(Guest post by Erin Emory, assistant director of The Space to Prepare. You can reach Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Two students walk into a job interview.
(I know it sounds like the beginning to a bad joke, but just keep reading…)
Both students have the same GPA, same major, similar campus involvement, study abroad experience, and proficient interview skills. But there’s something one has that the other doesn’t, and that one thing is going to guarantee the job offer: an internship!
Why does an internship matter so much?
More students than ever are currently attending college, which means greater competition for jobs upon graduation. An internship is your way to climb past your peers. The majority of employers we interact with say they want to see at least two internships on a resume.
But just listing an internship on a resume doesn’t mean much if you have nothing to show for it. Internships provide an array of knowledge and experience that you may not otherwise secure. They give you the chance to work with professionals in the field and gain an edge over students who never sought out the opportunity.
My advice: Take advantage of every second! You may have to fetch coffee every now and then but you may also sit in on board meetings, shadow clients, maintain the marketing page, assist a team in building the company’s latest and greatest app, or countless other possibilities. Don’t hesitate to get involved and constantly be on the lookout for a learning opportunity to dive into. Besides that, it’s a great way to build your network and future connections you may find valuable down the road!
So, gain experience and build connections…what else?
Every day, I talk to students who are torn about what they want to do after graduation. “I was thinking about business but I also really like marketing. I’m just not sure which I’m more interested in.” Internships help you decide, or at least deduct from your running list of interests, to give you a clearer direction.
An internship also lets you learn the inner workings of industries and jobs. This is info you don’t get from a Google search. You learn what the culture of the industry is like, the skill sets and hours required, and more. You also find out what is most important to you – a little career soul-searching, if you will. Maybe you really like working with people, but phone communication isn’t your thing. Maybe long hours don’t matter as long as the office culture fits. These are all lessons that come from first-hand experience and that comes from an internship.
Still not sold?
Would it help to know that employers made full-time offers to 56.5% of their interns?*
An internship doesn’t guarantee you a job offer, but for over half of the intern population, they either walk away from the internship with an offer or receive one down the road at the time of graduation. I’d say that’s a pretty great incentive for doing an internship and doing it well!
The list of reasons to complete an internship could go on and on. And now that you’ve been persuaded, you’re ready to go forth and conquer, right? We can help you do that! Be sure to visit The Space to: Intern page on our website for more information about how to get the process started.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is build a resume, and you can find more information about that here. From there, schedule an appointment to meet with a Career Coach (like me) in The Space to: Prepare to talk about your interests, timeline and next steps.
It is never too early to do an internship, so why not get started now?
Source: The National Association of Colleges and Employers.