Around 2 weeks ago, I started my first reader submission post about college budgets. This week the question is regarding internships. Internships can be very helpful in your job search because of networking, valuable experience, among other things.
There are not many negatives, except for the fact that in some fields and at some companies, it will be unpaid. However, there are also many industries where interns can make $20 and up. Internships seem to be the norm nowadays, and will most likely be expected on your resume.
If you have any questions that you would like answered by myself or by my readers, ask away or e-mail me 🙂
The reader question:
Lately I've been hearing a lot about internships. I'm not sure if I should get one or if I should just stay at my part-time job. I'm currently making okay money at my part-time job, and most of the internships that I'm finding are unpaid. Would the unpaid experience be better than me having extra spending money?
Also, what if all I'm doing in making coffee? Will just having it on my resume look good?
I thought this was a great reader question. I also found a great resource for getting the internship you want. I personally think that experience that pertains to the field you are in or want to be in is very important. Why you should get an internship:
Internships are great for networking. You will meet many people at the company you work for and this is great for future potential job offers, referrals, contacts, references and so on.
There is also the possibility that the internship might lead to a full-time job after you graduate. Also, if the company does not have a full-time job available for you, then they still might be willing to provide outside contacts or references for you as well.
2. It looks great on your resume.
Having an internship and professional work experience looks great on your resume, there's no doubting that. Employers like to see professional work experience because it usually means that you can conduct yourself in a professional manner.
3. It can help you decide whether you want to stay in that field.
Yes, you might find out a little late whether or not it's for you, but it's better than finding out AFTER you graduate. You can always switch your major even though you will might have to graduate a little later than you planned. However, that is better than deciding just to quickly graduate, only to find out that you don't like your field at all.
My friend (who probably isn't the smartest on earth) was about to graduate when she took her first student teaching assignment. She didn't realize until then that she NEVER wanted to teach as a full-time job. She then changed her major. Better late than never.
4. Gaining experience.
If you have internship or professional experience, it'll make you look a lot better in interviews since you have real life experience such as if you want to be a book publicist. You can also tell them of direct ways that you applied your schooling to your position as well.
However, there are also times when you might want to say no to an internship. If the tasks and position require things that won't pertain to the job ever, and it's unpaid, then it most likely won't be worth it to you. If you already have a part-time job, maybe try going for a management position because that'll also look great on your resume.