Have you started thinking about your future career and what you want your first job after college to be? Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t, but one thing is certain: you want to be that one candidate who stands out during the interview process because the competition is fierce. An internship during college can help you jumpstart your career, and it comes with many advantages.
Apply skills learned in the classroom — The knowledge you obtain in the classroom is extremely important to building a solid foundation for your desired future career. Completing an internship will give you the opportunity to apply the skills you have learned in the classroom to real life work. For example, maybe you are an accounting student and get an internship with an accounting firm. There you will file real tax returns and encounter unusual situations you wouldn’t come across in the classroom.
Gain related work experience — One of the most important benefits from doing an internship is the related work experience you will gain. You also get to boost your resume with this experience, which can make you a more qualified candidate when interviewing for a job when you graduate.
Explore different work characteristics — Completing an internship will also allow you to explore different career paths you can take with your degree and help you figure out what type of environment and culture you want to work in. For example, if you are studying marketing and you get a marketing internship, you may find that you want to work in brand management rather than in market research. The work environment and culture at a 10-person company is most likely different than the work environment and culture at a company with over 100 employees. An internship will help you define what it is you want and do not want regarding your workplace.
Advantage in the job market — Finally, you’re likely to network during your internship, which may lead to connections that might benefit you for the rest of your professional career. If you do a good job at your internship, your supervisor may provide you with letters of recommendation and introduce you to prospective employers or even offer you a potential job once you complete your education.
You may or may not be presented with these opportunities without having an internship, but if you have the time and opportunity to complete an internship, do it. It can only help you.
I am a bilingual (Spanish/English) coach with an educational background in personal finance. I recently obtained my Master’s in financial planning from Texas Tech University, where I also gained practical experience in coaching students. While at Texas Tech, I coached my peers about their educational and financial concerns through individual coaching sessions and presentations. As a first-generation and minority graduate, I understand that succeeding through college can be difficult at times. I believe I can relate to what you are going through emotionally, mentally, and academically. Having recently graduated myself, I hope that with my education, experience, and empathy, I can provide you with the right tools to help you achieve your educational and financial goals.