Discover the experience… Seriously
Previous internship experience is one of the great assets you can have when you begin job searching after graduation. It shows potential employers that you have hands-on experience in your field of study, that you are capable of being a member of a professional team, and that you have made an effort to get a feel for what a professional work environment is like before you enter the “real world.” Fortunately, I attend a school, Endicott College, in Beverly, Mass, that stresses the importance of gaining experience in the field that you are majoring in during undergraduate years.
Endicott’s slogan is “Discover the Experience” and the internship program is its biggest defense. As a freshman and sophomore you are require to complete two 120-hour full time internships during winter break, and then a third, semester-long internship during senior year. Each internship counts for class credit and you must complete them in order to graduate.
In my experience, this poses a big question for many students: what kind of college kid wants to work a full-time job (usually unpaid) during their college breaks? Well now that I am finishing up my second internship, I am starting to truly understand how valuable the internship program is at Endicott College. These are a few of the benefits of an internship experience:
- Meeting people in the industry you are studying
- Learning how to be responsible and dependable
- Helping to decide if this is the correct career path for you
- Gaining professional references
- Bridging the gap between being a student and working in the “real world”
All of these contribute to taking a look into the real world and what your future could hold. My advice would be to make sure to view your internship as a positive learning block and to fully take advantage of everything you can get out of it. Take the time to build relationships with your co-workers and supervisor; they could potentially make great references!