Many current students and recent graduates are having to face up the reality that in many professions an internship has become the new entry level job. Internships are important as they help students enhance their resumes and improve on important skills leading up to graduation. Internships can be invaluable for students looking to gain experience and help propels themself forward professionally. If an internship can be found during college in a students desired industry, a student should definitely take it and give it their all.
Internships provide valuable experience that can go a long way in helping a student find a full time job. Furthermore, internships can lead to valuable recommendations from superiors that can also help in landing a job after graduation, as recommendations help job candidates stand out from the pack. Everyone agrees that an internship is an important part of the job search process, but is an internship the new entry-level job? Increasingly, employers are forcing interested candidates to complete an internship with the company before being considered as a hire for full time work.
Originally, these internships served the purpose of helping students gain valuable experience while performing basic tasks for the company. Eventually, internships began to vet potential employees, and when the economy slowed down some businesses began using internships as a way to gain cheap labor and exploit the fear and insecurities of a fresh work force that was looking at mounting debt and the possibility of no job. Students and job seekers were forced to work longer hours with less pay for companies that could decide at any point not to hire them. Now, as the economy is picking up, many employers are having to offer clearer paths to full time employment as job seekers can be more discriminating and empowered. As with many other things in life, the role of the internship has shifted with the times. Both companies and candidates are willing to tolerate more and less of certain aspects of an internship, but what seems to hold true is that a quality internship is essential for any job seeker looking to stand out and eventually land a job in their chosen field.
With that said an internship is a must for any job seeker, but it shouldn’t be viewed as a replacement for an actual job. It can help a job seeker gain experience or a recommendation, but a well paying job is the eventual goal for all job seekers. Keep this in mind during your internship search and ask questions of the employer. What will you be learning? Who will you report to? Is there a clear path to employment if the internship is post graduation? Keeping your eventual goals in mind and knowing where you want to go can help ensure that your internship helps propel you to success in the future.