Why You Should Consider an Internship

By the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority

During college, many students obtain part-time work to help supplement living expenses and books. Earnings from a part-time job can potentially reduce student debt loan, and studies have shown that working part-time doesn’t typically interfere with studies.

Many college students, especially those who were awarded work-study funds by the financial aid office, find work on campus, often in the school library, gym, or cafeteria. Others opt to grab a few shifts at a local restaurant for potentially higher earnings. But what if you could use your time more wisely to benefit your future?

An internship is an amazing opportunity for aspiring professionals to gain necessary skills to find a great job after college, and more than half of internships offer pay, according to NACE. Although you may not want to spend your free time or summer break working, there are numerous benefits to participating in an internship. Consider these impressive statistics from the NACE 2018 Internship and Co-op Survey:

  • The average pay for an intern is $18.73 per hour

  • 59% of interns are offered full-time employment at the conclusion of their internship and 77.3% accept the offer

Having an internship shows that you are willing to take initiative and demonstrates your dedication to personal growth. When you set aside time and energy to work when others may be at play, it shows drive employers want to see in potential employees.

Interns typically work between 10-25 hours per week and gain great experience to add to their resumes, which more and more employers are starting to require for entry level jobs. In fact, many employers are using internship programs as a recruitment tool that allows them to test out new talent. But more than just experience, internships can help students build confidence and develop a network of contacts.

Establishing relationships with people in your field of interest can open many doors in the future. Plus, internship give you a valuable opportunity to take a test drive and ensure that you are on the right career path. Students should not underestimate the power a quality internship can have on their futures.

Half of interns are found through posted applications by employers, 40% are found directly through campus career centers, and 8.2% are found through faculty contacts, according to the NACE 2018 Internship and Co-Op Survey. Keeping this in mind, it is wise to contact your college career center about opportunities and put feelers out to professors whose classes are particularly interesting to you.

Think an internship isn’t worth it and that you’ll be stuck fetching coffee and filing? It may be time to reconsider how an internship can positively affect your future.