If you’re chasing the career of your dreams, you’ll want to consider doing an internship; with the right internship you can get valuable hands-on experience while you’re in college, a great resume builder and the chance to be hired on as a permanent employee once you graduate. Here we’re going to go over the value of internships, and how you can launch the career of your dreams by finding the right one when you’re in college. Let’s get started!
Get On the Job Experience BEFORE You Leave College
Having experience is vital to getting a job; but beyond working in food services while you’re in college, ways to pad your resume to get on the fast track for your career are few and far between. Getting the right internship through your college career center can help save you from doing years of entry level tedium once you graduate. A recent study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers showed that 6 out of 10 internships lead to permanent jobs. Internships are the fast track way for people of all ages to switch careers and get their foot in the door.
Weigh Your Options
We’ve all been in the position where an employer is just calling an assistant job an internship; think of it as a partnership where you’ll be able to trade your time for valuable experience and school credits. Mnay different jobs including teaching and nursing have a mandatory internship requirement (guided practicums, student teaching, etc.) so you’ll get lab time and a great way to buff up your resume. Ask them what you’ll gain from the experience; don’t be afraid to ask questions like this, it’s your future! You should get on the job training, an option to be hired on and of course references. If the internship isn’t accredited by your school, you may want to think about finding somewhere else to intern at.
Paid versus Unpaid Internships
Internships come in two flavors: paid and unpaid. While no one wants to work for free, if you can satisfy your course requirements AND have a great thing to put on your resume that leads to permanent employment after you graduate, an unpaid internship isn’t a bad idea! Companies like to see people with can do attitudes who were dedicated enough to their communities and their careers to take it on. Only 1/3 of the listings on Internships.com, one of the leading sources for internships online, are paid; some of the best opportunities are going to be unpaid so don’t let money be your sticking point.
If you’re looking for a paid internship and FIND one, check them out. Is the wage livable? Does it count as a college credit? Will it interfere with your class schedule? Is it something you want to put on your resume? All internships need to be resume builders, and some of the paid ones are practically abysmal; you want to make sure that this is a job you can really do… the last thing you want to have is a failed internship on your resume that your prospective employers have to check up on.
Many people undervalue internships, but they’re a valuable tool for launching your career once you’re out of college! Many companies will even keep you as a permanent employee or give you a great reference that you can use when you’re job hunting. Don’t shy away from them because they don’t pay as well as a “real job”; they’re not supposed to, that’s why they’re internships. Use them the way they’re meant to be used, as stepping stones to the next chapter of your life. Absorb everything you can, use them to bolster your resume and find the permanent job of your dreams.