When deciding whether to obtain a degree in a field you wish to work in or to start withreal-world work experienceto move toward your career path, it may seem to be a difficult decision. The good news is, you can choose to have the best of both worlds. By participating in an internship while obtaining your degree, you will come out with the education you wanted along with the work experience you need to land a job that puts you on your desired future career path.
These internships are known as school supported internships and some will even provide you with credits as well as professional experience in a quality workplace. Even better, the school will help you find internships in your field of interest and place you, making the process significantly easier than trying to obtain an internship on your own. Check out some ways that a school supported internship is worth your time and focus.
1. You Can Explore a Variety of Industries and Career Options
Most degree plans offer a wide range of career options in different industries. With an internship, you can learn the different types of businesses and positions available in those businesses that can fit with your degree plan. You may find that the career path you planned for changes, and you enjoy a different position that you may have not thought of. It will also allow you to explore the different types of industries and size of companies so that you can find one that will best suit your career and lifestyle needs.
2. You Can Build a Professional Network
No matter what career path you choose,networking is a crucial part of succeeding. You will need to build a strong network to learn more about the field, to find career opportunities in your field, and to develop contacts that you may have to rely on for certain aspects of your job. In fact, you have a better chance of securing a job in your chosen field by connecting with people in the industry, whether they are other industry professionals or coworkers.
3. You Can Apply Your Knowledge in the Professional World
You will learn a lot through your college course but still may not understand or know how to apply these skills in the business world. With a school supported internship, you will be able to test out this knowledge first hand as well as the various skill set you acquired throughout your education, such as soft skills. This will not only give you an opportunity to see how all your earned knowledge is applicable, but it will also help you determine which skills you will need to improve upon.
4. You Can Strengthen Your Resume
A college degree definitely adds strength to your resume, but as the professional world becomes more competitive, many businesses are also looking for real-world experience as well. Even an entry-level position may require some work experience, and an internship can provide that, giving you anedge over other applicantsapplying for the same position. Companies will also like the fact that you may be easier to train or be able to jump right into a position because you have already worked in a professional setting.
5. You Can Improve You Time Management and Communication Skills
Time management and communication are two of the most critical skills that you will utilize in any type of position. While these are skills that can be taught in a formal education setting, utilizing them in a professional setting will allow you to not only appreciate their value but utilize them more effectively. During college, you manage your time according to your personal and class schedule. When you work at a company, you will need to be able to make sure that deadlines are met around others' schedules. You also will improve your communication skills in communicating with supervisors, team members, clients, and other employees.
6. You Can Learn From Others
Even though learning from others seems like a normal thing in almost any setting, with an internship, you will be able to observe other employees performing their job roles and utilizing the necessary skills to be successful in that position. You will also learn first hand what goes into the positions you are interested in. You can set yourself up to learn even more, by asking supervisors and co-workers if you can shadow them for the day to see what their day-to-day looks like. You can also ask to sit in on meetings to observe how to conduct yourself in one professionally and how most effectively to get your opinions and ideas across.
7. You Can See How a Professional Workplace Operates
You will learn the basics of business operations from your school textbooks and lectures, but in the real world, not all businesses operate the same. With an internship, you will be able to witness different organizational structures and experience the workflow process and corporate culture for yourself. While this may not be the exact way the business in your future career operates, it will give you a look at a professional workflow process. You will learn everything from how employees relate and interact, to how the leadership structure operates. This knowledge can help make the onboarding process for your new job go more smoothly.
8. You May Be Provided With the Opportunity for Permanent Placement Once Your Studies Are Completed
The goal of any student is to graduate and obtain a position in your chosen career field shortly after you complete your studies. When you take advantage of internship opportunities, you may find a position and company that you wish to work for in the future. By completing an internship, you will be able to show that company that you have the skills and the drive to fill one of their entry-level positions. Many companies actually prefer to hire interns as they will learn about their company and what the position entails, making it easier for them to fit in with the company with little additional training.
From learning soft skills, to gaining professional experience, internships can help you get a jump start on the career you have always envisioned.