Calling All College Students: Free Advice
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Calling All College Students: Free Advice

Calling All College Students: Free Advice

An advisor once told me, “You really shouldn’t be trying to do an internship and18 hours of classes. It isn’t smart.”

That was some of the worst advice I’ve ever gotten. To be fair, she was right to an extent. That semester, and every semester I have ever worked and gone to school, was tough. But on the scale of more right to wrong, she was waymore wrong. She was right because, since the first semester of college freshman year, I’ve had an internship. And, at least once every semester, I’ve wanted to crawl into a hole and stay there for a very long time. 

Take last semester, for example. I worked close to 30 hours a week at an advertising agency and took 15 course units, while also trying to stay involved on campus and in sorority life. It wasn’t the first internship I had ever had, but it was the most work-intensive, time-consuming position I had had up to that point. Despite that, it was the best thing I could have ever done for myself and my future. 

You want the inside scoop? I have never learned more in a class than I have at an internship.That’s the truth. From internships I have learned what I do and don’t want to do, career-wise. I learned that I didn’t want to be a lawyer from my internship at a law firm. I learned that I loved public speaking through my non-profit internship at K-9’s For Kids. I learned that I believe in a “family first, work second” culture through my internship at a public relations firm. And, that I prefer a more professional, buttoned-up work environment when I worked at the headquarters of a big Texas bank. I recognized my desire to be on the executive team of a company through work at a brand management firm and how important it is to take care of your employees through working at a start-up company. It sounds extreme, but it’s true -- I’ve learned all that I truly need to know about my future career goals through internships. 

So, here is the question -- are internships during college important and necessary, or are they simply an extra? My answer is an obvious and resounding, no, they are not extra. Yes, you must have at least one. If you want a fighting chance at getting the job of your dreams right out of college, if you want to have real-world job experience and if you want to equip yourself with the best business experience possible, the answer is absolutely, 100%, without question, get an internship. 

Am I telling all of you to get 12 internships and drive yourselves insane? No! But I am letting you know, you won’t regret the effort it takes to secure and maintain a successful internship. Advice like this doesn’t grow on trees, kids, take it, but don't tell your professors who it comes from. 

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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