The Benefits of an Internship - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Higher Education
March 14, 2016

The Benefits of an Internship

If you’ve ever attempted to put yourself on the job market, you know how it is: employers want to hire someone with education and experience. Suddenly, entry-level jobs are requiring at least some experience. As a graduating senior looking for a full-time job, I’ve been asked the same question over and over again: “What sorts of internships have you completed?”

Although it sounds daunting, there are a lot of benefits to be gained from participating in an internship!

Experience. First and foremost, employers want someone with experience. At the very least they, want someone who has held a job before, that has had a taste of the workforce and knows some basic skills. As a college student, the best way to accomplish these things is to participate in an internship. As an intern, you gain a lot of experience! Being able to tell a hiring manager that yes, you do have experience working with search engine optimization is a big plus!

Tiny Tip: Talk with your supervisor at the beginning of your internship to discuss specific goals and projects that you would like to work on for a  more specialized experience!

Network. Go to any career development office, and they’ll tell you one of the key parts of advancing your career is networking. As an intern, you are exposed to a lot of different people in different fields. You may think that answering the phone is a useless job, but remember that with each person who gets to know your name, your network is expanding. This comes in handy later, when you are looking for a full-time job. Good thing you helped Bob Lastname sign into the building last summer, because he’s the hiring manager for a company you’ve applied for!

Building a network is key to furthering your career, and participating in an internship is an amazing way to do just that.

Mentor. Participating in an internship is a learning opportunity. Over the course of time, you develop relationships with your co-workers and supervisors! These people are mentors to you. In my personal experience with internships, my supervisors are people who I can now go to for advice on job applications, phone interviews, and questions about specifics within my field of study. These are people who have gone through internships of their own, who lived to tell the tale, and who are more than willing to help me through. Now that it’s time to start applying for jobs, my supervisors and co-workers are the people I’m turning to for encouragement!

Tiny Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Most people view it as a compliment that you want to hear from them, and are eager to share their knowledge. You just have to ask!

Bonus Tiny Tip: Your mentors are the people you will go to when you need recommendations in the future!

There are a lot of benefits to be had participating in an internship. During the two internships I’ve been through  I’ve gained experience needed to enter the workforce full-time, expanded my network, and gained irreplaceable mentors. They may seem daunting or time-consuming, but there are too many benefits to justify turning down such an opportunity! 

—Mikayla Covington ‘16

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