Internships — the number one buzzword in high schools, on college campuses, at the family dinner table and even during a night out with friends. It is nearly impossible to get away from the stress of internships.
As stressful as internships are however, experience is important. Experience outside of the classroom is inevitable in order to succeed in the workforce. Internships are the perfect way for young adults to gain experience, along with giving them the perfect amount of legroom to not only learn, but to make hundreds of mistakes in the process.
Some of my peers would say that I am behind in the internship game. In fact, my first internship in journalism was during my junior year of college. Prior to my first internship, I covered events for local Texas publications, I helped run blogs and I shot film for student organizations on my university campus, but I never had an official internship, putting me amongst the competitive workforce of today.
Before interning I still worked, just not within my field. I spent my summers working at a sleep-away camp. I was not gaining knowledge in my studied field of journalism, but I was learning about childhood development, gained leadership skills and helped younger children find their community.
Even though I had work experience that taught me lifelong skills, beneficial for any job, I still did not have an internship until junior year, making me less employable until my third year of college.
Internships are weird. They have a hold over employers and universities, and entrepreneurs are starting to recognize this hold. Universities, and non-university programs have been set up in order to place young adults into internships, either in their own states or across the globe.
My own study abroad experience was an internship placement program, so not only did I get the perks of being abroad, but I got to add an international internship onto my resume, something employers back home will immediately see, and enjoy.
Not only are study abroad internship programs being put into place, but summer internship programs too. This coming summer, my original plan was to have an internship in Israel for two months. The way the program is set up is that I pay in order to be placed in an internship in my field of interest.
As beneficial as these programs are, I did not get this internship on my own merit. I did not practice writing hundreds of cover letters and learn the defeat of rejection. I did not slave over internship applications as I watched my friends do. I paid, and got placed, gained experience and added one more internship onto my resume.
This type of internship is only beneficial if interns put effort and work into their internship. All internships are a give and take relationship, but with these programs, internships are even more so, for the intern does not seek out the specific employment. He or she is placed there; giving them even more reason to prove themselves. All interns have to bite their tongue when going on coffee runs or cataloguing. We all hope that our positive attitudes will eventually allow us to work up the ladder, and that we will eventually be given more significant jobs to do.
The hold internships have over employers is interesting, but they remain beneficial. Interns may not perform the most glamorous of jobs, but they do gain connections and experience — the essentials for getting you further up the workforce ladder in the future.