Internships are an excellent way for college students to gain real experience before diving into a full-time job. Through an internship, students can learn new skills and understand how business environments operate. Internships also provide in-field teaching moments and let students practice all the skills they learn through coursework. Unfortunately, many colleges and universities don't require an internship for students to graduate. But without work experience, it’s significantly harder to get hired after college. Here are five reasons why an internship is a must before you graduate.
1. It looks good on a résumé
When you’re applying for a job, employers not only look at your degree but also your work history on your résumé. Internships give you the necessary experience employers want to see from a new grad; it shows you can do the job and contribute to the company. Furthermore, it's harder to train someone with limited work experience that doesn’t pertain to the job they’re applying for. Internships also increase your chances of getting a job right out of college. The competition is fierce in the workplace, so you’ll stand out by having internship experience.
Related: 6 Important Résumé Tips for College Students
2. You’ll learn new skills
You learn new skills in your college classes, yes, but will you know how to use them correctly in the workplace? An internship is the perfect place for developing and practicing the hard and soft skills you need to get the job you want in the future. By enhancing your newly discovered expertise, you’ll become more marketable in the workforce. This can include learning how to manage your time effectively, communicate properly, and work with a team. An internship will give you experience in all these areas as well as the confidence in your abilities to actually do the work.
3. You can get paid with some internships
While not all internships are paid positions, you can get paid for many of them. The average hourly pay for an internship in the US is about $15 an hour. Getting paid for any job is nice, but it's better to find an internship that increases your skills in your major, which increases your chances of getting a job in your field after graduation. If you’re really lucky, you’ll find an internship that helps you gain the knowledge and experience you need to land a job and collect a good paycheck.
Related: Summer Jobs, Internships, and Volunteering
4. It's possible to work at the business after the internship
If you've had a successful internship, you could get hired after you finish. Many companies that have internship programs will hire from the intern pool; in fact, about 60% of paid internships lead to a full-time job. Congruently, this makes the job hunting process a lot easier for you by eliminating the need to apply. Even if you don’t get hired permanently, your chances of getting a job somewhere else increase significantly because if the internship went well, they can give you a great recommendation.
5. You’ll make new connections
Networking is crucial in any career. Meeting new people and creating professional relationships can benefit you later in life, and having many different connections gives you a pool of people to recommend you and increases your chances of getting hired at a new company. Connecting with others during your internship can also improve your communication skills and get you out of your comfort zone. You’ll establish bonds with coworkers and could even create new friendships.
Related: 11 Networking Tips for College Students Looking for Jobs
Internships are a great way for students to prepare for a real workplace environment. Having the skills and abilities of a professional gives you an edge in the marketplace. Additionally, getting paid could be a bonus! Overall, an internship makes you more desirable to employers, giving you a better chance of getting hired after graduation. Securing one (or more) in college is the first step to your future career success.
Get ready for your internship with advice from student vlogger Tanvi over on our YouTube channel!