Internships are part of many major programs at most colleges and universities. But what can an internship truly do for your own education—and, for that matter, your future career?
Here are a few of the reasons internships can excellently prepare you for the job market.
One of the best side effects of an internship is getting a sneak peek at what it's truly like to work a regular job. You'll have the chance to experience the responsibilities of day job, including punctuality and professionalism with colleagues. You'll also get the chance to see firsthand what it's like to work with people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and diverse age groups.
Testing Your Interest
So what if you're not quite sure if you've selected the ideal career for your future plans? An internship is a great way to test drive a potential job path and see if it's a career that will truly interest you. By positioning yourself in a real-life workplace setting, you can get a better sense of whether or not this would be a permanent or full-time job that would be a good fit.
Seeing Dream Careers in Action
One of the most exciting parts of an internship is that you'll get to see for yourself how people who have studied similar fields have steered their own career paths. You'll see people who have been in your chosen field for five, 10, 20 or more years and get a glimpse into where you might go with your own career years in the future. (And the advice that you can gain from these individuals who've been there and done that also doesn't hurt.)
Learning Major Skills
You learn a lot of important skills for your future career in the classroom—but there's nothing like getting to try them out yourself in real-life situations. Hands-on learning is something that SDState prides itself on, in fact. These skills that you can learn from co-workers in your future field can come in handy both when you return to the classroom and when you're applying your skills after graduation. They can do a lot to enhance what you're learning from lectures and textbooks.
Making Valuable Connections
Imagine having some real-world connections to important people in your field of choice before you graduate and start applying to jobs. An internship can provide this leg up to you. If you perform well and work hard during your internship, you can make valuable connections with your mentors and fellow interns that could help you track down awesome job prospects after you graduate.