Internships are enormously varied opportunities. An internship may be paid or unpaid and may be full-time or part-time in nature. Some colleges have internship programs that are linked to college courses and result in earned credits.
Benefits of Internships:
- An internship can help you make a career decision by confirming or rebuffing your interest in a particular field.
- An internship allows you to meet professionals who can mentor you.
- An internship builds knowledge and confidence for workplace competence.
- An internship lets you practice communication and teamwork skills.
- An internship adds a powerful entry to your resume.
- An internship can enhance your application to a graduate school program.
- An internship may result in a job offer after graduation.
Some students feel they are unable to participate in internships. Sometimes this is because they already have a job which pays more than an internship would. Another problem is that the internship commitment would interfere with taking a full load of courses, resulting in a delay in graduation or a summer school obligation. The economic hardship that the above situations might create is understandably concerning but must be put in perspective. The long-term benefit of gaining experience which helps determine or launch a career is significantly more important than a short-term financial set-back.
Recent college graduates can sometimes be hired as interns. Technically they are temporary employees and should be paid. It often serves as a way for a company to evaluate a candidate before making a lasting employment decision. Such an internship can be a good way to break into a very competitive field or simply get started in the work world if you have not been offered a traditional position quickly enough.