The struggle never ends for most college students frantically trying to manage finances to pay for tuition, texts books you’ve opened three times (two of which were to look busy in class) and all the green juices needed to lose that freshman 15. Having to balance these fiscal responsibilities, while maintaining good grades and a decent social life (one worth Snapchatting about), a minimum wage job in the fast food or retail industry seems more appealing than an internship.
Those jobs may provide more money and less hours, but at an internship (paid or unpaid) you get something more valuable. Experience!
Is it harder work and more time consuming? Sure it is.
But is it worth it in the long run? Of course it is.
According to the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) 2012 student survey:
It was also recorded in the NACE 2012 Internship & Co-op Survey that more than 40% of a company’s total number of new hires for 2011-2012 were expected to come from their internship program.
An internship can provide you with proper industry knowledge you would not be able to learn anywhere else. Even if that particular office does not hire you full time, you have an idea of how the field you’re going into works. When applying for a job after college, an Internship where you’ve familiarized yourself with applying the skills you have learned in class to a real life situation will always work in your favor.
Aside from the skills you pick up, you can also make important contacts. Building a relationship with the people you work with/for will always benefit you in the long run; you’re not only learning from your own actions but you’re also learning from others. Picking up on their tips and tricks, learning from their experiences - and mistakes. Even after your journey with that company ends, if you work hard enough they can always provide you with a much needed proper reference.
You also become more confident in yourself and the work you’re able to do. Once you get a full time job, you’ve already overcome the jitters of having to learn how to complete projects because you’ve done them before. You’ve seen other people do them. You have more than just a general idea of how to get things done. Walk into your job with your best strut without holding your breath for each step.
Bottom line: When it comes down to choosing between getting paid in tips or experience… What you learn will certainly be greater than what you earn.
From the desk of an intern, speaking highly of internships, hoping I’ll get brownie points with my boss. *Bats lashes frantically*