectations. It's better to find out whether you like that career path now, rather than starting over a few years down the road.
The benefits of internships are abundant and can help you reach your short- and long-term goals. If you have the opportunity to take one on during your schooling, you put yourself in a much better position once you enter the job market.