How important are internships for college students?

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Our counselors answered:

How important are internships for college students?

Megan Dorsey
SAT Prep & College Advisor College Prep LLC

Internships are Invaluable

Education is a must if you hope to have a high paying, steady and fulfilling career, but education isn’t enough to guarantee you a job after graduation. No matter which field of study you choose, your experience and connections are more likely to help you land that first job than the seal on your diploma is. For this reason, internships are invaluable. You gain insights into your field as you gain hands on experience. Potential employers and future colleagues can observe your aptitude, work ethic, and ability to fit into the culture of a particular workplace. For you and your potential employers, an internship is like an extended test-drives; it lets you know if a position would be a good fit.

Tennille Raney
Founder Develop Your Dreams

How important are internships for college students?

Internships are imperative, especially for highly-sought after fields. In the world of fashion or entertainment they are completely essential. Internships help students get their foot in the door. Once they make it inside, it is up to them to network like crazy. They must fill their rolodex up with contacts they can send resumes too later.

Todd Weaver
Senior Advisor Strategies for College, Inc.

How important are internships for college students?

Internships are very important, particularly in today's competitive work world. A student who has internship and/or work experience upon graduation will be more highly desired by employers than someone who did not venture into the "work world" at all during college. The network and other relationships a student can develop through internships compliment the actual work experience they get while working for a few months during college. Performing well at an internship is a great way to have a potential job offer before graduation, too! Start researching internship option early - and by "early" I mean before applying to college. There is enough data available for students to be able to research and understand what internship opportunities will await them at various colleges and universities, that it will benefit them even more if they choose a school that will help them with career choices.

Tira Harpaz
Founder CollegeBound Advice

How important are internships for college students?

If you can get a paying job in a field you're interested in, it's always helpful. However, if paying internships are not available and you have to work to make money for school, don't worry. You can get experience in your field through working with professors, doing special projects, applying for fellowships and possibly even doing an unpaid internship during the school year or summer if you can afford it.

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

Internships are Vital

Aside from increasing your marketability for employment and perhaps admission to graduate school, you will have the chance to learn first-hand about potential careers without a long-term commitment. In addition, if you choose your internship experience carefully, you should be able to build a network of contacts and mentors who may serve as professional references.

王文君 June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

very important

text books can only help so far unless you use them to gain perspectives and knowledge of the workplaces. internships can help students to interact with colleagues and management team. some students will consider graduate schools, internship can help with the focus or directions for such consideration.

William Chichester

How important are internships for college students?

Very important! As a recruiter, I value students who've gotten great internship experiences over those that have not. If you can't get an internship, study abroad or develop a new skill or take up a foreign language. All of these things make you more marketable to employers.

Benjamin Caldarelli
Partner Princeton College Consulting, LLC

How important are internships for college students?

The more competitive the industry or employer is, the more important it becomes to have experience as an intern. Not only are they important for students who know what their goal is, but they are important for students to confirm what they think their goal may be before making further commitments.

Kristina Dooley
Independent Educational Consultant Estrela Consulting

How important are internships for college students?

Internships are very important for several reasons. First, internships provide you with the opportunity to explore a potential career field and give you an idea of whether or not it is the right profession for you. Second, you will have the opportunity to make invaluable professional connections by networking with those with you are working during your internship. Finally, many colleges offer course credit to students who complete an internship and who wouldn't take advantage of that opportunity?

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

How important are internships for college students?

They can be extremely valuable if you play your cards right!