Walking into an office after a long day of classes 3-5 days a week while all your friends are napping or hanging out can seem like a drag. Why put in work after working hard in classes all day instead of getting a head start on homework or just relaxing? Well, there are a lot of reasons why having a job or internship in college is beneficial, and a huge step towards a successful future.
Managing school, studying, extracurricular activities, and an internship, as well as the recommended 8 hours of sleep and a social life can be difficult, but it’s an important skill to have and practice. An internship can also help you with time management skills for the future. A busy schedule like this may require a planner, which is a great tool to record things to budget time. It also helps you learn to prioritize and get stuff done rather than procrastinating.
Your classes provide so much knowledge, but there are not many opportunities to apply it right away. Getting an internship in a field you're pursuing helps you practice the real world stuff, and conquer the real world problems that you read about in a textbook. It's also a way to try out different kinds of jobs in your field and see which one you could envision yourself doing for a living. Taking note of the pros and cons you experience in your internships helps you decide what you want when looking for a full time job. This is also a huge benefit when applying and interviewing for full time jobs that will make your resume stand out among others.
There are a lot of things that I learned from my internship that don’t have to do with the job itself. I work in a professional environment where I see how people communicate professionally, which includes writing a professional email or having a conversation with a superior like your manager. I also see business casual and business professional attire every day and understand what that looks like. I work with professionals every day, and get to ask them questions that I, as a student, might not know the answer to. Just being in a professional setting has given me knowledge and experience that will help me in the future.
Building your network
The people who you meet at your internship are your network and resources. If you have an internship with other students, you can learn from them and their experiences. Maybe you have the same classes, or you are going to the same professional events and can give each other tips on being successful. If your co-workers are full-time adults, they will have a lot of knowledge to pass down to you. Whether it’s about school, your resume, or just life in general, most of the time they can give you the best advice because they have been through it.