As a busy college student, I once questioned how I would find a meaningful internship opportunity, and most importantly, how it would benefit me. Many students, like myself, are required to complete an internship in their field of study before graduation, but most don’t realize just how important internships can be.
Throughout my college experience, I’ve found that internships are a great opportunity to learn more about your personal career goals and interests, while also developing the knowledge and skills that you’ll need to be successful.
Here are a few of the ways that internship experiences can benefit you both now and in the future:
- Gain experience in your chosen career field: Internships are a great way to gain hands-on, professional experience that will be valuable during your job search. I look forward to showing future employers my resume, which highlights the skills that I developed as a result of my internships in business and marketing. My internship experience, coupled with my academic pursuits, will add a competitive edge to my resume and make me more hireable.
- Work in a learning environment: Working as an intern usually means that you don’t have years of experience behind you… and that’s ok. A major part of having an internship is learning more about the field, as well as your personal strengths and weaknesses. At each of my internships, I’ve had the opportunity to apply the knowledge that I learned in the classroom to real-life business situations, as well as develop new skills that will allow me to be successful in my business career. As an intern, you are not expected to be perfect. I have been lucky to have had supportive co-workers, who have helped prepare me to be successful in a permanent role.
- Earn money while in school: Not all companies pay interns, but having a paid internship allows me to earn a paycheck while also having a flexible schedule that works around my life as a full-time student. I found my internship through Federal Work Study, which adds to my financial aid package and offers a weekly paycheck. This is a great option for me at this time in my life, as I am able to have flexibility while preparing for a full-time job in my chosen career field.
- Learn what works for you: Not only have my internship experiences opened the doors for possible future employment, they’ve also helped me determine if I am a good fit for certain positions and if a company would be a good fit for me. Working as an intern has allowed me to understand more about myself and where I would like to work, as well as the type of work that I would enjoy doing in my future career.
By pursuing internships as a college student, I am adding to my professional network and learning more about which career paths are right for me. In addition to gaining valuable experience in my field, I am also working in an environment where mistakes are expected and where I have extra support.
Taking advantage of internship opportunities during your college years is a great way to get a head start on your job search and prepare for a successful career in your field. To learn more about internship positions available both on and off campus, consult with your academic advisor.
Magnolia Ruet (Maggie) is a Herzing University student. She will graduate with her Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing in the spring of 2018. Previously, she completed her Associate of Applied Science in Business Management at Gateway Technical College with a 4.0 GPA and various business and marketing certificates. Outside of school, Maggie enjoys her internship at Pathways Milwaukee doing social media marketing, working as an Independent Consultant for L’BRI Skin Care, and spending time with her family and friends.