All internships pay dividends, in one way or another. Some help to confirm your career path by providing a reasonable facsimile of productive, real world experience in a controlled dosage. Others offer exposure that will make you want to turn and run away as fast as you can. In between, many more act as a springboard from school to a paying job. Whatever the outcome, you will have benefited from the time spent, so get started now.
To optimize you internship experience, plan to do more than one, if possible. Select your internships wisely, too, taking care to avoid those that promise nothing of significance in your areas of genuine long-term interest. When deciding between one option that pays more and another that is likely to be a greater learning experience, go with learning; the money will come in time. (When you were a kid, mowing lawns or flipping burgers seemed like a suitable way to kill a summer. Now, however, you have more important stuff to learn, unless, of course, you are interested in running a fast food shop or a landscape business.)
Those who have completed career-appropriate internships have a great advantage in the sponsoring organization when the time comes to apply for a full-time job after graduation. Potential employers often prepare write-ups on their interns and sometimes encourage the best to apply for full-time employment well in advance of the annual recruiting/job fair season. In every respect, then, your internship experience, whether paid or volunteer, will pay you big dividends down the road. Get going!
Carter P. Reese
Informed Educational Solutions
- Quality Jobs and Internships For Students (myiesolutions.wordpress.com)
- Khan Academy Internship, Summer ’12 (bjk5.com)
- Cathryn Vandewater: 4 Reasons You Should (Still!) Take an Internship (huffingtonpost.com)