The Importance of Internships

Many colleges and universities, including Monmouth University, require many undergraduates to participate in internships to fulfill certain graduation requirements. While some students may view the experience as nothing more than an inconvenient task, internships can undoubtedly turn out to be one of the most valuable aspects graduates take away from their college experience.

According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 57 percent of employers prefer applicants that have internship experience. That means that the pesky internship requirement you are required to fill, will give you a serious edge over other applicants who lack that experience.

Internships are significant because they give students an insight to the field they are looking to go into, as well as valuable hands on experience.

The most obvious skills students will gain are those that require them to be hands on, such as learning how to use media equipment in broadcasting or performing medical procedures as a nurse.

However, an internship will also expose students to an actual job setting and get a feel for how to interact with bosses or supervisors, as well as how to carry themselves professionally and how to be an efficient employee over all.

Many students have held part- time jobs while attending school, but the majority of college students usually lack that experience of an actual professional full time job or setting.

Participating in an internship teaches students how to dress professionally, to work for extended hours, and to take on more responsibilities.

There are certain things that just cannot be learned in a classroom. For me personally, completing an internship was one of the smartest decisions I have made as a college student.

No matter how prepared I believed that I was for the real world, ultimately, there was so much I still needed to learn that my textbooks did not prepare me for.

Some of these things include how to present myself professionally to those in higher positions, how to be a good team member and contribute helpful ideas, and how to take on and be held accountable for various tasks or projects that required major responsibility. I could go on and on, but those are just a few key aspects.

Another major benefit to an internship that often times is over- looked is the networking and connections it provides. Having an internship allows you to meet real professionals in the field and network with them. In today’s society, there is nothing more valuable for a career than networking.

Also, it is not rare that a student does a truly superb job or really shines in an internship and actually ends up getting hired by that same company after graduating. What better way to get your foot in the door?

So take advantage of each internship opportunity that you can. Rather than view that requirement as a burden, think of it like this: you are only building up your resume and giving yourself a leg up on the competition when you are trying to land your dream job. An internship will only help you get there quicker.