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Why Internships are Important?

By McKenna Burns
News Services Marketing and Communications Assistant

Key Takeaways/Benefits

  • Personal Self - professionalism, character, mentality
  • Professional Self - opportunity, exposure, networking
  • Skills and Knowledge - Apply classroom learning, likes and dislikes, expand skill set

Being or becoming a student intern can sound like quite a daunting task. It’s nerve-wracking putting yourself out there since there will always be that fear of failure. But, here’s the thing, professionals fail all the time, so you might as well start practicing now! Many benefits come with interning, starting with how it affects your personal and professional mindset.

Going from a college classroom to a professional work environment can be a bit of a “culture shock” for some students. Depending on where you intern, this may look different, but in most cases, you will get a feel for what a workplace might look like for you in the future. Not only will you get a feel for the environment, but you’ll also become fully immersed within the culture and experience of a company. Receiving work emails, your boss popping by speaking with you, various assignments, it is almost like a full 10 weeks of taking your kid to work day, except you can’t just hide behind your mom or dad this time! In all seriousness, one of the most significant benefits of an internship is what you can do to help get your mentality and professionalism to the next level by being immersed in that professional environment. That way, when you go to apply for a “real job,” your employer can get a good feel for what your character can handle.

Not only does your internship provide personal benefits, but it will also provide you with professional benefits. An internship is the most primetime example of a “foot in the door” opportunity, especially at some locations that can be difficult to be hired. Companies love interns because they can hire you for cheaper than an employee and reap benefits themselves, however, if you stand out to them, this might mean a future job for you. On the other hand, if this doesn’t mean a future job, that’s OK. Regardless of what you take away from your internship “hands on,” wise, you will meet new people, connect with them, network with them, and gain the critical exposure necessary to help you get to the next professional level.

Finally, it’s where all your classroom learning comes into play. This is finally where you can learn firsthand, take note of your likes and dislikes, add to your skill set, and expand your field knowledge. Of course, you want to put yourself into a workplace that is a comfortable fit for yourself and your morals, but remember, no intern experience is a bad intern experience. If you are possibly stuck in an intern position you dislike, do not see this as a missed opportunity. Instead, use this as a time to learn what could be done differently and what you would do differently and build your resume. 

Interning is an extremely convenient way to help better your demeanor, boost your professionalism, and find out what you like to do. Coming from an intern, this is a strongly recommended experience to ease your mind about your chosen field or help you realize what might not be for you.