Did you know internships are the #1 source for finding new hires? Whether you’re a college student, college graduate or career changer, getting an internship is the best way to gain professional experience in your field and make you a more desirable hire. Many people today either know or are a recent college graduate who is working the same job they had in college and struggling with transitioning to a career. College grads who didn’t have an internship or had one that was a poor fit are at a disadvantage to finding their way into their professional future and out of their minimum wage jobs.
The good thing is it’s never too late to get an internship. Even if you’ve worked your way through college and you haven’t had the time to get an internship, you can still put together some professional experience while keeping your current college job. It just takes some creative thinking on how to do this. Below I’ve outlined 4 reasons why college students or recent grads should sign up for an internship this summer and how they can be creative with garnering professional experience.
1. You give yourself more opportunities for employment. According to Aramack, employers extended job offers to 72.6% of their interns last year. At LifeBound, a number of our interns have been hired on full time or been hired at other companies with the experience learned at LifeBound. They’ve gone into jobs in marketing, finance and technology.
2. You can increase your salary. It’s sometimes hard to convince a college student who financially scrapes by every month and who works and goes to school full time that they should spend their down time working for free. However, nearly one-third of all employers reported that higher salaries were offered to interns compared to other new college hires, according to Amarack.
3. You learn how to network. Did you learn how to network in college? You might keep in contact with some peers and professors from your school but you most likely didn’t fill your contact book with professional references who are actively working in your field. Interns who do an exceptional job can get references from their employer for future employment. They also find mentors who are in their field and who they can ask questions and receive guidance from. 80% of jobs aren’t advertised. Use your internship to get into the working world and on employers’ radar.
4. You show your versatility. If you are one of the students who worked all through college, ask a company if you can have projects over the next few weeks that will help you build your experience. For example, if you majored in English, but worked for a hotel to put yourself through college, you can ask a publishing or internet company for specific projects like reading website copy, manuscripts or conducting interviews. An employer will see that you both put your way through school and managed to get professional experience in your chosen field before or after graduation.
Did you have an internship that landed you a job? Did you meet influential people who have helped you in your career? Share your experience in the comment box below.