In mounting acknowledgment of the importance that an internship can have in a college student’s life – and we’re talking decades down the line – thousands of colleges and universities around the country are actually starting to require at least one internship prior to graduation.
We can already hear a few moans and groans, but the fact that internships are gradually being woven into the fabric of the college experience is definitely no reason to despair.
Unlike some dubious reflection papers that you’ve penned throughout your dorm-room days at the university, internships actually pay off in a tangible way in the real world – and often literally pay off as in paychecks with a few more zeros at the end. If you don’t get one now, you’ll regret it.
Taking the Plunge: Reaping the Benefits
You may have heard the tale of woe being spun by some of your friends who are still out job hunting even though they have their diploma in their back pocket. That can happen. But there’s a way to significantly aid the job search. Can you guess what it is?
You probably see where we’re heading with this one: An internship can significantly increase your chances of landing a job right out of college and, in fact, internships have been shown statistically to do just that.
It’s Who You Know
While things like GPA were a poor predictor of early job prospects out of college, the number of internships that you take on while in college shows a significant (statisticians’s word for “pay attention”) correlation with your later job prospects.
And the more internships that you take on, the better your job prospects.
Since internships actually show a tighter correlation to your chances of landing a job than GPA per se, this whole thing actually lends some credence to that saying, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
Getting in touch with the right people through your internship can absolutely lead to a lucrative job offer in the near future.
Internships and Long-term Fulfillment
To sweeten the deal even further, research on internships, job prospects and student happiness also shows that employment right out of college contributed significantly to erstwhile students feeling sunnier and more fulfilled.
And since internships are connected with later job prospects, you could forecast – through a little syllogistic magic: sorry to remind you of Philosophy 101 – that since internships increase your chances of getting a job, and since getting a job is correlated with happiness, internships might actually make you happier long term.
Internships and Finding Your Passion
Maybe these graduating (and graduated) students actually find happiness through the internship since they’re getting exposed to the day-to-day practice of the passions that impel them out of bed in the morning.
An internship offers you the chance to put yourself in the shoes of someone who’s completely enmeshed with their joie de vivre – and makes money doing it!
Job Offer, Anyone?
We’re not necessarily saying that taking an internship will suddenly turn you into a cigar-chomping Gordon Gecko character straight off the screen of Wall Street – unless that’s something you’re looking for… – but we are saying that internships offer you a shot at finding what makes life a little richer for you personally.
Internships allow you to field test what you do, and maybe don’t, like and determine whether your passion is something that you might want to turn into a career.
Since internships also naturally allow for networking, exposure to insider information and a possible full-time job offer, you’ll build up confidence while you network and rub elbows with the very people that you’ll potentially one day be working alongside.