You’ve landed a job in your dream profession and you are getting experience to build your resume. Your manager and your colleagues want to share their knowledge with you and give you insights on how to be a big success in your career. On top of these great benefits, you may also get paid for your work. Sounds good, right? This overview may be a little idealized, but seriously, here are a few concrete reasons why an internship is good experience.
1. Gives you real world experience in a profession that interests you. It’s one thing to read about a career in your area of interest, it’s completely different to get hands on experience and to test-drive your career. In an internship you have the opportunity to understand the day-to-day requirements of the job including the types of knowledge and education you need to excel and what activities are key parts of the job.
2. Provides great information about your career interests and a strong foundation for your resume. Not only do you get the experience, you can also capture and quantify your key accomplishments and get a good sense of the jargon used in the industry. Your experience makes for great resume content and can help set you apart from others in your full-time job search.
3. Offers fertile ground for networking. It’s great to have personal contacts and relationships with people that are in the profession you hope to pursue. These people can be great references for you and they can provide invaluable insights about the challenges and rewards of your career area. By the way, it is not uncommon for companies that employ interns to also extend full-time work offers to the interns once the internships are completed.
4. Gives you the opportunity to develop new skills. So much of what you need to do a job well are skills that are learned on the job. Whether you excelled in school or where an average performer, an internship gives you a new opportunity to build on the foundation you already have. Seize the opportunity to learn, you may find your internship more engaging that school.
5. Helps you hone your time management skills. Just as there have been deadlines associated with your school work, there will be deadlines, rules and guidelines for doing your work. It is also not uncommon for you to need to multi-task to get all your work completed. Plus, it will be important to get to work on time and use your breaktimes and lunchtimes wisely. The internship gives you a chance to hone your skills for prioritizing your work and meeting deadlines.
6. Your accomplishments at work and feedback from your colleagues can help build your confidence. Your internship will give you a chance to showcase your interpersonal, professional and social skills. You may also discover that you have some hidden skills that you were unaware of that are greatly appreciated by your co-workers…enjoy the personal discovery and the positive feedback.
7. An internship helps you determine if this is the right career path for you. Your internship will give you new insights and experiences. Hopefully, you learn that the career path you have dreamed about is right for you. But, even if you learn that the career is not as fulfilling as you dreamed or simply not right for you, be glad for the experience. Either way, you will be wiser and have even more information to use in selecting a rewarding career.