Thursday, July 30, 2015

5 Reasons: Why Summer Internships are a MUST!

Today is my last day at my internship for this summer and it's definitely bitter sweet. It's also bitter sweet to look at this day as my last day as an intern hopefully ever. Now a rising senior in college, I've spent every summer since freshman year in high school interning for companies. I acknowledge this is pretty nerdy but I am admittedly a go-go-go kind of person who likes to be working and creative so for me, I've found internships to be incredibly rewarding. As I've continued year after year, I've gotten to see my own evolution as a working adult. (Scary!) But it really is truly incredible to see all of my previous experiences and the skills I've learned, both in internships and in the classroom, come full circle and apply in ways I never would have imagined. So while it may seem like a sacrifice to give away some of those precious, pressure-free days of summer, I have 5 reasons why it is absolutely worth it!

1. Build and develop your skills! // Throwing yourself into the work environment is the best way to start to develop practical and necessary skills for your future! My first week in my first internship I was learning how to cold call, code website pages and even file financial reports, all things I would have never been able to learn outside of the work environment. You also get the chance to apply knowledge that you've learned in the classroom and see the ways that these lessons apply to the real world.

2. Learn what you love, or more importantly, learn what you don't love! // Internships allow you to figure out what you like without the pressure of a sense of "career permanence". You can start to determine what industries you like to work in, what areas of business you enjoy or even the specific tasks that you find most interesting. This has been one of my biggest take aways from my wide array of interning experiences. One summer, I found myself interning in an industry that I wasn't exactly enthralled with but I realized that I loved all of the advertising and promotional projects that I was thrown every once in a while. I kept working hard through that summer and the next year looked for a job in the marketing sector and I couldn't have been happier, with both experiences! If it weren't for the first internship, I would have never learned how much I liked marketing and now I get to do it every day!

3. Get the most out of your summer! // It can seem like a sacrifice to give away some of your much deserved pool-time but for me, I've learned that summer internships actually help me take advantage of my summers. Internships force you to balance your time between work and play and I've found that it makes me much more productive! On my off-days I still get up in the morning, eat breakfast, take a run and truly start every day with a purpose rather than taking any of those precious sunny hours for granted. If you're truly worried, balance your summer with a part-time internship and get the best of both worlds!

4. Land hard to reach jobs! // It can be almost impossible to land an internship with a big name brand or an international company, but internships are your glimmer of hope! A lot of companies may not be hiring but many are very open to bringing a driven and enthusiastic intern on board. While you most likely won't be getting the benefit of a consistent paycheck, you're getting unparalleled experience and the chance of a lifetime!

5. Prep for your future! // It's all about experience and the only way to gain work experience, well, is to work! The easiest way to get your foot in the door is with an internship and many can result in the opportunity to continue climbing on up the ladder! Even if you don't see yourself in the company longterm, think about what you're gaining along the way: the great skills you're adding to your resume, all of your new networking contacts and even references for future job opportunities!

Are you interning this summer? What do you think about summer internships? Are they worth it?

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