The importance of having an internship before graduating from a 4-year degree program is widely understood by young professionals. As students begin their studies in higher education, colleges and universities push the importance of gaining real world experience through internships outside of the classroom. Although not all degree programs require completion of an internship to graduate, many students seek out internships in hopes of gaining experience and insight into a specific field. Even if an internship does not result in a full-time job offer, there are several key takeaways to gain from this experience.
5 Key Internship Benefits
- Expand network
- Career path clarity
- Post-graduate employment opportunities
- Broaden and expand skill set
- Gain experience
Throughout an internship, meeting and working with a range of professionals is expected. Taking advantage of these opportunities and networking are of extreme importance when focusing on building long–lasting relationships and career advancement. As individuals experience professional growth, new opportunities may arise as a result of connections within a network. Building strong relationships with professional colleagues and mentors is vital to the success when career advancement is the goal. Networking can also build self-confidence and self-esteem according to an article written by Forbes. By building and expanding a network with a variety of people, young professionals will be given the resources to excel both socially and professionally.
Future Career Path
Focusing in on a desired career path, either through an experience that drives passion or through an opportunity that unveils a career uncertainty, can be a highly effective outcome of taking on internships. In an article written by Forbes, they mention that students are given “much needed clarity in a short amount of time” which allows students to essentially test out a career before accepting the job. By gaining real world experience, picturing oneself in a similar field really puts a future profession into perspective. Many will discover their passion through an internship while others may find that a given career path is not the right fit. Students, in many cases, feel prepared and confident about their chosen degree program if an internship is completed while still attending college.
Internship opportunities can reveal additional benefits either before graduation or following years of professional experience with the five listed as drawing factors for students in a 4-year degree program. Internships are just the starting point of a professional’s career, therefore, gaining experience is incredibly important to optimize these experiences to allow for future career success.