Wright State University

The Guardian

Here’s why you need to get an internship before you graduate

Kathryn Shinlever, Editorial Intern

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Whether you’re still in college, graduating soon or just graduated, internships are important. A great cover letter, fantastic grades and glowing recommendations are all important things to have. You may even get a job on them alone, but having a complete internship on your resume will be beneficial to you more than you realize.

Melissa Bencha, the director of career services at Marymount Manhattan College in New York, told CNN that “graduating students with paid or unpaid internships on their resume have a much better chance at landing a full-time position upon graduation.”

At Wright State, colleges like the College of Liberal Arts often require internships to graduate. Don’t treat this like just another requirement. Don’t make it the only reason to get an internship.  They can be incredibly advantageous for you.

Testing the career

An internship at a company that you want to work at, or in a similar position, can be helpful. This will allow you to test drive the position, and to learn where your strengths and weakness are with that type of job. Maybe you’re more suited to marketing, rather than customer service. Or maybe you prefer to work with patients more than working in the lab. You’ll learn where you truly fit in and if the job position would be a good match for you.

Networking

Some people are lucky and may get hired by the company they interned for as soon as they graduate. Those who don’t get hired can still use the company to their advantage. Internships put you in the marketplace, where you interact with so many different people. Connecting with them and making friendships with co-workers and ally companies can provide you with a network. These people will know your work ethic and will have seen you on the job – they may help you through recommendations or maybe they’ll even point you into a direction with a job.

 

New skills

College can’t teach you everything. Theory and guided practice are beneficial, but it doesn’t quite compare to the real thing. While in the marketplace, the internship will teach you things you didn’t even know you needed to know. You’ll find that certain things they taught you in class are no longer used and something new is implemented instead. During your internship, you will learn these new skills that you can put on your resume and let future employers know you won’t need training.

Real world perspective

Not every college student will know exactly what to expect. Getting out there and doing it is the only way you’ll truly understand. People may tell you what it’s like and what needs to be done a daily basis, but doing it on your own will show how it truly works. How much overtime do these employees really get? How much time do you get to spend in the field versus behind a desk? You get to see every side of what a job is like.

So, whether you’re doing it for the experience or as a requirement, internships will help you. Employers love to see individuals who take the time to get an internship. It shows initiative, dedication and self-improvement. The experience will teach you new things, while giving you real world experience.

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Here’s why you need to get an internship before you graduate