As long as I can remember I have been told by professors to get an internship. No company would hire me without an internship. Everything came full circle though because if you wanted an internship you needed experience but you couldn't get experience if a company wouldn't give you a chance. This summed up the internship search pretty well for me when I started looking for experience at 19. No matter the jobs I did or the groups I was apart of I always learned something that could be applied to internships and jobs. But it took my first true internship to teach me the important lessons.
Here are five things that internships can teach you:
1. What you want to do as a career
When I chose my internship I didn't choose it based on what I wanted to do after college but as a way of making me stick out to future employers. That is what I consider a huge mistake. When you choose an internship you need to choose something that you can wake up every morning and while you might not have an idea of what you want to do look at it the way you would look at the classes you take.
2. Who you work best with
I act one way around certain people and another around others. When I show up at work I am as quiet as possible and hope nobody calls on me or asks me questions. This has helped me realize who I work best with. Whenever I go out to market or do sales calls I observe and speak some while the person I work with does some of the talking. When working you realize who you can fit with and in a case of marketing or sales sometimes it is good to have someone with different qualities than you.
3. Sometimes it is better to do an internship in an area you know
We all will eventually start our career and move somewhere new to us. Before we move work in a place you know. I chose to stay in Tuscaloosa and work and I got to see parts of Tuscaloosa I haven't seen before. You learn more about your city from when you're one of the few college students there rather than when you're in town for school.
4. It is ok to get a part-time job
College students need money. The first month of summer I didn't have too much money to my name and saw myself trying to spend as little money I had as possible. I decided to get involved in any way to make extra money to support myself until I got paid. While it does stress me out sometimes it is ok to get a second job. When you provide for yourself you need to know what to do to be successful.
5. Some internships can lead to your dream career
While working I took on the role of being a sports journalist for my favorite football team. While I was doing double duty I also got to accomplish something I was passionate about and prepare me for the future. Sometimes the careers we want can be found by doing the extra work.