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7 Reasons Internships Are So Important

A common refrain we hear from recent graduates and entry level professionals is that you need to have previous experience to get additional experience.  With many entry level positions requiring a certain number of years of experience, it can be difficult to get your foot in the door.  Employers want to see a candidate that has previous experience on their resume and are often hesitant to provide the first pass.

This is one reason why internships are so important.  An internship provides students and recent graduates with a level of real-world experience that is invaluable on a resume and when it comes time to applying to full-time positions.  Internships are the new entry level position and are extremely important to career opportunity and growth.

Internships Are The New Entry-Level Job

In recent years, entry level positions have been replaced by industry specific internships.  Students are expected to land an internship within their years at a college or university and utilize those practical, real-world skills to land a full-time position after graduation.

With this dynamic shift, it is more important than ever for students to land an internship in their industry or field of choice.  Internships provides students not just with real-world experience, but practical, resume worthy experience.  This addition to a student’s resume can help them open new opportunities and interviews once they graduate.

Internships Help Build Out Your Network

As a student or recent graduate, your list of professional connections and network may be small.  While you should have a sufficient number of connections from family, friends, fellow students, and professors, you will want to grow out your professional network.

By interning at a company within your industry, you are able to build relationships and rapport with your fellow coworkers.  These coworkers likely have years’ worth of industry knowledge and connections, which they can leverage in your job search.

Internships allow a student to liaise directly with career professionals and develop a working relationship with them.  So long as you show yourself to be knowledgeable, hardworking, and committed, these connections will be happy to help you along your career journey. 

Building out your career network is extremely important and also why we’ve discussed leveraging LinkedIn from the beginning of your career.  LinkedIn will help you to maintain contact and status with current and former colleagues.  These connections can be useful ass your progress in your career.

They Provide Authority to Your Resume

We’ve discussed before how, on average, a recruiter will spend just six-seconds on a resume. You will want to impress them in those six-seconds and compel them to reach out to you for an initial phone screen.  However, without substantial experience on your resume, you will likely have a more difficult time having your resume land in front of the recruiter.

An internship provides a level of authority and clout to your resume.  It shows that you have real-world, industry specific knowledge.  This knowledge has also been proven at a previous company, where you were able to learn the ins-and-outs of the industry.

They Help You Confirm Your Career Choice

Many students opt to major in a subject and realize too late that they’re simply not interested in it.  This realization can be avoided altogether by interning.  As an intern, you will work directly on the topics and subjects you study.  This will afford you the opportunity to determine whether or not you’re truly interested in it or not.

They Give You Confidence

Unfortunately, many recent graduates lack confidence in their skills and abilities.  For many of them, a full-time position may be their first level of experience in a corporate setting.  This confusion and lack of direction can be detrimental to their long-term career if not handled quickly and correctly.

When interning, most employers understand that the student may still be learning.  Many internships offer trainings and guidance, to help a student learn and understand the rules and etiquette within a corporate setting.

It Can Lead to A Full-Time Offer

One of the best reasons to pursue internships during college is that more often than not, it can lead to a full-time offer from that employer.  Employer’s utilize internships as a barometer for upcoming graduates.  If you’re hired as an intern and make a name for yourself, you have a very good chance of receiving a full-time offer contingent on your graduating.

In fact, one recent study indicated that 67% of interns received or expected to receive a full-time offer at the completion of their internship.  That 67% also indicated that they were planning on accepting the offer.  In addition, 6% of interns stated they expected or did receive a full-time offer but were not going to accept it.  This means that three out of fours interns expected to receive a full-time offer after their internship.

You Can Get Academic Credit

Although most interns are shifting towards a paid system, many have remained unpaid, but offer academic credits towards graduation.  With the sky-high costs of undergraduate and graduate degrees, getting an internship and receiving academic credit is extremely valuable.  Not only will you have real-world experience to place on your resume, but you will also receive academic credit for your work.

Conclusion

We’ve listed 7 reasons internships are so important, but there are an endless number of reasons.  Internships are the single best method to landing a full-time offer after graduation and to starting your career.  They expose you to real-world scenarios and situations that cannot be taught in a classroom setting.  They help you with adding experience to your resume and with building out your list of networks and connections.

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