Internships. You Need Them.
Whether you’re in high school or college (especially college or career school) it’s ridiculously important to get your hands dirty in the career that you’re interested in; and that usually means internships. It’s true that they’re often unpaid, but what you gain in real-world experience is priceless:
- DECIDE IF YOU’RE FEELING IT – Chance to learn “This isn’t for me” or “Hell yeah I want to do that!” Enough said.
- BUILD YOUR RESUME – Valuable, relevant work experiences that you can add to your resume. This is HUGE!
- NETWORKING – Connect with the pros in your chosen field AND get references for your future job search.
- GET THE JOB – Internships are often “long-term interviews” for employers. According to a recent survey, 85% of employers claimed to “use internships as a tool for recruiting entry-level talent”, AND “of the expected new college hires… 40% will come from an employer’s internship and co-op programs”.
- SOFT SKILLS – Develop those business related “soft skills” that everyone talks about AND build relationships with new colleagues who like you and want to work with you.
- INTERVIEWING SKILLS – You’ll get a chance to become comfortable with the type of people in the field that you’re pursuing which will take away some of that “fear of the unknown” when it comes to legit job interviews.
- TRAVEL – If you want to try out a new city, region, or even country…. this is the time to do it.
You can Give the Gift of Your Time and Help People to Pay it Forward!
Lastly, if you can’t find an existing internship that works for you then instead work on creating one! Call around to some companies that you’re interested in learning from and see if you can make one happen there. Trust me, lots of people that work in different fields want to help, they just don’t know how. By you reaching out to them to get an internship set up for yourself you’re giving them the gift of free help and support, and the satisfaction of knowing that they’re “paying it forward”. Just be sure that they know it needs to be a learning experience for you and that you’ll need a mentor to report to and to help you along the way.
Not everyone you call will be interested, and that’s fine because they wouldn’t likely be a good fit for what you need anyway, but if you’re persistent you’ll find someone who’ll have the perfect opportunity for you.