As one would expect, recent research from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) proves that students with internship experience are significantly more likely to get hired after college than peers lacking internship experience. NACE’s research also shows that students with internship experience tend to have much higher starting salaries than students without such experience. Here are 11 specific reasons why internship experience in college is so essential for career success after graduation.
- Internships demonstrate initiative. Every employer (or graduate school) wants “go-getters.” Given that internships are usually not required in college, such experience will prove that you are proactive about career development.
- Internships help you learn more about yourself. Through an internship, you can gain clarity on your strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Equally important, you can also learn what you don’t enjoy doing.
- Internships enhance your resume. Worried about having a solid resume? Internship experience can fix that concern.
- Internships help you sell yourself in interviews. Worried about what you will discuss in an interview for a full-time job? Internship experience helps you overcome that obstacle also.
- Internships increase your professional confidence. By interning, you can confront and overcome the “fear of the unknown” that you may have about what it’s like to work in a professional environment
- Internships improve your communication skills. The #1 skill employers look for in job candidates is strong communication skills. By interacting with others in a professional environment during an internship, you will have many opportunities to become a better communicator.
- Internships help you prove yourself in the “real-world.” Academic success matters, but achievement in the “real-world” is even more important when you are looking for full-time work.
- Internships expand your professional network. Over 70% of all jobs are filled through personal contacts and networking. Through an internship, you will meet lots of new people, each of whom could help you get a full-time job after college.
- Internships help you collect professional references. By doing great work in your internship, you can impress bosses and generate a group of people willing to endorse you to potential hiring persons in the future.
- Internships help you go behind-the-scenes. Through an internship, you get a chance to learn what it is really like to work in a company, in an industry, and in various job functions.
- Internships help you develop better work habits. Through an internship, you will learn how to manage tasks/projects and learn how to carry yourself in a professional environment. You can also learn from your colleagues by observing their positive and negative work habits.
In summary, internship experience makes you a better job candidate, helps you decide what type of job/career you want to pursue, and increases your chances of getting hired at a great starting salary. Get as much internship experience as you can!
-Career Expert and Professional Speaker
-President of Idealize Enterprises
P.S. I speak about career success to students and young professionals nationwide. To learn more about my programs and speaking availability, please email me at Pete@IdealizeNow.com.