How Your College Benefits from Your Internship

Suzanne Pike
How Your College Benefits from Your Internship

It may seem like a million years ago, but at some point many of you went on a college tour and most likely, you or your parents asked about the school’s internship offerings and connections.  Hopefully, an Admissions representative or Career Services staff member rattled off the names of a whole bunch of high-profile organizations.  You may have even talked to professors about internships during your campus visit and gained a better sense of where students previously interned.

But how do Admissions, Career Services and faculty know this information? Do they know each and every student? Is that even possible? Well, I’ll give you the inside scoop in this blog.

Most of you know and understand the many reasons why internships are so important to your personal career development: industry knowledge, skill development, and networking.  Furthermore, some of you have come to realize that an internship will not only benefit you, but also the employer with whom you work.  For instance, employers get an opportunity to share industry knowledge, develop their own supervisory and leadership skills, get assistance with projects and tasks, and groom potential employees.

In addition to you and employers, there is a third party who benefits from your internship; your college.

Here are ten ways your college benefits from your internship and why it should be important to you:

Your college uses the list of places where students have interned to attract new students.  This will sustain or increase the reputation of your college.

1. Career counselors and faculty can determine if students are technically and mentally prepared for the “real world.”

2. When you use a myriad of skill sets, like leadership or problem solving, areas like Student Affairs and Activities can determine if their programs had an impact on your skill development.

3. Many colleges voluntarily seek out accreditation, which compares their college to established national or international standards determined by an outside organization. Many of these organizations ask for information regarding student internships.  So, if your program of study or individual school at your college is accredited, the more reputable it is on a national or international level.

4. Your college can now report to national publications (The Princeton Review, US News, and World Report) on the number of internships held, and with whom, in order to increase their national rankings. This therefore adds value to your degree and marketability.

5. Employers who have gotten great interns will more likely return to your campus to hire more students.  This is great for your peers and great for your school’s continued and growing relationships with employers.

6. If you recommend an internship to another student, you are directly impacting their career development and enhancing the career services of your college.

7. If your internship was not directly related to your major, it still helps your college.  Your academic department now has evidence about the skills you gained during your studies and how you applied them during your internship. This gives faculty information to better inform future students about the transferability and flexibility of that major.

8. Faculty and administrators gain a better sense of current market trends and employers’ needs.  This information allows them to improve upon curriculum and program content.

9. Your internship should positively impact your employment prospects after graduation.  As a result, the reputation of your college can be upheld and improved.

10. Remember earlier I posed the question about how Admissions, Career Services and faculty get that really cool list of where their students interned?  Well, here’s the answer: YOU!

So, hopefully I have given you enough reasons to report where you interned to your school. Here’s how:

    • Fill out the surveys your college sends you – yes, we do really read and analyze the data.
    • Report your internships to your career counselor or career development office.
    • Tell a faculty member or department chairperson about your internship and what you have learned.
    • If your academic program requires an internship, make sure you provide them with complete and helpful information.

Let your college know about your internship – in the end, it benefits you, your degree, your college, the programs, and even future students!

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