A key factor in getting the most out of your education is to gain as much experience as possible. It is important to remember that no experience is a bad experience, which is why procuring an internship during one’s college career is both important and exciting. An internship might seem intimidating, especially when you are going to be new and probably inexperienced, but that is exactly the point. You are meant to be learning as many new things as possible, and overcoming both obstacles and fears is what makes an internship worthwhile. Going through this process and gaining experience is great for not only building a resume, but also for making connections with the career world. With all of this on the horizon, the first step to getting experience under your belt is to decide which internship is right for you.
Why An Internship?
Getting a job is definitely a great form of gaining experience, but most jobs that are available for students won’t provide work for the skillsets you are trying to enhance. Internships are a great way to find a passage that will ease you into a professional workplace. Whether an internship is paid or unpaid, the focus is to enhance what you are learning in your education as well as develop your understanding about a potential career. The experience you gain from being an intern is transferable to any job experience, therefore making it worthwhile.
What Kind of Internships Are Out There?
There are many different types of internships out there. One is not worse than the other, but it is up to you which one fits best with what you are trying to achieve. Some internships are paid where others are not. When you are not getting paid, whomever you are working for will have big goals for you and give you projects to make your time meaningful, which can help with both your growth and the company’s. With a paid internship, you are able to gain both monetary and work-space experience. Learning about what to do with your money and getting into a position where you can be involved in budgeting as well as learning is a great way to get knowledge under your belt. Either way, focusing on your involvement and skill development is the most important aspect of an internship to look for, but don’t miss out on being assertive and responsible. Startup companies versus long term companies is a debate that differs for each situation, but there are advantages to both. Startups are smaller companies where there is more room for each employee to work on many different tasks and projects that are important to the company’s success. Big corporate companies may provide you with a specific task for your time. Startups are more open to taking different types of students with various majors, whereas corporate companies tend to focus on particular skill sets.
Getting an internship is for your benefit, so it is important to keep your goals and objectives for the experience and the top of your check list. What are you trying to achieve? What skills are you trying to develop? As much as your company will be directing your projects, you are able to do the most with your experience and create opportunities to do as much as you can. When you are looking for internships and being interviewed, make sure to ask what your experience will look like, and don’t be afraid to go after the positions where you will be benefited most.
There are so many opportunities throughout an educational career to explore and experience. An internship is a prominent path to take when looking for a balance of educational and work experience while in school. Take advantage of this opportunity, and keep in mind that this is a chance to enhance your skills and talents. Remember what you are looking for in an internship as it is a way to help you grow and learn how to help a company grow. All experiences are for your advantage!
BIO: Alessandra Gluck is currently a student at the Honors College at Arizona State University. She is double majoring in English Creative Writing and Journalism and Mass Communication. She is also a Member Intern at Grad Guard Insurance Company. Alessandra enjoys writing and plans to pursue this passion throughout graduate school.