Why Do I Need an Internship?

Liam Berry
Why Do I Need an Internship?

If you’ve been at college for more than 30 seconds, then you’ve probably heard about these things called internships. In case you’re not sure what this means, an internship is a term of temporary employment at an organization. Ideally, you’ll receive training, do real work, and—hopefully—be paid for doing so.

If this doesn’t sound like enough of a reason to have an internship, then there’s one other major benefit to internships you should consider: They’re the gateway to full-time jobs.

So, why should you do an internship? You’ll get the experience and connections required to get your first full-time job—and in your desired industry.

Let’s dive into some of the more specifics that demonstrate just how essential internships are for your future—and not just on paper.

Internship Motivator #1: Some Things Can’t Be Learned in a Classroom

Internships are like 75 percent of the real world experience.

No matter how excellent your undergrad program is, you can’t learn the art of whatever it is you’re studying entirely from books and lectures. Much of the nitty-gritty of the job, office culture, and essential skills come from actually operating in a corporate environment.

For example, as an entry-level marketing associate, 40 percent of your job might be working in the Facebook ad manager. You won’t know how you’ll perform certain tasks until you’re assigned to do so for a real company—and shown by a manager.

On-the-job learning is how you learn about the latest industry trends, which makes you infinitely more valuable than someone who read the latest textbook.

Internship Motivator #2: Overcoming the Experience Gap

It’s one effed up Möbius strip.

When it comes to finding your first full-time job, there’s a catch-22. You need experience to get a job. You need a job to get experience. How can you break that vicious circle before you’re caught in it? By getting an internship—a type of experience available to those without.

Interns are often trusted with the very same tasks that go to their full-time, entry-level counterparts. This allows you to speak to your ability to handle those tasks during an interview.

Connections can also be used to bridge the experience gap. Your connections to your manager, the recruiters who hired you, and your co-workers could all help you. Reaching out to these people could get you a return offer at the company or a recommendation for a different role elsewhere.

Internship Motivator #3: Fail Sooner, Go Further

why do I need an internship should i get an internship do i need to intern in college
Turn those Ls into Ws! It’s called failing up.

Getting real experience also means finding out what you like—and dislike.

Internships let you know if you’re actually going to enjoy the experience of working in your desired field. This can help you avoid the nasty situation of getting trapped in a full-time job that you end up hating.

Want to be a banker? Give it a test run as a summer analyst (industry term for banking interns). Want to be a consultant? Try an internship program at a major firm.

Finding out your strengths, your likes, and your wants makes charting out your career path that much easier.

Ready to find your first internship? Start applying right now on WayUp.