Most of us will eventually graduate college. Personally, I am very ready to finish my undergraduate career. But, to be honest, I am pretty frustrated to have to face the present job market. All these experienced individuals who lost their jobs are now competing with me, a fresh college graduate with little relevant experience. I am sure that many seniors are in my shoes, too.
But during my years in college, I was very lucky to have an internship in Washington, D.C. It was an experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Not just because I got to translate KGB documents that were top-secret 15 years ago, but also because I faced the “real-world” on the ground.
There are four major reasons why you should get at least one internship during your stay in college.
First, you will gain the necessary working skills for future employment along with the exposure. As important education is as a stepping-stone, there are many skills that cannot be gained only in the workplace and not in college. This experience will hopefully be able to instill awareness of a working life and allow you to endure the diversified task passed on to you. It opens up the opportunity to take what has been learned on paper and execute it in reality. Plus, your résumé will look much more attractive to your potential employer. One internship in your field will have more value than your five “Starbucks”-esque jobs.
Second, you will learn so much about yourself. While you may be doing some interesting things in your classes, actual work might not be so interesting “out there.” It is crucial for each student to know whether he or she likes potential job opportunities so they can be happy later on with their jobs. It is common that students learn through their internships that they are not going to like the actual work that their major offers. I think this is a good thing – better late than never. I learned that I am not going to be happy to sit at a desk all day and play with the dictionary for the rest of my life. I now know that I want to interpret (spoken translation) more than anything.
Getting an internship before completing your undergraduate program will give you the chance to find out what you are truly passionate about. By finding out which line of industry is your true passion, you will be able to make a better decision when the time comes to enroll in a postgraduate program (if you plan to do so). The most important thing to know about internships is that they allow students to explore and prepare for their future career.
Third: communication. What I learned from my internship and Intro to Human Communication class is that good communication skills are enormously important in the workplace. An internship will give you the opportunity to deal with a range of people who are knowledgeable in their respective fields. You will learn how to deal with different personalities. While in college, you can just avoid talking to someone or drop a class if you don’t like your professor. But it’s more likely not to happen in the “real world.” Getting an internship lets you sharpen your interaction skills. Learning the way assignments are carried out from the people who handle the assignments will enable you to pick up ideas on how people operate under the pressure of work life.
Four: potential employment. Keep in mind that it is common for your internship provider to hire you upon finishing your internship. Some internships are unpaid and, to an employer, a candidate who has spent time working for a firm within a particular industry shows commitment to a particular career, enthusiasm for a job, and – importantly – experience.
So guys, try your best to get that internship. It will work to your benefit.
Kent State has many different off-campus academic programs that will help you get an internship in the field of your interest anywhere in the country. Don’t waste this opportunity! Become stiff competition and secure your happy future!
Anastasia Spytsya is a senior Russian translation major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]