Let’s look at six in-depth reasons why internships are critical for success—and how you can maximize your chances of finding the right one.
1. Discover the real world.
Working as an intern gives you hands-on professional experience. You’re not just there to do errands and make coffee—you’re there to work. Bigger companies, like Facebook and Microsoft, for example, have internship programs in place to ensure that interns earn real experience.
2. Create your network.
While the internet is here to stay, there’s something to be said for face-to-face contact. By interning, you begin to create that professional network. How? You interact with people.
Not only is it critical to your professional success, it will make an impact on your personal choices too.
3. Top up your resume.
A great resume is a key to unlocking your chance for that interview you want.. Think of your resume as an initial handshake with a company—it’s their initial impression of you. A solid internship will prevent your resume from ending up in the trash heap.
4. Earn university credit.
Your internship experience counts not only toward your professional goals, but your academic ones, too. Many colleges and universities offer credit for internship experiences.
How do you find out? Ask. Talk to your advisor or your career-services office to find out how you can make that internship work for your academic life, too.
5. Test your career plan.
Remember when we said “no strings attached?” Well, there are none. This is an opportune time to try something. If you don’t like it, guess what? You’re not stuck with it.
The summer internship is a perfect time test drive your career plans.
6. Gain confidence.
This might be the most important benefit of the summer internship. Build your confidence. Know you can do it—and you don’t know unless you try, right?
The summer internship gives you the chance to build your stores, so that when you’re ready to go on that job interview, you have the skills, the experience, the desire, and the confidence to make it happen.