4 Reasons Why Internships Just Might be the Best Part of the College Experience

Yellow Leaves and Advice, Please

All of the leaves of advice are now strung up in our office – come check them out!

Recently, the Career and Advising Center’s Internship team hosted “Fall 2019 Intern Night” on the campus of NDSU.

One of the main components of the event was an “Intern Tree” that sprouted leaves of advice from current and future intern-attendees.  Each leaf color posed a different question to provide an opportunity for students to share their answers. In particular, the yellow leaves prompted – “Why is it beneficial to do an internship?

We don’t know about you, but MAN did our students offer some great answers of advice! Chosen at random, here are some of the leaves, highlighted below.

🍁 “Really, it’s all about getting to know what you want to do with your career. Being able to work in the field before graduating is super beneficial to me.”

You might think you know exactly what you want to do in your future career.

And, you might be right! But, it can be hard to gauge exactly what a career in the field might hold.

Internships are a fantastic way to not only see, but experience first-hand what an”on-the-job” routine might look like.

 

🍁 “Without relevant experience, it’s hard to get a job. Internships help reinforce academic experience.”

How does that old proverb go? “Give a girl a fish and you feed her for a day… Teach a girl to fish and you feed her for a lifetime.” Something like that! (I do recall the saying referring to a “man,” not a “girl…” but hey! We are all-inclusive over here in the CAC.) Regardless – experience teaches like no other instructor can.

Paired with an academic experience containing the valuable lessons learned in the classroom, a married combination of academic learning and real-world experience might provide you the tools to be able to 1) Land the job in the first place, and 2) Be able to “fish” for a lifetime.

🍁 “To gain real-world experience and see how real companies operate.”

We believe that academic, classroom experience contributes a wealth to learning and education. However, outside of the classroom, students will see that each company or employer operates uniquely.

As this student pointed out, real-world experiences layered within their internship experience was further education for them that provided additional insight beyond the classroom.  In particular, they were able to see how their specific employer handled day-to-day operations.

🍁 To get to know the industry and gives you a hand’s-on experience prior to a full-time job

Accepting a full-time job can be intimidating, especially if you’re not exactly sure what some of the details might look like. Will I like my co-workers? What might a typical, on-the-job day be like? Will the work be fulfilling for me? These are common, legitimate concerns and are completely normal! Serving as an intern as a “test-run” is a great way for you and the company both to evaluate if the position may be a good fit for you.

The silver lining? If the fit does indeed happen to be a great one – you may just have yourself a full-time position upon graduation. (Now if that’s not a benefit of an internship, we don’t know what is!)

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, internships provide an experience like nothing else. Students can still remain their lucky “sponge-like” selves by soaking up all the useful knowledge and education they can – without having the demands of a  full-time, professional position. Internships can help students find out which career is best for them, gain valuable, real-world experience in their field, round out their academic education, and add a useful line or two to their resumes. (By the way – if you need your resume peeked at for an upcoming interview or simply want feedback; our office is the place to come to!) Don’t be shy to read a colorful leaf or two if you happen swing by 🍃🍁🍂

We want to thank the students who contributed to our yellow leaves – we could not have said it better ourselves. 😀

By Rachel Grace
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