Everyone comes to a point in their college careers when they realize, “Shoot, I have to enter the real world soon, don’t I?” Yeah, apparently that college degree thingy you’ve been working toward this whole time is supposed to help you find a job after you graduate. If you’re like me, between all the football games, brunches, sleepovers, and so on, you kinda forgot that little detail.
So one day, you dust off your old résumé, laugh at the fact that it still lists “high school cheer captain” under extracurricular activities, scroll through old cheer photos for a couple hours, bring yourself back to reality, update that puppy of a résumé, and begin your online job search.
*Stares at screen perplexed*
“What city do I want to live in? LA? No, too fake. New York? No, too scary. D.C.? Yeah, okay, I could live in D.C.*
*Googles PR jobs in D.C.*
“$40,000 per year. Can I live off that much?”
*Googles cost of living in D.C.*
And then you find one — the job that looks perfect. It applies to your degree, sounds moderately interesting, or dare you say, fun, and it pays sort of well (for an entry-level position). SOLD!
But then you see the requirements. 2 years experience. Shoot.
After all, what’s your degree good for if it’s not enough to qualify you for a career?
That’s where internships comes in.
Internships are great because they give you the opportunity the test out different industries without the commitment of a full-time job. Employers understand that interns are there to learn, and therefore allow a little more leniency. Some internships can last for a month, for the summer, for a whole semester, or even for a whole year. At the end, when your time is up, you can decide whether you loved it or hated it so you know where to go next.
Internships also set you apart, because they offer something classes cannot: real world experience. It doesn’t matter how many textbooks you’ve read or projects you’ve aced. Until you’ve actually applied your skills to a real-world position, you simply are not prepared for the job market. Internships are the perfect transition into that, as they provide a learn-as-you-go environment.
Even better, internships can help lead to future careers. Sometimes, companies hire interns up as full-time employees, meaning, depending on where you work and how well you do, your internship could essentially be like a year-long interview, leading you into a paid position! Even if not, supervisors are often happy to help you find the next step after your internships, either by connecting you with someone who’s hiring, offering a recommendation, or both.
Internships are perfect for your time in college, as you’re not yet weighed down by the cost of living on your own. Many internships are unpaid, meaning they’re not exactly suitable for life after college when you’re dead broke. Most employers are willing to work with your college schedule, so you won’t have to worry about internships interfering with your grades. They look amazing on a résumé, as it shows you were willing to put in extra time for things besides partying. And best of all, by the time you graduate, you will have already completed all the experience required for that dream job of yours!
So go out, apply for a few internships, have some fun, and get started down your path to your dream career!
Where would you like to intern? Tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!