The word “internship” is thrown around quite often these days. With the upturn in college graduates, it has become harder for recent grads to obtain a job due to the equal playing field of qualified candidates. If the majority have a college degree, what makes you so special? It’s an INTERNSHIP that can set you apart from the competition!
Benefit #1: Internships provides you with a competitive advantage. It’s very common to have a college degree now-a-days, since it is required for a majority of higher paying positions.
I started my internship exactly one year ago today, when I was going into my last semester in college. Before then, I had only had one other internship position which was only a month long. I was worried that one internship alone would not set me apart enough from other applicants when it came time to join the real-world work force.
Starting off, I thought I knew at least a little bit about what it takes to work in a marketing firm. After all, I had been through semester after semester of marketing and business courses. So, I should know a lot, right? WRONG!
It wasn’t until I had to put my knowledge into action that I realized I had the concepts down, but not quite the focalized mindset to deal with multiple clients - with very specific needs. I had to learn about each client and their company’s goals and strategies to really be able to make my work up to their standards.
Benefit #2: You have the opportunity to be in a real-world environment and learn soft skills. Future employers will like that fact that students have a new skill set that can’t be taught in the classroom.
“Soft skills”: teamwork, time management, prioritization, attention to detail, etc.
During the first few months of my internship, I was given many different types of assignments including press releases, event flyers, video production, graphic creation, and even brand management. Through those various tasks, I found which areas of marketing I liked better and focused on those as a future career path.
BTW: It’s social media
Benefit #3: Internships are a test drive of a career. Having more than one, or one that has many areas you can work in, helps you narrow down what you do and don’t want to make a career out of.
Before my current position, I had the opportunity to take a few interviews with employers and found that they asked a lot about my experience and the internships I did have under my belt. (HINT: YOU WILL BE ASKED ABOUT IT!)
Let’s recap: Aside from the possibility of growth within your mentoring company, it gives you a competitive advantage, you learn a new set of business skills, and you find what you really like and don’t like.