Albert Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” This statement directly reflects the worth of an internship. It’s never too early to commence exploration of your passion and talents — and gain valuable insight in fields of interest. Listed below are advantages, resources and tips on how to plan for the internship process.
Obtaining an internship will give you invaluable knowledge of the workload, environment and skills needed in a specific industry. The more internships you participate in, the more you will narrow your focus and improve your skill-set. Even if you discover a career is not the direction for you, you will receive useful information and inch a step closer to your dream job. Not only do internships prepare you for a career, but they can ensure you are in the correct major during your first couple of years of college. Taking one or all of our Career Assessment surveys may help you dig deep into your abilities, values and propose a viable career match.
In addition to wisdom, you can gain tangible benefits from an internship. Internships can be paid, unpaid or offer a stipend for the time period you work with a company. You will learn how to budget your time more efficiently while potentially making a little money. There may be on-campus opportunities, such as part-time jobs or internships, that can count for academic credit, as well. The experience gained through your involvement may even translate into your schoolwork, helping you excel in the classroom. Internships make you a competitive candidate when applying for jobs and are likely to lead to a full-time position once you graduate college. Start the networking process early; establish and maintain relationships that may serve as the winning connection or recommendation you need.
Does this university play a role in helping students find an internship? If so, how? Who is the primary contact for questions? Many North Carolina universities have career development centers, cooperative education offices or a human resources department that can offer assistance when searching for job experience. On your college visits, make sure to ask how the school plans to assist students with finding an internship. Also, become familiar with where to seek help with your resume and cover letter; these are extremely important when it comes time to apply. A college may even have an online portal where the students have special access to surrounding intern or job openings. Prior to applying for any position, research the company to understand the expectations and qualifications.
Although preparing for college can be overwhelming on its own, considering the endless benefits of an internship will be worthwhile in the long run. Visit CFNC’s website for additional information on why and how to gain internship experience.