Ways to Up Your Future Career Game

As a college student, you most likely have been told by numerous people to get an internship. But, in the back of your mind, you wonder, “Why?” or “What value does it bring?” Well, I can tell you from experience that having an internship not only adds worth to your resume, but helps you discover what kind of career you will want after graduation. Whether the internship is paid, unpaid or for credit, the value added doesn’t change. The truth is, although not all internships pay in cash, they do pay in other ways.

Here are some ways an internship will help you prepare for the career you want:

Experience That Employers Want
According to InterviewSuccessFormula.com, 118 people on average apply for any given job, and only 20 percent of those applicants get an interview. Now, that may be a tough stat to swallow, but with the right experience from an internship, you’ll gain the knowledge needed to stand out. Employers want experience, even for an entry-level position. Landing a job straight out of college can be a hard feat, but that’s where the advantage of internships comes into play.

Networking
Having an internship is the perfect place to meet influential people in your target industry. Think about it: what better place is there to meet other professionals than in a professional setting? As an intern, you get to attend meetings and events that give you the opportunity to learn more about your profession while also exposing you to people you might not have been able to meet otherwise. Networking also allows you to build a pool of references and may even open employment opportunities.

Determine What You Do and Don’t Like
Choosing a career path is difficult, and you’re not alone if you have no idea what you want to do after college. Luckily, one of the most beneficial aspects of interning is you find out quickly what your strengths and weaknesses are,  what types of things you like to do and what makes you cringe. An easy way to avoid being unhappy in your long-term career is to try internships in different types of organizations (e.g. corporate, nonprofit, agency, etc.). Internships typically last from three to six months, so if you’re not happy in that industry, no problem; you are only there for a limited amount of time.

Resume Builder
A strong resume is crucial to success. It is the first item an employer sees, and can leave a lasting impression. Whether that impression is good or bad is up to you and how much time you’re willing to prepare for your success. Internships are the building blocks of your resume and play a vital role in being considered for a job opportunity. Employers are more likely to hire a candidate with an internship, or work experience over someone who has a generic resume, lacking experience.

Career Foundation
Internships are the foundation you need for your future. It is essential to choose one based on your interests and aspirations. As an intern you have an opportunity to get your foot in the door with a company. Internships.com reports that you have a seven-in-10 chance of being hired by the company with which you interned. Putting your all into what you do is important because your internship could turn into your first job.

Internships enhance your career knowledge and increase your chances at getting the job you really want. Make the investment in yourself and your career by becoming an intern. You have nothing to lose, only experience to gain.