Employers overwhelmingly prefer to hire candidates who have relevant experience for a position. This makes sense for the employer, but can be frustrating for a new graduate trying to find their first job. How can a graduate get relevant experience until they first have a job? Internships for college graduates are an invaluable way to gain relevant experience. In fact, an internship after college may be more important than ever.
What is an internship?
An internship is a structured work experience that may be thought of as workplace mentoring. Internships may be paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time, and may qualify for college-level credit if the intern is still pursuing academic studies.
In many ways an internship is just like a job. There are several key distinctions, however. Internships are supervised or monitored by an employer or staff member. The intern is also usually brought in with an understanding that they will have the opportunity to learn certain skills. An internship should be a hands-on educational experience for the intern.
What benefits does an internship provide?
Internships for college graduates can provide several benefits.
- Internships provide an opportunity for a college graduate to gain relevant, professional experience in the field in which they wish to work.
- Internships provide the opportunity for graduates to explore different aspects of an industry that they might not otherwise encounter.
- Internships give the intern valuable exposure to the work world and culture. This experience can help the interns in the transition when they do find a permanent job.
- Internships may provide an opportunity for a permanent job after the internship ends. Many interns are able to secure a full-time job at the company where they interned because the employer now knows them and their work ethic.
Ultimately, an internship provides a chance for the new college graduate to gain the relevant experience that employers are seeking. Internships allow an academically qualified graduate to break into their professional field and become a candidate with at least some real-world, industry experience.