6 Reasons to Get an Internship

The time I spent as a publishing intern was what I consider to be one of my most valuable experiences in college. I enjoyed getting ready everyday for work with my colleagues. My schedule was light enough to go to school full-time, and had I needed to receive college credit for my work, I could have. Though my work was unpaid and I wanted to save money in college, I wouldn’t change a thing about my experience. In many ways, I owe my current career to my experience as an intern, as it helped to provide me with key writing, editing, and marketing skills. I also had a ton of fun along the way!

Here are six reasons for you to get an internship and advice on how to make the most of it:

1. You will gain experience.

Work is work—whether you get paid or not. Past participation at an internship looks great on a resume. Aside from making you look better on paper, an internship can help to boost your confidence by providing you with hands-on professional experience in your area of interest. Offer to help with a variety of tasks, and learn as much as you can.

2. You will be able to network with professionals.

Take a minute to think about all of the people you can network with in college. Now, take a moment to think about all of the people you can add to that list if you become an intern. Granted, this information depends on the type of work you do, but you can count on at least a few regulars. Interns have supervisors, and yours can put you in touch with some of his or her connections. You will probably also have the opportunity to talk with other interns, who are future professionals themselves. Chances are good that small talk is in your future; make the most of it by chatting with potential friends.

3. You can find references.

All of the people mentioned above have the potential to become professional references for you. While interning, become a social butterfly, and flutter over to people during your break. You never know how that person can help you in the future.

4. You can build your work history.

An internship is a forum for learning how to do as many tasks as possible. It’s the perfect opportunity to ask work-related questions, and it’s one of the best times to speak up and make the most of your chance to be heard. If you’ve secured an internship, you’ve probably beaten out many other qualified candidates. Make your winning streak count!

5. You can learn about a company’s work environment.

Dress code. Dynamics. Secret relationships. Office parties. An internship is a great way to test the waters of a company, organization, or non-profit that peaks your interest. Without performing a specific task, you will undoubtedly pick up on many office subtleties and secrets. Remember, a lot of people spend forty hours of their lives per week at work. It can be entertaining to see what unfolds in the office.

6. You can gain an insider’s knowledge.

Some companies use special operating systems for office functions. You will have the opportunity to learn these systems without paying for a special course in technology. The more you know, the better your chances are that someone will think of you when a job pops up. You can also learn special terminology, insider’s tricks, and short-cuts. All of these can help to increase your efficiency. Beyond the professional relationships you can build during your time as an intern, there’s a great chance that you’ll make lifetime friends with common interests.

These are merely a handful of reasons to intern. Remember: An internship is your opportunity to test out a field or job. If you’re curious about a position, department, or company, you can use an internship to get your foot in the door to learn more. An internship is supposed to be a win-win, so make it work to your advantage. For more information on all things internship related, check out internships.com.

These are only a few reasons to grab those internships. For more insights on internships, check out this interview with San Francisco State graduate Ben Lunden:

For more posts by Sara Kosmyna.

Have you ever worked as an intern? What was your experience?

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