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Raise the Roof (and your Resumé)

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If you think your stellar GPA, a beautifully formatted resume and a rocking cover letter will secure you a big-kid job after graduation, you should open your planner and write down ‘look for summer internship’ right now. It will change your life.

Don’t you believe me? Keep reading.

Research shows that over 80 percent of companies use internships and similar exploratory education programs to recruit for their full-time workforces.

Internships are official programs offered by companies, organizations and institutions to prospective employees, which are usually undergraduate and graduate students. Internships can be either part-time, full-time or hourly commitments that, in most cases, last between one and six months and can be paid or unpaid. In a nutshell, internships help individuals gain practical work experience; however, they go way beyond providing just training.

“There are many benefits regarding personal development in internships,” Rebecca Dohrman, associate professor of communication, said. “When you secure an internship, especially when you are finding it yourself, applying for it for yourself, interviewing for it and obtaining it, there’s growth that happens regarding competence level, and that can be a critical foundation concerning maturity and professional development.”

Despite if you are a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior, you are ready to look for an internship and give it a try.

 

Jenna Endres on the last day of her internship at Arcturis Graphic Design. Photo courtesy of Endres.

The benefits that individuals get from interning surpass the skills most students think they will get when entering their first internship. An internship experience assists students to understand organizational life, and how they respond to different environments, along with the positives and negatives from working in various organizational cultures.

“I think the best benefit is being able to work with real-world clients and understanding the business aspect of your career,” Jenna Endres, student, said. “Instead of doing theory situations, you are working with real people; that teaches you so much about your degree, and it also helps you decide what you want to pursue when you graduate.”

When looking for that first ‘grown-up,’ full-time position after college, graduates with professional experience have a tremendous advantage over people without who are competing for the same jobs. Employers strongly point to internship experience as the most influential factor when hiring new college graduates for full-time positions.

When a candidate has ‘internship experience’ listed on their resumé, employers automatically know such applicants have been exposed to the real world and know how to succeed in a workplace environment, which is drastically different than an academic setting.

Some of the abilities interns obtain when working are professional communication, time-management and interviewing skills. Internships also help students have a ‘go-getter’ attitude and build a strong network of professionals to help them transition into the professional world upon graduation.

“I learned a lot about working with a team, collaborating and being able to communicate my ideas in a professional way,” Endres said.

Whether paid or unpaid, internships are always winning opportunities that corporations provide for individuals to develop their professional skills. Unpaid internships can sound pointless to people that focus heavily on the financial aspect. However, unpaid internships are great opportunities for individuals who are afraid of working in a professional environment for the first time. Unpaid internships usually involve less commitment and are less time-consuming. They are also short-lived while still allowing hands-on experience.

Don’t procrastinate anymore! Be a hustler this summer and find an internship to boost your professional skills and expand your professional network. You won’t regret it.

 

 

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