MU’s Internship Program: Good or Bad?

Internships play a huge part in a college student's life. They can help you learn more about the inner workings of your desired career choice, they can help you network, and they can help you with further opportunities in your field. Whether paid or unpaid, students use internships as a stepping-stone to their future jobs.

Internships help students get a jump-start into working as well. While some internships will have students sitting at a desk the entire time, some internships will send students out and have them experience the reality of the job. This usually depends on your major. Even after students graduate, some take on another internship first, to get more of a feel for the job they will spend the rest of their lives doing. However, do college students really benefit from the internship experiences and do they believe the school helps them with this?

The Outlook staff believes internships, in general, are absolutely beneficial to students, but you must do the research on them beforehand. Multiple editors explained, though, that they were stuck in one, even two internships that did not aide to their majors at all. One editor even said he was ridiculed and insulted during his internship, and had to quit.

The staff noted that they appreciated the University sending emails and updating posts about internship opportunities. Some editors joined their department's internship group on Facebook and found internships through there. Regarding how the school and professors handle the internship program, though, the editors had split opinions.

Half of The Outlook staff wholeheartedly believes the internship program here has helped them and made their lives easier.

One editor said, "Honestly, if you want an internship badly enough, you should work for it. I don't think the school should simply feed you an internship. That doesn't teach you the ethic of working hard. I think we should be grateful that they post openings, what we decide to do from that point forward is all on us, as it should be. College preps us for the 'real world.' Our professors shouldn't sit there and spoon feed us."

Another editor agreed, "If you immerse yourself in groups and talk to people, you can definitely find out about internships. I know some schools don't even require students to get internships for credit and I don't think that helps at all either."

The rest of The Outlook staff believes more help should be given when it comes to internships. They believe that professors should pass on more of their connections to students, therefore helping them with more internship opportunities. Some of the editors didn't get help at all, and had to settle for internships they did not enjoy.

One editor said, "When I came to the open house during my senior year of high school, [professors] made it seem like they had all these connections they were so eager to share; however, I quickly learned we are expected to ask the professors for these connections. How are we supposed to know who is connected with who if the professors don't tell us? I think professors should give out monthly internship opportunities in the class so we become more informed, especially since an internships counts as an ex-ed requirement."

Many members of The Outlook staff agreed that students are confused about the internship programs here and aren't sure what is required of them. Other members explained how they don't like how students have to take a pay for an internship class, which is required for graduation, and how the class made everything very stressful for them.

Multiple members advised other students to go to Career Services, where professionals will search for internships with students and help them along the way.

"Students at Monmouth don't have to look far for internship leads. Last year, the Career Services office, posted nearly 1000 part-time jobs through its Part-Time job newsletter, which is emailed to all students twice a month. Up to a third of those positions in any single month were internships or jobs of internship quality," stated William Hill, Assistant Dean of Career Services. According to him, Career Services tracked 667 internship placements within the last year.

Though there were varying comments about the internship program here, almost all of the members of The Outlook staff agreed that the University could be just a tad more helpful to students looking for jobs. Whether it be more local opportunities sent out, or more connections given to students from professors, all of the staff members agreed that getting internships can be a difficult task.

Internships, like anything at college, seem to be what students make of them. Though they can be difficult to obtain and stressful to work with, they are needed for graduation and essentially, for getting ready for the "real world." Students can gain experience in many different skills during their internships, and regardless if they had positive or negatives outcomes, internships definitely teach a life lesson to everyone.