5 Ways An Internship Teaches More Than Any Traditional Class Ever Will

5 Ways An Internship Teaches More Than Any Traditional Class Ever Will

Why I encourage every college student to complete an internship.

Why I encourage every college student to complete an internship

I've been an intern for less than two months and I've learned more about my major field than I previously did in three years of college classes. This got me thinking as to how that is even possible. The fact of the matter is college is teaching you to take multiple choice tests, yet upon graduation, you will probably never see another Scantron again in your life.

An internship is real life. And life teaches you how to succeed. If you have time left in your college career, I encourage you to do an internship, even unpaid, as it is worth your time far more than the pricey tuition you've been paying all along.

1. Any "skills" you've read about in a textbook, are put into practice

Sure, you can regurgitate 75 definitions from your Business management textbook, but can you use them correctly in a real-life setting?

2. You have the opportunity to discover if what you've been studying is something you actually like and can see yourself doing, before its too late

My biggest fear was spending four years of my time and money on a degree that I wouldn't like. Sure I said I wanted to go into a business field, yet how do I really know I like it? An internship gives you the feel for your field without being fully committed.

3. The network of people you are exposed to and connections that are made can land you a job post-graduation

Its all about who you know. It sucks to say but I've realized this more than ever in my short 20 years that the people who know people go way farther than ones that are equal but don't have connections.

4. You are preparing yourself for the real world

The frat party you attend each weekend, yoga pants/large t-shirt combinations, the quick texts back and forth between buddies, and crazy sleeping schedule are all habits that will need to be left in college. An internship teaches you how to dress professionally, craft a professional email, forces you to have a normal sleeping schedule, and simply teaches you to grow up — if college has not yet already done that.

5. It's simply a good use of your time

Sure, working at a smoothie shop can be fun, or you enjoy your co-workers as a cashier at the grocery store, but are those jobs benefiting and preparing you for your future career? Probably not. If you are going to be a working college student, why not spend your time in a field that you want to go into, and even gain experience along the way.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Popular Right Now

An Open Letter To Those Not Graduating On Time

Graduating college in any number of years is an accomplishment to be proud of.

To the person that isn't graduating on time,

It sucks, and I won't lie to you and tell you it doesn't. The day you walk out of Advising, head hanging down because you aren't going to finish in four years, makes you feel ashamed of yourself. You did well in high school; you were always told you were smart, expected to be smart, so why couldn't you make it out in four years like you were supposed to?

You know you're going to have to tell your family, so you begin preparing yourself for the worst reactions possible. And telling your friends you won't be graduating with them will only add to that sense of hopelessness.

Soon, you'll see photos and posts from people you left high school with, talking about graduation and the wonderful lives they are about to begin in their new careers. You'll wonder how they did it, and you'll feel like a failure.

But you're not.

Graduating from college is a huge deal. It really is. And it will be no less of an accomplishment in five, six, or 10 years.

"According to the Department of Education, fewer than 40 percent of students who enter college each year graduate within four years, while almost 60 percent of students graduate in six years. At public schools, less than a third of students graduate on time."

Things happen. You might change your major. You might have financial troubles. You may take a year off to figure out exactly what you want to do. That's okay. Take all the time you need. The real world and your career will still be there whenever you graduate.

Guess what else. Your family will still love you, and your friends will still support you. Give them some credit. Your loved ones want you to be happy and successful. Don't get me wrong, they may be upset at first, but give them a chance. Odds are, when the emotions settle, they will go right back to asking how classes are going. And when you do get the news that you'll be graduating, they will celebrate with you, and they will be there in the crowd, waiting for you to walk across that stage.

Graduation will happen. If you attend your class and study hard, it will happen. There is no reason to rush. Just do your best. Try your hardest. Take classes when you can. Just by doing that, you're doing more than so many others are able to do.

"Among 18 countries tracked by the OECD, the United States finished last (46 percent) for the percentage of students who completed college once they started it."

You'll get there. Take your time. Enjoy your classes. Find new interests. Study what you love. Embrace opportunities. Study abroad. Take that weird elective class. This is your time to take in everything the world has to offer. Take advantage of that. You'll graduate when you graduate, filled with pride and wisdom. And when they call your name, and you walk across that stage, hold your head up high, because you've earned every bit of your degree.

Graduating from college takes countless hours of studying, long hours in the library, and a tremendous amount of dedication. Don't add pressure to yourself by setting a timer. It is completely okay to graduate when you graduate, and it is still something to be proud of.

Best Wishes,
A woman who is finally graduating

Cover Image Credit: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/120417041415-education-graduation-cap-story-top.jpg

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating


Trying to figure out what to do in life.


I never saw the crossroad

Where I could cross n' roam

Under an arch or dome. [1]

I just kept on the road

That was laid out,

Told to hold out

Till it pays out. [2]

Now I think its too late

Been walking too long,

Classes are all wrong

But masses too strong. [3]

So I follow with my head down

And chest up, succeeding cause

I'm too scared to fuck it up. [4]

But I have a need to lead,

Top-down and gears up

Leaving nothing to the dust.

But if I drop out, I'm a fuck up. [5]

Is it better to live and rust

Or drive till it busts

With trust you can find the way? [6]

[1] - Play on roam/Rome. Starts the poem by expressing the feeling of being trapped in my path in life. I felt like I never got the chance to figure out what I wanted to do.

[2] - I think a lot of it was I was following what people told me I should be doing.

[3] - I have a feeling that it is too late to change my course of life. I'm in a college for business, taking classes about business, and everyone around me wants to do business.

[4] - This is saying that even though I am not passionate about what I am doing I am still trying to succeed only because I'm scared of failing or quitting.

[5] - I want to leave and lead myself, do something where I'm not following but I don't know how to do that. This part starts a car reference, idk I've been watching Formula 1 on Netflix and its dope.

[6] - This is the question I've been asking myself, wondering if I should continue on with my path or follow my passion.

Related Content

Facebook Comments