College students are repeatedly told to obtain internships, and with good reason. Although jobs that help pay the bills may be necessities, learning about a specific field or industry with an internship will help a graduate’s long-term career goals in a much more profound way.
First, internships make job applicants more competitive. The exposure interns gain from experiencing the day-to-day realities of working in a particular field provides them with understanding they simply cannot get elsewhere. Just as important, however, is discovering whether a given field is the right fit for an individual by experiencing it first-hand.
Internships also help prepare new workers for the professional workplace. While in school, students focus on getting through classes, but the workplace demands an entirely different approach as well as knowledge of professional behavior.
Finally, an internship may provide an excellent source of professional references, and in some cases, a job offer.
The bottom line is that if students can possibly work an internship into their college experience, they will most likely be more attractive new hires.
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