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Reasons to Apply for an Internship

It wasn’t until my junior year of college that I became aware of what internships were and how they could help my career, but I wish I would have known about them sooner.

Internships can be key for finding out what you want to do in life. You can apply for internships at all different types of companies in practically every single career field. They’re an opportunity for you to be introduced to that line of work, and learn the skills necessary for that job. The best part is, you’re not expected to have any experience to be an applicant. The whole point of the internship is to give you experience.

I participated in an internship the summer before my last semester of college, and it has truly opened up a world of opportunities. I think that every college student should apply for at least one internship, and here’s why:

  • Introduces you to your career field

You may have spent a few years in your major, but you never really know what that career field will be like until you are exposed to that environment. You’ll be able to learn the ropes of what they do at that company and if you have a really good supervisor, they will give you the opportunity to check out different positions within the company. It’s important to think about if you could see yourself in this position for the rest of your life, or if it is something that you would get tired of quickly. If you felt miserable by the end of a three month internship, chances are, you might need to switch up your career of choice, or at least find some part of the company that you like better.

  • You can get paid

It seems like this is a no-brainer, but there are some unpaid internships out there. If money is not an issue then you might be okay with doing an unpaid internship; these can often count as course credit or even volunteer hours. However, there are definitely paid internships where you would most likely be hired on full time and get paid as if you were a real employee of the company.

  • Can be a chance to travel

There are some internships that you can do locally or remotely, but others may require you to relocate for the duration of the internship. Sometimes, you may even have the opportunity to travel around the country checking out other offices, attending conferences/orientations, or collaborating on projects with peers.

(Ex: During my internship, I traveled to West Virginia for a week-long orientation, then to Washington state–where the actual internship was. In between, I was able to visit Maryland, Washington DC, and Oregon…with all flights and hotel stays covered by the company)

  • Sometimes they give you a living stipend

In the event that you have to move out of state, the company may give you a living stipend…simply put, along with your work wages, they will deposit money into your account to cover rent on an apartment (or somewhere else to stay). And as I stated above, if you need to travel for work, they will usually pay for it!

  • Make new connections

Internships give you the opportunity to meet tons of new people. You can make new friends with people your age that have similar interests as you. You can meet important people within your field, and make connections that may help you in the future.

  • Learn new skills

Throughout your entire internship, you’ll be able to build upon skills you already have, and learn from experts in the field. There is a little bit more room for mistakes than usual because everyone knows that you are just starting out, and may not have all of the answers yet.

  • They may hire you after you graduate

Whenever a company needs to fulfill an open role, they may look at the list of people who have previously completed their internship. As long as you did good work, you are a prime candidate for their positions because they have already invested time into you, and have shown you how things are done within their company. One of the main reasons companies even have interns is to equip people to be able to apply for their open positions. It is always good to keep in touch with the connections you made because it could land you a job right after you graduate.

  • Helpful when applying to other opportunities

In the event that there are not yet open positions at the company or you have decided to try something new, including your internship experience on your resume can help land you your next stepping stone or even get you your first big job.

(Ex: After accepting a job offer, I found out that one of the main reasons I got the position was because of the experience I gained from my internship).

There are so many reasons to participate in internships. If you need help finding some, you can ask your advisors, professors, peers, check out LinkedIn, or do a simple google search. If you happen to be in the environmental/conservation/ecology/life sciences field, I have a list of internships perfect for you!




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