Internships are almost a standard part of college life for students who hope to graduate and move into the working world.
Did you know two out of three interns get a full-time job offer? To employers, internships are a recruiting tool. Besides hiring their own interns, they hire an equal number of new grads who interned somewhere else, according to a survey of employers and colleges.
Besides the potential job offers, resume building and contacts you can get by interning, there can be other benefits.
- College credit. Many internships earn credit. Just make sure you have the prerequisites and that the internship meets the requirements for credit.
- Money. Many of the best internships come with paychecks — and often far larger than you might get ringing up burgers or jeans. One national survey found undergraduate interns averaging more than $16 an hour. Master’s students got $25 an hour.
- Preference exploration. Check out that career from the inside. What do you like and not like? Some interns discover they want nothing to do with their once-chosen field and take the opportunity to move in a new direction — before they're out the college door and into an unhappy first job.
- Experience. You'll hone skills and develop new ones. You'll get a feel for how things are done, what’s expected, what’s valued, what’s not so important, who’s responsible for what, and more. Working with professionals in an office or in the field, you'll see things from a new angle and learn things you would never learn any other way.
- Self-confidence. Things that might seem bewildering on day one of your internship can become routine as you finish up. You'll come out confident that you can do those things; and that you'll be able to build on them and do even more.
- Interview prep. What you did, what you learned, and whom you worked with in your internship will make great talking points in a job interview. And you'll be more fluent in speaking the language of your field.
- Upgrowth (yes, it’s a real word). You'll be responsible for showing up on time, completing projects, and staying positive in a way that goes beyond your college experience. And you'll develop perspective and maturity that will help guide your education and career decision making.