Getting a good education is crucial nowadays; however, in today’s highly competitive world a degree is not enough. If you read the majority of job descriptions, you will be unpleasantly surprised that most employers are looking for specialists who already have some working experience (even for entry-level positions). A lot of graduates are not prepared for this situation. You may think: I have spent all my precious time on reading research papers and working on my assignments to get the highest possible grade for each course – is this not good evidence of how brilliant I am? If you think so, we understand you, but the fact is that employers want to see your experience. And to get this experience you need a job.
What Should I Do to Gain Experience?
This issue is not new at all, and a lot of people have already faced this problem. So what options are there for you to get the desirable experience? First of all, students should start thinking about this at the very beginning of their university life. There are options that can help students get experience and that do not require too many skills. These options are for the beginners. First of all, every university offers students an opportunity to get a part-time job on-campus.
These positions can be related to your chosen major and will help you acquire the necessary skills and get experience which you will mention on your resume. Secondly, there are organizations in your city that need volunteers. For instance, if you want to become a speech and language pathologist, you can look for volunteer positions that will let you work next to professionals and participate in the working process. You will help the specialists with their tasks and will see how they deal with their patients. The third option is an internship.
So What Exactly Is an Internship?
It is the official program which is designed to provide beginners with work experience in their profession. You can find paid and unpaid internships. However, if an internship is unpaid, it must be a subject to very strict regulations. Every state in the USA has its own guidelines. A student can earn a university credit if he/she does an unpaid internship. The company itself cannot benefit from having an intern who they do not pay. Although a student is not obliged to become an employee of the company that offers him/her the internship, quite often organizations use internships as trainings for their future employees.
So how do you benefit from becoming an intern? To begin with, you are getting the most precious thing in the world of successful careers – experience. Internship programs are designed in such a way that students could get a hand-on experience and the necessary skills that will be useful for them when they start to work. If the only task you are getting is to make coffee, then this is definitely not the internship. You will have to complete a lot of assignments and will be very stressed during the internship, but it is definitely worth it (especially if your dream is to work for this company).
When your potential employers see the word internship on your resume, your chances of getting hired grow significantly. They can see that you are a very dedicated person and that you are ready to work hard to become successful in the field. Everything that makes you look good in your potential employers’ eyes is worth doing it.
Being an intern is exciting. It is very responsible, of course, but since you are only beginning, every single task that you get is interesting and makes you feel nervous. But this is a unique opportunity to apply the skills that you acquired in class in a new way. Besides, an internship provides you with the opportunity to look at the industry that you have chosen from inside and to decide whether you love this job or whether you want to focus on another aspect of the field.
Is Everything Just That Great?
Obviously, every medal has its reverse, and the first disadvantage that we will name is that some interns do not earn money. Yes, this position provides you with valuable experience, but it is always uneasy to deal with the fact that you must pay your tuition and that the work that you are performing does not bring you any money. All you can do is to think only about your future and all the great things that this internship will give to you. If you dream about the internship with a particular company, you may need to go to another city or country for quite some time, and this can also be very costly. Many people say that you are not thought of as an equal member of the staff. This is true in a lot of cases, but if you manage to show your individuality, you will definitely win.
If you have a chance to become an intern, do not hesitate and do that. You will meet a lot of great people and make connections and will finally get the experience that you are looking for.