Intern or Die: 3 Reasons Why College Students NEED Internships

by Rich DeMatteo on November 21, 2011 · 12 comments

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Mona Abdel-Halim is the co-founder of Resunate.com, the world’s only search engine optimizing resume builder. You can find Mona and Resunate on Facebook and Twitter. Resunate recently acquired the Regional Internship Center, an internship job board connecting internship seekers and employers in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

In this competitive job market, internships have become more of a requirement than just an added bonus on a job candidate’s resume. While internships in your field of study may be hard to find, you need to find a relevant internship experience to get an edge on your competition.

There are many complaints that come with the internship experience, such as many interns are unpaid, but the experience will help you in the future when it comes time to start the job hunt. Some positives of an internship experience include:

Gain Experience in Your Field of Study

While you most certainly won’t be making much money (if any at all) during your internship, you WILL gain some necessary knowledge on the job. Interning will provide you with real world experience and skills that you can add to your resume. Spending time working in the same field as your “dream career” might give you the confidence to continue pursuing that dream, or you might just come to realize that the work isn’t for you. Either way, interning will help in making future decisions.

Work Experience

While gaining specific experience in your desired field of study looks great on your resume, obtaining work experience with any organization can be just as important. Employers want to see that you have experience in an office setting around industry professionals. Many employers require entry-level candidates to have past work experience, even if they just graduated from college. Regardless of whether you were answering calls or directly working with team members, experience in an office setting can prove beneficial.

Networking Opportunity

Interning will give you the opportunity to make all kinds of contacts. Take every chance you have to learn from others and establish relationships with professionals. Don’t pass up the chance to meet anyone — because you never know, you might need references or a mentor in the future.

If you are buried under college coursework and even the thought of applying for internships sounds too stressful, do some research to see if your school will allow you to intern in exchange for school credit. Participating in an internship is important; the kind of experience that you will gain while interning cannot be learned in a classroom.

How did internship experiences help your career? Please share with us in the comments below!

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