As the end of the quarter nears, many students are excited that they are approaching the end of their Antonelli College career. With that excitement often comes the mixed emotion of dread knowing that they are also getting ready to begin their internship. Yes, countless hours were spent in the classroom, but why is it also important to do an internship?
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers taking part in their 2010 Internship & Co-op Survey reported that 44.6 percent of their Class of 2009 hires came from their own internship programs. Among these employers 83.4 percent said they designed their internship programs to help the organization recruit entry-level college hires. This speaks volumes of the impact that an internship can have on jumpstarting your career.
In addition to possibly receiving your first job offer, internships also offer the following opportunities:
- Experience. The first thing most hiring managers ask is do you have experience doing the job that the open position requires. Internships give you an opportunity to get hands-on practice, as well as see first-hand the ins and outs the industry. Through this experience, you can figure out what your strengths are and really shine. It is also a good time to identify your weaknesses so they too can become stronger.
- Direction. An internship allows you to observe professionals on a daily or weekly basis in your interested field. This allows you the chance to see how they would handle certain situations without feeling the pressure of having to make the decision. It aids in answering key questions surrounding how they handle a difficult situation or their work ethic.
- Compatibility. Internships are a unique opportunity that you may never get a chance to experience again in your career. Maybe you know that you want to work in the medical field; however, when it comes to what position, your mind draws a blank. An internship aids in helping you figure out such things. This is your chance to test drive different positions to see which one you enjoy most.
- Networking. It is true that many of our students actually land a job from their internship; however, it is never promised. Even though you do not receive a job offer, you do walk away with something else of value. You have just proven to them that you are skilled in your profession and worthy of recommendation. When it’s time for you to try to find a job, it may be one of the people in your network who informs you about an open position and/or helps you land an interview.
If you are unsure how to begin the internship search process, Career Services is available to assist you. Simply stop by and visit your campus Career Services department to make an appointment, and together you can take a step in the right direction.
About the author: Dwanna Toney is a Career Services Coordinator at the Antonelli College Hattiesburg Campus. Connect with her via LinkedIn.