Lindsay Pevny spends much of her time contributing to blogs, creating sales copy and snuggling with her puppy. A recent college graduate, she never stops learning and improving the way she uses her words to communicate and charm.
I know this won’t be the first time you’ll hear this, but let me say it again: your degree will not be enough to get you a real job once you graduate.
Our parents had it easy. Decades ago, all you needed to get a great job was a college degree. If you were skilled, you didn’t even need a degree to make a decent living.
Your degree shows that you went to college. You learned to stick to deadlines and commit to making the grade. Your degree will be one of the greatest accomplishments of your life. But depending on your field, you may be competing with dozens of other graduates at any given job interview.
Truth: you need work experience, and the right internship will make you stand out amongst your peers. Not all internships are equal. You might get valuable work experience and develop invaluable skills training side-by-side with industry experts.
Or, you might find yourself going for coffee runs and filling out spreadsheets for a year or two.
It’s okay if you do not know exactly what you want to do after you graduate. Your internship does not necessarily have to be in the same industry as your first “real” occupation. But it should be a valuable expenditure of your time, whether or not you will be paid.
First, ask around. Your college career services office is a good place to start, especially if you are looking for extra course credits. Also be sure to ask your professors, as well as teachers from your past school career, and anyone you look up to, career-wise. Just like with job-hunting, connections will get you very far.
Next, search for businesses with local offices. They may not have any advertised internships, but you still may be able to get in touch with a hiring manager who will be willing to create a position for you to fill.
Your internship will teach you real-life skills and prove that you are a dependable, experienced worker ready to take on the world once you graduate.