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The Benefits of Internships

Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara has a PhD in Marketing & Management

Are you considering an internship, but aren't sure if it's worth the time or effort? There are many benefits of internships and this lesson will outline how an internship can benefit you.

What Are the Benefits of an Internship?

Completing an internship has many immediate and long-term benefits. Whether you are wanting to try out a job or use your skills in a real-life setting, an internship gives you the opportunity to experience what life is like in your new career. An internship offers many advantages, including real-life opportunities, determining the professional fit, as well as other long-term benefits.

Real-Life Experience

There are several ways in which an internship can give you real-life benefits.

Gain Skills - It's one thing to learn about something, it's another thing to do it. Let's imagine you are learning about accounting in college. Learning about balance sheets and income statements is critical to your success as an accountant. However, learning from textbooks is very different than handling a company's actual financial records in a corporate setting. Not only do you get to use the skills you have, you will gain other valuable skills and tips for being successful in accounting.

On-the-Job Practice - When you take your textbook learning to the office, you learn that some of the methods you learned in college are a bit different than you learn on-the-job. The practical application of your education in an internship setting allows you to utilize your skills more effectively.

Job Seeking Skills - Not only will you need to apply for an internship, you will learn how to talk to professionals, understand what they are looking for in new employees, and see what skills they want in employees. As you prepare to enter the workforce, these skills will help you excel at interviewing and gaining an ideal position.

Determining the Fit

One of the greatest results of an internship is deciding what path you want your career to take. You may enter an internship thinking you will pursue marketing and determine you prefer events and one-on-one connection with customers. Participating in an internship helps you learn more about yourself and what you find fulfilling.

Discover Career Options - Once you are working in a company as an intern, you will be exposed to more options and possibilities career-wise. There may be positions available in your field that you don't even know about now. For instance, you may be very interested in traveling, but don't believe you will have many opportunities within accounting. However, as you learn more about the company you are interning with, you realize they are growing globally and need accounting support throughout the world. Your internship has given you greater options within your career pursuits.

Determine Job Compatibility - Unfortunately, many people go through college to get their degrees and end up working in a field they don't enjoy. Even worse, they may not enjoy the industry and choose to start their education over or pursue a completely different line of work. By participating in an internship, you can determine your interest level and ensure your future job is going to be fulfilling. If not, you have time to alter your path or find other positions that are more interesting in your field.

College Benefits

Being an intern offers benefits in your college experience as well.

College Credit - Some programs are associated with colleges and universities and offer you a course credit for working at specific companies. This offers mutual benefits. Not only are you getting familiarity with a corporate setting, you are getting credit at school.

Earn Money for College - Some internships provide a payment for your work at a business. Other companies offer a stipend for tuition and books. By working with your college adviser, you can learn what opportunities are available and which offer payment.

Enrich Your Future College Involvement - The internship offers insights into course discussions and cases. You will have opportunities to share your knowledge and experience from the time you spent as an intern. You will have a greater understanding of business concepts and practices after spending time in a corporate setting.

Long-Term Benefits

The benefits of an internship can extend long beyond the time spent on the job and in school. If you can't decide whether to do an internship, consider the long-term benefits.

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