Summertime: While revered throughout those K-12 years as a time to relax and enjoy a fun-filled break from the educational daily grind, the entrance into college certainly changes that cycle for most.
Since my entry into the University of Massachusetts Amherst two years ago, the word “internship” has become a part of my regular vocabulary, inducing a number of emotions ranging from excitement to anxiety. While returning to the familiar summer jobs we’ve had in high school is tempting, I’ve realized that internships are becoming a truly vital tool for students to break into the working world and secure a place for their futures – making summer the prime time to find them.
After my experiences here thus far, below are 3 main reasons that you should take an internship:
- Networking, networking, networking. I can’t say it enough, but when people say “It’s who you know,” they definitely mean it. Working for any company supplies you with an unlimited source of contacts and references. You never know who your supervisor or fellow interns may know – someone you meet could help land you the job that provides a lifetime of income. TIP: Connect with your coworkers on LinkedIn after your internship is completed to maintain contact and make sure they remember you.
- Experience. Nothing can replace the skills, confidence, and communicative abilities one gains from engaging regularly in the working environment, especially if within the field you desire to be a part of in the future. TIP: Refer to the internship’s position requirements at the end of the summer (or semester) to make adding the new experience to your resume easier.
- It displays initiative. Potential employers will see your resume and you’ll stand out throughout the interview process for having taken the initiative to remain active during a time when most people just want to go to the beach. When interviewers ask “So what did you do all summer?” you’ll have a great professional experience to share.
Internships are a long-term investment – the time and effort you invest now will pay off later. The rewards, both personal and professional, are immense.