How important are internships for college students?

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Our counselors answered:

How important are internships for college students?

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.

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.

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.

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.

Cheryl Millington

How important are internships for college students?

College internships are especially important in this economy. The first benefit is that you are able to get work experience in the program you’re studying and you’ll be building your resume with relevant experience. More opportunities and doors will be open to you since wages and benefits will not limit potential employers. Secondly and probably most importantly, you begin to increase your network in that industry. Your internship can lead to paid summer employment and a full-time job once you graduate. So work hard and make an impact on the organization. Also, it’s important to stay in touch with the individuals you work with and meet during your internship. Hopefully, they’ll think of you when a paid position is available. You’ll also have an opportunity to see what a particular job, company and industry is like before you get to the point of applying for full-time jobs. This is a huge benefit that you may not appreciate when you’re still in school. I recommend that you look for programs that include internship opportunities and have relationships with employers in the industry you’re interested in. This will make it easier to land an internship and hopefully eventually secure a full-time job.

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.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

How important are internships for college students?

Internships are becoming more desirable as students struggle with college costs. The opportunity to possibly earn some money while earning college credit is huge. The chance to explore careers before getting too far down the academic path is also a bonus to internships.

Dr. Bruce Neimeyer
CEO/Partner Global College Search Associates, LLC

How important are internships for college students?

Internships are critical for a number of reasons. First, it allows the student to explore the field from the inside. You have the opportunity to learn before you make the decision to follow the academic path that will lead you to a career in the field. If you get to the inside and find it is not a good match, better to know that now when you have the opportunity to change direction. Second, it provides relevant work experience. During these economic times when many college grads are competing with job applicants with 1-5 years of experience, this opportunity can help bolster their changes for landing that first job in relation to their competition.

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!

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?