The Benefits of College Internships


Students attend college in hopes of entering a financially stable and relatively enjoyable career. At one time, attending and doing well in college was enough to ensure that a student would fulfill that goal. Over the years, however, employment has become increasingly more competitive. This competition is a result of a number of different factors such as the economy and outsourcing. For this reason it is important for college students to have an advantage before they are in a position to seek employment. This is where getting an internship comes into play. Some people may ask – why get an internship? This is a valid question, particularly when it comes to paid vs unpaid internships. The answer to that question lies in the numerous benefits of internships, even those without pay.

Why get an internship? A student should be able to answer this question if he or she is considering applying for an internship. One way to answer that question is to consider why employers use interns in the first place. While some employers may bring interns on-board simply as a way to reduce salary costs, others have a more practical reason for using interns that is beneficial to them and the student. Many employers see internships as a way to find highly qualified entry-level employees who are right out of college. It gives them a way to screen prospective employees by observing the student’s work ethic, knowledge and personality before making an offer of employment. Another way to answer why one should intern is to consider all of the benefits of internship) from a student’s perspective. Student’s who participate in internships are able to gain first-hand experience and a competitive edge over other students who may apply for the job in the future. Even if the internship does not result in employment, other employers look favorably on college graduates who can list internships on their resume. In addition to the training that students receive from the experience, they also have the opportunity to make valuable connections. These connections give students the ability to network with people that they would otherwise have never met. It may also result in letters of reference or even a recommendation for employment with another employer.

When a student is ready to intern, his or her college is the ideal place to look for internship resources. Most colleges or universities can help find internship opportunities and often they can help with the application process. Looking online is yet another way for students to find internship resources. An important thing to consider in advance are paid vs unpaid internships. The difference between the two is obvious in that a paid internship is one in which the student receives compensation for his or her time. An unpaid internship is one in which a student works without compensation. Many of the internship opportunities that students will encounter are unpaid; however, this does not mean that an unpaid internship is not a worthy endeavor. More than financial compensation at this time, a student should consider the quality of the experience and how it will benefit them in the future. An unpaid internship at a company that offers a greater learning experience may be more valuable over time than an internship that offers payment.

Getting an internship is a smart move for college students. Not only is it a way to gain valuable experience and training, it is also a way to stand out from other prospective employees. Once a student graduates from college, the competition for entry-level positions is often fierce. As a result, employers want to narrow down prospective employees and make smart decisions about who they hire. One or more internships are viewed favorably and increases one’s chances of being hired.

For more information about getting an internship during college, please read the following links:

By Scott Shrum