Internships: Pros and Cons

Internships are a huge part of the college experience. Whether they are mandatory or optional in your field of study, take advantage and always try to get the most out of them. Internships provide real world experience and enhance academic, personal, and professional development. Most of all, internships will help to have a smooth transition from the college classroom the big and bad real world.

PROS

Experience

The more experience the better. Internship experience is priceless. The skills that are obtained from an internship cannot be learned in a classroom with a professor. Surprisingly, there are just some things that cannot be taught in school.

Find your passion.

Having an internship in a specific field may assist in figuring out if that is worth doing everyday for the rest of your life. You may enter an internship program and by the time it is over, realize that you hate it and it is far from the right path. By completing different internships in a desired field, you are offering a chance to find your passion.

Your future

Each year, landing a job after of college is becoming more difficult. By completing multiple internships, you are already ahead in the game that is life. Most colleges make it mandatory for their students to complete at least one internship. So now, employers are looking at résumés for not only one internship, but two or even three. The more internships on your résumé, the higher yours will move to the top in the stack of hundreds that companies receive for open job positions.

CONS

Lack of free time

Completing an internship takes up a lot of time. Most of the time, the employer wants the intern to perform like a paid employee (even though there may not be money involved), this could mean working full time days and hours. All of these non-paid hours may interfere with getting a paid job. Which could put you living like the typical broke college student, surviving off of Ramen Noodles and cheap beer.

Interference with school

The easiest time to complete an internship is in the summer when school is out. Completing an internship during the school year may interfere with class schedules causing conflicts that may not be possible to work out. To get the most time out of classes as well as an internship, completing them at separate times may be the best decision.

Second guesses

Completing multiple internships, that are all different, distract from your original career path. An internship in the ideal field may turn out to be less glamorous and great than initially anticipated. On the contrary, an internship that never seemed enjoyable could turn out to be the better fit that the current path you are on. This can be confusing and cause the second-guessing of academic choices.

The bottom line is…

Multiple internships are always a good idea. They offer experience that cannot be gained anywhere else. However, keep in mind that they are time consuming and at times filled with the pressure and confusion of real life.

Besides experience, the point of an internship is to feel a job out and see if it is the right path for you. If it is not, do not sweat it, everyone finds themselves on the right path eventually. That is what college is for, after all.

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