While many college graduates may enter the workforce straight out of college, for a growing majority landing a successful career hinges on a successful summer internship. Taking the steps to garner a summer internship is more important than ever.
Better than a non-related job
Internships are notorious for not paying well, but the experience gained is more valuable than at a minimum wage summer job. Taking a minimum wage job for the summer that is in an unrelated field of study will not hold much advantage except the immediate monetary gain. Accepting an internship will pay in experience.
Depending on the chosen educational major, without professional experience an applicant will not be taken seriously for many jobs. If the field of applicants is competitive, one who has experience with an internship will beat out the applicant with education only. Many potential employers will not even consider applicants that do not have some professional experience. It is common to see job description expressly say 3-5 years of professional experience. While a summer does not create that level of experience, it does take a step in the right direction.
Step toward better internships
A summer internship is temporary for a small unit of time for a company, but it often leads to better internships in the future. These future internships are often for longer lengths of time and are better paying than the summer internships. Having a small summer internship experience on the resume’ will catch the attention of employers who want more experienced interns.
Develops connections and references
The best part of internships of any kind is that it helps the college graduate to gain connections. Often jobs are not advertised. Instead people often are hired because a connection knows someone who would be perfect for the job. Also supervisors on internships are often quality references for future internships and jobs. This type of networking is an important part of future employment.
Reality check on career choice and majors
Having a summer internship can be very valuable for a college student to determine whether or not this career field is the most optimal choice. While internships are often the menial labor jobs that the supervisor does not want to do, it can lead to real and valuable insight into what a career in this field entails on a daily basis. With the cost of higher education rising, it is important for a college student to be confident in the career choice. A summer internship that leads to a change in career decision can save the student money because there is time to change majors or add another major or minor that may be valuable in conjunction with the career.
Limited summer jobs
There is a possibility that ordinary summer jobs are not available. Doing nothing for the entire summer will not create any experiences of any value to the college student. It would be better to apply for even an unpaid internship for the summer than to not have any employment.
There are some internship programs in which college students can earn college credit at the same time. Some employers for the internship may even assist with paying for those credits. Earning college credits while gaining work experience is a valuable way to enhance a resume’ while concurrently advancing toward a degree as well.
Summer internships can be a valuable and important step toward entering the professional workforce after college,