Internships Mutually Benefit Students and Employers

Finding a job right after graduation is tough, as if finding a job as a current student. Having an internship as a student or even as a recent graduate has proven to be extremely beneficial. Internships allow for opportunities to gain experience, such as in your field, working in teams, or even for that dream company. However, there are benefits that many overlook when considering the potential benefits from participating in an internship.

As a student, it is important to gain experience in any way you can, whether that be through volunteering, internships, or jobs while in school. There are lessons that can be learned from each of these various opportunities, but internships may be the most valuable before entering the job market to start your career. Let’s take a look at why you should try to have an internship before finding your first job in your field of study.

  1. You get real experience in this field – making or breaking that career choice
    1. Internships offer real experience in a specific field, potentially doing work that you may actually be doing as an employee for a company one day. By working hands on in the particular field, your experiences can confirm your choice in pursuing that career or make you begin to think of an alternative career.
  2. Opportunities to network and build connections
    1. An internship is going to be with a company that is involved in a specific field, most likely one that you are interested in getting a job. Through your internship, you will begin to build relationships with those who you work with, as well as potential clients. These relationships should be professional as they can help grow and build your network. Your network will be of the utmost importance when searching for a job, asking for a recommendation, or finding someone to fill a role.
  3. Use your classroom experience
    1. As a student or recent graduate, you have taken classes that are specific to your field of study, with the purpose of trying to best prepare you for your field. You didn’t take those classes for nothing, use the knowledge of how to build a website, test chemical compounds, or planning an event to best fulfill the duties given to you during your internship.
  4. Long term benefits
    1. A study conducted by John Pryor for the Gallup-Purdue Index, a joint research effort by Purdue University and Lumina Foundation, showed that students who had an internship or job while in school, where they could apply classroom knowledge, showed significantly higher potential to be more engaged with their work and report better well-being. This brings to thought that experiences may outweigh the school you attend, no matter how prestigious the university may be.

Internships can also be beneficial to employers as well. We no longer live in an era where interns are simply the coffee fetching and errand running individuals, trying to make a name for themselves within a company. Interns today are looking for a real experience, without the commitment to a job. Some may even compare interns to contractors in today’s world. Let’s dive into how employers today can benefit from offering internships and having interns.

  1. Employers can evaluate interns for potential talent
    1. By offering competitive and applicable internships, employers can then not only reap the benefits of having applicable work done, but are able to see potential talent that can be added to the company. It is becoming more and more common for employers to give job offers to interns who have spent time learning and understanding the company, shown significant benefit for the company in the work they do, and room for growth as well.
  2. Employers can get fresh perspectives
    1. Having interns, specifically student or recent graduates as interns, can prove to challenge many business models. Students and recent graduates will have fresh ideas and perspectives that can benefit a company. New ideas shows room for growth and improvement, as well as a fresh skill set that may be untapped potential, proving to benefit the business.

Whether you are a student or recent graduate thinking about an internship or an employer thinking of offering an internship program, the implementation of internships benefit both the growth of individuals as students or graduates as well as employers who offer internships.

-Written by Jordan Wong

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