You keep hearing you need an internship-from parents, professors, advisers, etc.  But why?  The job market is a competitive one and, in order to set yourself apart, you need to gain practical experience in your field.  The chance to apply your classroom experience to practical settings has many benefits.

  1.  Career exploration:  Internships allow you to get a feel for careers you are considering.  Didn’t enjoy your internship experience?  That’s okay.  It’s better to realize now you don’t like something then when you’ve locked into a full-time job!  Most students, however, find that internships confirm to them that their field of interest is the right one!
  2. Experience and marketability:  Real world experience in the field you wish to pursue can often set you apart from other candidates!  Not only do you have knowledge of what to expect in the field, but you’ve actively worked in that setting and learned various career-specific skills.
  3. Professionalism:  Believe it or not, employers consistently rank “soft skills” like communication, problem-solving, and teamwork as more important than technical skills.  In addition to helping you develop these skills, internships provide the chance to learn about workplace culture and structure while also allowing you to provide hands-on, in the moment feedback.