Internships for college students

Aubrey is a graduate of the University of Montana. She graduated with a degree in Communication Studies and Psychology. She is a current graduate student at Florida State University. She loves sports, puzzles, reading and traveling.

Going to college is a major investment for your future, an investment that hopefully pays off once after enduring four years of higher education. When I entered college in 2008, the economy had recently collapsed and I was fretting about my future in four years. During my undergraduate years, I made friends with older folks who were nearing graduation and a common theme I saw among them was the lack of experience they had as they entered the workforce. Recently graduated with a wonderful degree in XYZ and maybe they held down a campus job or other employment but what they really lacked was meaningful experience. I took note of their distress and decided right then and there I would do whatever I could to get experience. Let me tell you, this “experience” paid off after I graduated. So now you may be asking what is this “experience” and where can I get it? My answer to you: Internships. Yes, most interns are unpaid and you don’t want to fetch coffee for some big wig in their office. However, this is the best way to gain experience. Many jobs aren’t looking for some with only a college degree anymore; they are looking for someone with a college degree and experience in the field of interest. Internships are the best way to gain experience in the area you are interested in. Not only do they give some experience in this field, they also let you test out your interests and learn about your future career goals. An internship also says a lot of about character; to many employers it shows that you are serious and willing to do what it takes to make yourself better. Sometimes, your school allows you to earn college credit for your internship also so all that time isn’t wasted if you learn you dislike the field you chose.

As an undergraduate, I took an unpaid internship at a radio station because I thought I was going to become a New Anchor. It turns out, I wasn’t completely in love with this decision and I wasn’t particularly good at it either. At the same time I took this internship, I was also interning at my schools Health Center as an Advocate for students who had been victims of sexual violence. I took this internship because I wanted to give back and do something different. It turns out that this internship led me to my future career choice as a Social Worker and also landed me my first job months after graduation! Even better, the skills I learned as a radio intern transferred over to my career field and have helped improve my communication skills. The same is true of my friends who took internships, they landed jobs in their respective field’s months after graduation as opposed to other friends who came out with no experience who struggled to find jobs and some even took positions at restaurants to pay the bills for now.

Think of an internship this way, you are sacrificing some of your free time now to earn the big bucks later.

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