Finding a job can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have experience. Unfortunately, you need to obtain a job before you can gain experience. Internships are a great way for college students, recent graduates or anyone considering a career change to obtain valuable work experience. Continue reading to learn eight benefits of an internship and find out how an internship can prepare you for the demands of today’s workforce.
1. Gain valuable work experience
The hands-on work experience interns receive is invaluable and cannot be obtained in a classroom setting, making this one of the most important benefits of internships. Interns have the opportunity to apply acquired knowledge to real work experiences, witnessing firsthand the day-to-day job duties they can expect to encounter in their chosen field. In addition to learning the specialized skills of a particular field, transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, and computer proficiency are also obtained in an internship, fully preparing interns to enter the workforce upon graduation.
2. Explore a career path
Exploring is an important part of the college experience, and internships are a great way for students to acquaint themselves with the field they are interested in. Some students begin college with a major or career path in mind and end up changing their minds later on. Taking on an internship while in college allows students to work in their desired field, helping them decide if the field is right for them. By graduation, students who interned are more likely to feel confident they chose the right degree.
3. Give yourself an edge in the job market
One of the most important internship benefits is that college graduates who already have some work experience in the form of an internship stand out to potential employers. Internship experience makes a college grad more marketable as they usually require less training and can handle more responsibilities. You may also receive a higher starting salary than those who do not have internship experience and are entering the workforce or starting a new career.
4. Develop and refine skills
You can learn a lot about your strengths and weaknesses during an internship. Internships allow for feedback from supervisors and others who are established in the field and offer a unique learning opportunity that you may not have again as a working adult. Embrace the mistakes you make as an intern and the many things that you won’t know. Ask questions, observe, and take risks to get the most out of your internship training experience.
5. Receive financial compensation
Many internships are paid which means you can gain valuable work experience and make money at the same time. A paid internship will provide money to fund your college tuition and expenses.
6. Network with professionals in the field
In the working world, it’s all about who you know. As an intern, you will be surrounded by professionals in the industry. Internships are more than just about earning credit, getting a grade, or making money; internships provide an opportunity to learn from the people around you, ask questions, and impress. The professionals you encounter during an internship can be your future colleagues or the connection to your first job.
7. Gain confidence
Internships allow you to test out specific techniques learned in the classroom before entering the working world. It’s an opportunity to apply what you have learned in a safe environment where mistakes are expected – rather than learn the hard way in your first job out of college.
8. Transition into a job
Many companies use internships as a way to enhance their recruitment efforts. In some cases, a company may decide to hire an intern at the end of the assignment. Even if a job offer doesn’t happen right away, an intern who makes a favorable impression could receive an offer down the line when an opening occurs. It’s a way for companies to test out an employee before committing to hiring them.