In your life of your college career you will decide on my many different options on how to kickstart your career. The questions you will be asking yourself is When, how, where will your first career opportunity takes place. For many that start is in an internship, a way to build those skills in your field of choice.
Interning has always been a choice as far as I can remember but unfortunately it was not promoted very much in my educational institution for some weird reason. I personally considered them to be important as I have worked for many organizations who use or have used interns and I find incredibly value even from a morale standpoint as they are getting their first glimpse into the working world.
In most cases internships exist for a variety of reasons one of those would be find willing often inexpensive labor who want to learn a trade and, in many cases,, interns are paid or unpaid depending on the employer.
The modern concept of internship has evolved from medieval apprenticeship, where skilled laborer, often a craftsman, would take on and teach a young person their trade. In exchange for being taught a trade, the apprentice would agree to work for the craftsman for a specified length of time.
Times have a changed although apprentices still exist to a certain degree there are not as many there once was, employers are no longer looking to invest the time, money and resources in those programs, which is why many interns are not paid for a specified period of months with an option to possibly be brought on which is like the carrot at the end of the stick for many.
Paid and Unpaid Internships
There are two main types of internships: one that is paid and ones that are not. Most internships are unpaid. Due to many be unpaid this is one of the reasons many choose not to partake due to most college students needs some form of pay to survive, but I would highly encourage you to think about it.
Depending on the organization unpaid internship can offer you something you can’t get else where which would be the ability to enter an organization that many find difficult to get their foot in the door. If I had to choose one company that I would have loved to intern that would have be with Disney.
Disney I know for a fact offers internships many times in business or for those in the arts and media, getting even a glimpse into that world would have been worth not getting paid. For most of us we all have someplace we want to work internship may be that way.
As students we must know that experience is valuable in its own right and looks impressive on your resume and in the mean time why not make some connections, network and use those at a later date that may be your in to that organization as a paid employee with benefits.
Finding an Internship
The first step in finding an internship is to determine what you want and need. If you are a college freshman, for example you may be interested in exploring a variety of internships that can help you determine a career or path. I find internships can be a great source for really finding out what you will love and not love as a career.
Like finding a job, the process for finding an internship can be challenging and at times can have different standards. There are literally thousands of websites that students can use to find internships.
Here a few suggestions of places to look for internships:
- State and Local employment agencies
- College/Uni Career department
- Much much more
By now if you are still not convinced an internship is the right choice for you here are some benefits to get you dive deeper into the possibilities.
- Gain Valuable Work Experience
- Explore a career path
- Give yourself an edge in the job market
- Develop and refine skills
- Receive Financial compensation
- Network with professionals in the field
- Gain confidence
- Transition into a Job
The benefits outweigh the risks as to why its so important to consider an internship, so I encourage you to get out there an give them a shot and you just might like it. Now you may be telling yourself, well I have to pay rent, I have bills and responsibilities and need to be paid and my answer to you is its possible, but you must go out an look.
As someone who really wishes I was more focused in this aspect for college I would have made this a top choice instead of working part time. Lastly internships can be part time or full time perfectly allowing you fit in school and work if you choose too.