This one is for you, college kids.
The purpose of an internship is to gain experience in your field before you graduate from college, and also to figure out what field(s) you’re interested in working in. The beauty (and curse) of an internship is that you can complete one at any time of year (summer, spring, winter, etc), so there is always some sort of option. No excuses, kids.
Get Valuable Experience
A quick perusal of job-hunting blogs from twenty-somethings shows that many struggle to find work that fits their degree. What stands out is the fact that most didn’t attempt an internship at any point during their education or at any point after. I get it; school is hard. When you do get a chance to relax during summer or winter break, that’s all you want to do.
Then those millennials wonder why they aren’t getting hired in the field they think they want to be in–without any experience, mind you. As one twenty-something put it: Employers are looking for people with experience managing phone lines, not tan lines.
Interning Without College Experience
The other side of this is if you didn’t go to college. Believe it or not, there are many internship opportunities available for people who aren’t attending college. So, sorry non-college kids, you’re not off the hook. You’ll have a much easier time finding and securing a job you love if you get some form of experience first, even if that experience comes without pay.
How to Find Internships
If you are fortunate to have not completed an internship, yet still landed a job you love, congratulations! You are one of the few. If you are still in college and want to get some experience under your belt, why not apply for some internships? I bet your school has a career center that could point you in the right direction.
Even if you’re not a traditional college student, you can find internships that fit your needs. This may seem silly, but sometimes Craigslist posts some great internship opportunities, too. Also, researching different Facebook groups that cover your field of interest could be a great way to find some, too. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with sending out requests to companies that interest you, too. Maybe they need an intern and haven’t gotten a chance to advertise yet.
Learn About Yourself
Some advice from one college grad to a soon to be college grad, find an internship. The amount of experience I personally gained from each of mine gave me a very clear knowledge of what I wanted to do, and they looked great on my resume. Even though you don’t get paid most of the time, you get paid in invaluable experience, which I promise you will pay off in the end. Another wonderful thing about internships is that you can usually complete one in 10 hours per week!
Another perk of interning is that you might just learn what you don’t want to do. What better way to discover that you’re heading down the wrong path than by taking your career for a test drive?
If you’re worried, remember this:
- Internships aren’t forever
- You can figure out what you want to do with your life through them
- They are less competitive than finding a real job
- Hours can vary
So there you have it. As someone who had 5 internships in school, take it from me: You will want to have at least one internship under your belt. You’d be surprised as to what you think you want to do and what you really want to do will change when you do these. And you will have a young stunna of a resume, too.