By Lauren Abraham
Communications Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Completing an internship can be very beneficial, especially during your time as a college student. As you discover who you are and the direction you want to go in life, a student internship can provide you with many opportunities and prepare you for a successful future.
Whether an internship is unpaid, paid or taken for college credit, the experience you gain is extremely valuable. Here are some reasons to look into an internship program:
Apply Your Knowledge
Completing a student internship can allow you to take your knowledge beyond the classroom. It is one thing to simply learn course concepts, but applying your knowledge in the field can give you hands-on experience.
Being placed in real-life settings and working with others in the field can allow you to put the information you learn in class into action. In doing this, you can improve your skills and add to your body of knowledge. In addition, as you are still a student, the environment of an internship program is often centered on learning. Therefore, you can work in a supportive environment and learn from your mistakes.
Discover Your Likes and Dislikes
As you become exposed to real-life situations and interact with experienced professionals, you will get a feel for what particular careers in the field would be like. Specifically, you will gain an understanding of the organizational culture, expectation of employees and what the day-to-day responsibilities consist of.
If you enjoy your responsibilities as an intern, there is a good chance you would find a fulfilling career in the particular field. However, if you find out you do not like the field, do not worry! Student internships are temporary, and the experience you gain is valuable whether or not it aligns with what you want to do in the future. By learning about careers that may not be right for you, you will know to go in a different direction and seek other opportunities.
Explore Networking Opportunities
Completing an internship is a great way to get connected with professionals in the field. If an employer sees your hard work and dedication, they are likely to invest in your future and act as a mentor. They can give you advice by telling you about their personal experiences and how they got to where they are now. They can be a great resource during your time as an intern as well as after you complete the internship program and enter the workplace.
In addition, meeting peers with similar interests in an internship program is another great way to network. You can discuss your experiences and learn from one another. Furthermore, you can remain in contact as you both pursue employment. When opportunities arise in the field, you can inform one another.
Gain Valuable Experience
Taking a student internship can give you opportunities to gain valuable experience. For example, you may discover something you are passionate about and gain lifelong friends in your field. In addition, you may gain a fresh perspective and learn to be open to new possibilities.
Furthermore, you will gain experience that makes you marketable to future employers. This experience can enhance your resume and give you an advantage over competitors when you seek employment. Completing an internship program while in college is a sign of your hard work and dedication, which are important characteristics employers look for in candidates.
Generate Opportunities for Full-Time Employment
An internship can open doors to full-time employment. Oftentimes, employers will hire individuals who intern for them once they complete their college degree. Not only does this give you a career to enter into right after graduation, but you will also already have experience working for the company. Additionally, the professionals you work with during your time as an intern may have other contacts in the field, and they can put in a good word for you by being a reference.
There are many benefits that come with completing an internship, especially during your time as a college student. You never know what exciting opportunities a student internship may lead to!
Grand Canyon University is committed to providing students with a well-rounded education in addition to opportunities for networking, career development and growth. To learn more about GCU, visit our website.