The thought of taking an unpaid internship position during college can be a depressing one. When you’re already in an environment where you are likely strapped for cash, working for free isn’t always at the top of the to-do list. But college is the perfect time to seek out internships, even the unpaid ones, for several reasons.
Having the opportunity to work in the same environment you will be attempting to secure a career in after college will better prepare you for that future job. It will give you a leg up on all the college graduates in your field that have zero experience and only a degree whereas you will have the experience and the degree.
Working hard when you’re not getting paid to do something you love pays off in the end. Why? Because your superiors and coworkers will be able to see what you’re capable of and can end up being valuable contacts when the internship is over and you’re looking to start your career.
3. Career Knowledge
Interning in a position that mirrors the career path you hope to take after college provides you with the unique opportunity to try out a job before you actually have to commit on paper to a full-time spot. It could be that after you intern there for six months you realize that you hate that type of work and you can take that knowledge and change majors before it’s too late. Or you could realize that you love it and the experience give you the extra push to finish your degree strong and press forward full-steam.
4. Job Opportunity Potential
By successfully interning somewhere and showcasing your individual skill sets and value to the company, you have the chance to secure a potential job after the internship ends. Interning can open up doors that otherwise may have been closed because you get the chance to prove yourself before the regular interview process for a full-time position.
5. Expanded Skills
As an intern you will likely be exposed to all sorts of different tasks and skills to help make you better-rounded (and do the tasks that the salaried employees don’t want to do, let’s be honest here). But by being exposed to an array of tasks, it can help expand your skill set past what your college classes focus on and help you pinpoint what it is you love about the industry that you’re working to become a part of so diligently.
The thought of an internship can conjure up some scary scenes sometimes. The worst that can happen is that you find out you aren’t really interested in your major – which, when you’re still in college is the perfect time to figure that out – or you have a less than stellar experience – in which case you haven’t taken a full time job yet and you still leave the position with the experience. And the best that can happen is you leave with amazing contacts and possibly a career. Either way they can be a valuable option to look into given the opportunities they can potentially provide.
This guest post is by Christine Kane, a graduate of Communication and Journalism. She enjoys writing about a wide-variety of subjects including internet providers in my area for different blogs. She can be reached via email at: Christi.Kane00 @ gmail.com.