Imagine you’re a recent graduate, bachelor’s degree in hand, applying for your first job. You took the tests and wrote the papers so you’re qualified, right? Then why do you keep getting turned down from jobs for lack of experience? You don’t actually have any. That’s where internships come in!
Internships are a great way to gain professional experience to set you on the right path toward a career you love. According to NACE, 64 percent of 2015 graduates participated in an internship during their undergrad. Here’s why you should be one of them:
Learn about office culture
This is the kind of thing you can’t learn in the classroom. Here at Suite 4 the office culture is relaxed with everyone working in an open room at one big table. Other companies have cubicles which can provide a totally different experience. Anytime you are working in an office, you’re learning how to be a good employee and employers like good employees.
Gain the right experience
There is a common stereotype that as an intern you will just be doing coffee runs, but in most cases you will be doing so much more. In my experience, I have participated in events, gone to meetings and worked directly on projects for clients. One of the best ways to ensure hands-on experience is by interning with smaller companies and by asking if there is anything else you can work on. It is easier to get to know everyone at a small company and they will often give you bigger projects and more responsibility.
Try something new
You know that saying “you’ll never know unless you try?” Well, that applies to internships too! Internships are a great way to broaden your experiences and learn something new. I am a mass communication major currently doing a marketing internship. Although there is a lot of overlap between what I am learning in mass communication and my marketing internship, I am also learning skills that are not taught within my major. Try different industries and organizations that interest you, such as nonprofits, for-profits, big and small businesses, so you know what environment you work best in.
It can lead to a job
While at the time of your unpaid internship it may seem like you’re working without compensation, your time will pay off. Internships often lead to full-time positions at the company you are interning for or you will make connections that can lead to a full-time job. If nothing else, you’re on your way to getting that experience most employers are looking for.