by Fatumo Mohamed
Internships get a bad reputation, which leads to people hesitating to find any or do them. Most people believe that interns only do mundane tasks like making coffee or filing papers. While interns may do some of these tasks once in a while, the idea that this is what internships are about is objectively false. The most important reason to find internships, especially during the summer, is the experience it gives you. By working in an internship, you get real work experience. This is essential for future job positions, especially if you’re planning to get a job in the field that you are interning in. You can learn about or be told to do something, but that is not the same as actually doing it. You learn what to expect in a working environment and how to navigate one. You develop a relationship with your boss as they take you under their wing and show you the ropes. By interacting with your coworkers, you learn different methods by which people work and ways that a team functions. Being an intern also means being treated like an employee, which teaches you accountability. You are being supervised and told how to improve. All of this combined makes you more ready when you enter the workforce of your choice compared to your peers who haven’t done internships.
What do you think about extra college credit? Most people go above and beyond to find ways they can get extra credit for school, particularly college students. Internships are one easy and helpful to get some additional credit! During school you’re most likely not willing to take an internship along with a full course load; however, during the summer, you most likely have either no classes or a much lighter workload, thus making it possible to find an internship that works with your schedule. Most internships offer college credit, meaning a lesser workload moving forward, and even graduating earlier. Most degree programs encourage or require college students to take an internship so they can get hands-on experience before they graduate. If you are a college student, it is highly encouraged you talk to your college counselor to see if you can get credit from internship - because you most likely will.
Another skill you can develop at an internship is time management. Time management can be difficult and hectic. Not having efficient time management skills can lead to several problems, including double scheduling, procrastinating, and being late to important meetings and events. Having an internship, particularly a summer internship, teaches you how to successfully manage your time in a smart manner. Being an intern teaches you how to manage tight deadlines, too. You learn how to manage multiple tasks and get several duties done without rushing. By learning how to be time efficient, you learn more skills overall, because being good at time management means finding time to learn more skills. If you’re done typing up your report, you can watch the recorded team meetings and learn how to act and contribute to one.
All these skills combined will help you be the best employee possible once you start your dream job - and it all starts with a summer internship.