8 Benefits of an Internship
What is an Internship?
An internship is an official program that is offered by an employer to potential employees. The modern concept of an internship has evolved from medieval apprenticeship, where a skilled laborer, often a craftsman, would take on and teach a young person their trade. In exchange for being taught a trade, the apprentice would agree to work for the craftsman for a specified length of time.
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Today, an intern can work part time or full time at the company for a specified period of time. Typically, interns will work for a number of months. Internships are very popular with undergraduate or graduate students who need to gain valuable work or research experience. Internships can be found for digital marketing degrees, healthcare programs, paralegal certificates, and many other career choices.
What is the Difference Between an Apprenticeship and an Internship?
The main difference between an apprenticeship and an internship is that internships are not usually as focused. An intern is not bound to work for the employer after the internship is over, though many do. An internship also offers students a chance to “try out” a job or industry to determine if it is the right choice for them. Apprentices know which field they want to go into, and work with a master in that field to learn it first-hand.
What is the Difference Between a Paid and Unpaid Internship?
There are two main types of internship: ones that are paid and ones that are not. Most internships are unpaid. This is because the student is not there to earn money, but rather to earn valuable knowledge and experience. If an internship is unpaid, it is usually subject to stringent labor guidelines. U.S. federal law, for example, mandates that unpaid interns cannot not benefit the company economically or be used to displace the work done by paid employees. In addition, some states have their own regulations regarding unpaid interns. For example, unpaid interns in California must receive college credit for their work in lieu of pay.
The majority of internships in the U.S. are work experience internships. This means that they are essentially on-the-job training in a field that the student or young worker is interested in. However, there are also research internships, which are more common in scientific fields. With a research internship, a student will examine a particular topic on behalf of a business before producing a written study or presentation.
How Do I Find an Internship?
The first step in finding an internship is to determine what you need. If you are a college freshman, for example, you may be interested in exploring a variety of different internships that can help you determine your major or ultimate career path. Seniors in college, on the other hand, usually have very specific goals for their internships. These students want to gain valuable work experience and discover opportunities for employment after graduation.
Like finding a job, the process for finding an internship can be challenging and time consuming. There are thousands of websites that students can use to find internships. However, not all sites are created equal or produce the best internship opportunities. Here are a few suggestions of places to look for internships:
- LinkedIn – Some of the best internships can be found through networking, even when you are networking online.
- com – Indeed is not just for finding a job. Did you know you can also search internships on this popular site? Many of the listings on Indeed come from major job boards and company pages. Along with searching major companies, Indeed also allows you to save searches and have internship listings delivered by email alert.
- com – Internships.com is one of the most popular websites for finding and internship. It offers broad search criteria and includes major, industry, location, and company limiters. There is also a wealth of additional resources like intern stories and a blog.
- State and Local Employment Agencies – Each state has a government-sponsored employment agency that will assist state residents in finding employment and, in many cases, internships too.
8 Benefits of Internships
All this information is great, but why should I bother with an internship? The experts at Fremont College understand that there are a variety of benefits a student can gain from participating in an internship:
Finding a job can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have experience. Unfortunately, you need to obtain a job before you can gain experience. Internships are a great way for college students, recent graduates or anyone considering a career change to obtain valuable work experience. Continue reading to learn eight benefits of an internship and find out how an internship can prepare you for the demands of today’s workforce.
1. Gain valuable work experience
The hands-on work experience interns receive is invaluable and cannot be obtained in a classroom setting, making this one of the most important benefits of internships. Interns have the opportunity to apply acquired knowledge to real work experiences, witnessing firsthand the day-to-day job duties they can expect to encounter in their chosen field. In addition to learning the specialized skills of a particular field, transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, and computer proficiency are also obtained in an internship, fully preparing interns to enter the workforce upon graduation.
2. Explore a career path
Exploring is an important part of the college experience, and internships are a great way for students to acquaint themselves with the field they are interested in. Some students begin college with a major or career path in mind, and end up changing their minds later on. Taking on an internship while in college allows students to work in their desired field, helping them decide if the field is right for them. By graduation, students who interned are more likely to feel confident they chose the right degree.
3. Give yourself an edge in the job market
One of the most important internship benefits is that college graduates who already have some work experience in the form of an internship stand out to potential employers. Internship experience makes a college grad more marketable as they usually require less training and can handle more responsibilities. You may also receive a higher starting salary than those who do not have internship experience and are entering the workforce or starting a new career.
4. Develop and refine skills
You can learn a lot about your strengths and weaknesses during an internship. Internships allow for feedback from supervisors and others who are established in the field, and offer a unique learning opportunity that you may not have again as a working adult. Embrace the mistakes you make as an intern and the many things that you won’t know. Ask questions, observe, and take risks to get the most out of your internship training experience.
5. Receive financial compensation
Many internships are paid which means you can gain valuable work experience and make money at the same time. A paid internship will provide money to fund your college tuition and expenses.
6. Network with professionals in the field
In the working world, it’s all about who you know. As an intern, you will be surrounded by professionals in the industry. Internships are more than just about earning credit, getting a grade, or making money; internships provide an opportunity to learn from the people around you, ask questions, and impress. The professionals you encounter during an internship can be your future colleagues or the connection to your first job.
7. Gain confidence
Internships allow you to test out specific techniques learned in the classroom before entering the working world. It’s an opportunity to apply what you have learned in a safe environment where mistakes are expected – rather than learn the hard way in your first job out of college.
8. Transition into a job
Many companies use internships as a way to enhance their recruitment efforts. In some cases, a company may decide to hire an intern at the end of the assignment. Even if a job offer doesn’t happen right away, an intern who makes a favorable impression could receive an offer down the line when an opening occurs. It’s a way for companies to test out an employee before committing to hiring them.
Fremont College can provide the knowledge and hands-on experience you need to succeed in today’s demanding workforce. With degree programs in Multimedia Design, Paralegal Studies, Business Leadership, and Sports Therapy, Fremont offers a wide range of in-demand degree programs to suit anyone’s career interests. In addition to providing a top-notch education, students also receive internship and job placement assistance at Fremont College. Space is limited, so contact us today to learn more about our degree programs and get help choosing the career path that is right for you.