Spending my summer days locked up in an office corner cubicle staring at spreadsheets for hours on end didn’t sound super enticing to me when I was first offered a summer internship. However, devoting my summer to working in a field that I found surprisingly enjoyable turned out to be a great decision and an amazing experience. In these past three months, I have learned more in an office than I ever could have in the classroom. I was able to experience the behind-the-scenes operations and inner functions of a company, which was far more interesting than I could have imagined. Based on my own experience as a summer intern, I have gathered 10 reasons why I highly recommend that you apply for and participate in summer internships. And why it will be 100% worth your time.
1. Internships provide experience and exposure to real-world applications of your academic studies
There is a major difference between sitting in a classroom and listening to your professor discuss a new topic and actually going out into the real world to use this knowledge in your daily life. With an internship, you can actually apply what you’ve learned in a classroom setting to the professional field.
2. Internships provide you with the opportunity to explore a career path you are interested in
With an internship, you literally get to test drive a career path first-hand to determine if it is a field you would like to work in later in your life. Internships are a great learning experience and they can help you understand more about yourself and provide clarity for your future career decisions.
3. Internships allow you to make connections with company professionals
Internships allow you to get your foot in the door. They provide the opportunity to meet and work with professionals and offer the chance to establish a deeper connection and relationship with these professionals. This networking can prove extremely beneficial for your future career path.
4. Internships enhance your resume
Today, many companies are looking to hire people immediately post-graduation with previous work experience, particularly as an intern. Having an internship on your resume or LinkedIn paves the way towards future employment opportunities, and greatly improves your chances of being hired.
5. Internships allow you to gain an understanding of how the professional world operates
Having work experience is a vital tool to have before starting your first full-time job. Knowing how the professional world does things, how to act and react in the environment and how fast paced it tends to be is important to have exposure to prior to being hired full-time.
6. Internships set you up for a chance at being hired full-time in the future
Company’s provide their interns with a huge advantage when it comes to future employment. Those graduating college with internships on their resume are much more likely to be hired by the company they interned with compared to someone the company doesn’t already know.
7. Internships usually pay well
Let’s be real, being in college has caused us to practically go broke. Turning down late night milkshake cravings with friends can be difficult, and that is totally understandable. Not to worry – today, most companies are required to pay their interns, and if they don’t, you probably can receive college credit for the internship instead.
8. Internships teach time management skills
Summer internships teach time management skills both in and out of the office. Working a 9-5 job forces you to learn how to balance your time with other activities outside the office, including spending time with friends and working out. Juggling meetings at work with projects you are given also helps you learn to take advantage of every second and forces you to avoid procrastination.
9. Internships are a great learning experience
During your time as an intern, it is quite probable that you will make a few mistakes, and that is totally okay. In fact, that is what being an intern is all about. Internships provide the opportunity to make these mistakes with lower stakes and learn from them early on. Additionally, as an intern, you learn a lot of new things about how the company operates, you acquire new skills and you overcome challenges.
10. Internships allow you to get your foot in the door and help shape your career
Internships help you determine which careers might be right for you. If you do not enjoy the experience, maybe that career path is not the one for you, which is a good thing to know early on in your life. And if you do love it, having previous experience in that field helps pave the way for a related job in the future.