The Internship Advantage

As you’ve read on our facebook page, we’ve talked a lot about internships and the value they add when searching for your first job out of college. A lot of interns are able to find jobs with the companies they’ve worked with in the past. But what about those internships that don’t always provide a job offer after graduation? Some people intern for non-profits or government agencies where funding has been cut, or the candidate you interned with did not get re-elected. What then?

Internships should be structured to the point where you still gain valuable skills and experience to get your foot in the door somewhere else. Whether you take that experience to another employer or you wait until the company with which you interned has a job opening, the key to making your internship work for you is taking the initiative and doing your absolute best. Impress the heck out of the people you work for. Invest in yourself and go the extra mile of researching things you don’t understand on your own, and coming back to the office equipped to have a conversation about it. Making the internship work for you is all about your mental attitude; think of the internship as a job offer and always come to work prepared to give your best impression. People will want to meet you if you simply put your best foot forward, and whether the job comes through after graduation or not, you have still built contacts and a strong reputation for yourself. People will be happy to recommend you to their colleagues as someone who deserves to be hired.

There are many students who can testify to the power of an internship, and the added advantage it can give when looking for those entry-level jobs. Aurora posted an article yesterday published by NACE (the National Association of Colleges and Employers), stating that in 2010, 42.3% of seniors who had interned in college received at least one job offer, as opposed to only 30.7% of seniors received a job offer if they did not have internship experience. The advantage of gaining employment is a given, but the advantages of learning to make the best impression, building contacts and connections, and preparing for anything are extra edges that are sharpened through an internships and can be used in job interviews anywhere.

So take our poll and let us know what you think! Are internships that added advavtage you need to succeed in your particular career field? Vote below, and let us know a little about your future career plans as well!