I went into my junior year of college knowing that I should probably do an internship just because I had heard from nearly everyone that it's just what most people did. Once I decided I should probably do the same as my peers, the next problem became whether or not I could actually get one or not.
I wondered what company would possibly want to hire a college student who had no work experience? My doubts did not me keep from at least trying to apply to a few companies throughout the school year, though.
I knew the summer before my senior year would be the most opportune time to get my start in the working world. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to secure a position working this summer close to home. I understand why some may be skeptical of interning, but I ended up taking away a lot from the experience I was given.
It turns out that my doubt about not having any real work experience was exactly why it was so important for me to start working as soon as I could- before graduating from college. Having some work background to include on a resume can allow anyone to become more marketable to potential employers. This can be helpful when it comes to searching for jobs after graduation, especially with the rates of college degrees being earned, continues to rise.
Completing an internship is also an amazing way to figure out if you are headed in the right direction when it comes to career choices. I was interested in human resources prior to my internship but there are so many branches under human resources that I was better able to navigate what I might enjoy doing the most. Personally, I love interacting with others so now I am considering the option of becoming a recruiter because of the opportunity for more social interaction.
Having the ability to network is another great advantage of interning because you have the opportunity to meet so many new people on a pretty regular basis. If your time with a company goes well, your supervisor will be able to write a letter of recommendation or be a reference you can list on a resume for future potential employers to see. Also, the supervisor you work with may enjoy having you so much that they offer you a full-time position.
I was able to learn more about myself when it comes to strengths/weaknesses as well as what I value. I was better able to understand the importance of maintaining a work/life balance which is something I value. Also, I now know that I would not mind traveling a little bit for a job as long as the amount of time traveling for work does not negatively impact life at home while doing so.
It may seem like you are not sure whether or not you want to intern before graduating from college but doing so will give you real-world work experience, allow you to reevaluate career choices, network, and learn about what you value the most when it comes to working as well as life in general.
Go ahead and consider completing an internship so you can experience these great benefits!