One thing we love about internship programs is that it is beneficial for both the employer and the intern! An employer gets some extra help around the office, and the intern gets to apply their classroom knowledge. Interns who are completing an internship should focus on honing their skills and ability to network with other professional.
Did you know that over two-thirds of students complete at least one internship prior to graduation? Internships give you real-world experience when it comes time to apply for a job, leaving you ahead of many other candidates. We'd like to think that all internships are as good as they seem on paper, but sometimes they don't go as planned. Interns could be left filing papers, answering phones, and fetching coffee. Let us bust a few internship myths before you decide to forgo the internship.
Myth #1: Internships Mean Fetching Coffee
No, you're not Robert De Niro from "The Intern" driving Ann Hathaway around NYC. Internships are meant to give you a chance to apply what you've learned at school into a professional setting. Not only do we want you to use your existing knowledge, but we want you to work with your supervisor or mentor to work together on creating a meaningful learning experience. If internships were just about getting coffee and making photocopies, then there wouldn't be a need for a supervisor, right?
If we haven't convinced you yet, over half of paid internships lead to full-time job offers, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Some employers use an internship to test drive employees that they might want to bring on full-time. Now you can see why they take orientation, supervision, mentoring, and training so seriously!
Myth #2: Unpaid Internships are Worthless
Not true! We know that not every organization has the funds to take on an intern, but those organizations are just as good as those who do pay their interns. Students regularly take an unpaid internship for one of two reasons, either because that internship is the one that's tailored towards their skills or its one that will help them get the necessary course credits for their major. So don't let your bank account determine your willingness to take on an intern.
If you were thinking about not adding your unpaid internship to your resume, think again! You are still gaining industry knowledge and putting your skills to the test, so be sure to put your experience next to other paid jobs. Remember that potential employers love to see evidence of ambition and experience.
Myth #3: Summer Internship and Jobs are the Same
While summer jobs might offer students a way to supplement their incomes and defer some of their college costs, summer internships can also provide a ton of opportunities.
Summer internships fit perfectly between students' spring and fall semesters. During this time interns can build up their resumes, network, and receive industry-specific skills to increase chances of future employability. Internships can also help students earn course credit to graduate on time. Debating whether to call your opportunity a job or an internship? Ask yourself if there is a learning component. If the answer is yes, you may just have yourself an internship!
Internships are beneficial to all students, so start searching for internships today. Visit your career services office to learn more about internship opportunities.