What Is An Internship and Should You Get One?

What Is An Internship and Should You Get One?

Whether you're in college or in a transition phase to a new career, you may be looking for ways to gain experience. Many employers are only willing to hire employees with experience, but you can't get experience if no one will hire you. To get your foot in the door, you might want to consider doing an internship. Learn more about internships and whether or not one is right for you.

Ignoring the Stereotypes

First, throw all your thoughts about internships away. There are many stereotypes regarding internships, and they could cloud your judgment. Although television and movies portray internships as thankless, almost cruel experiences, this isn't the norm.

An internship is an experience in the form of a learning program. Instead of learning in a classroom, an internship allows you to learn while you work. It gives you a taste of a new field and allows you to learn the ropes. While you can read for hours about a job, it doesn't tell you everything you need to know. The practical lessons you learn during an internship can be invaluable to your future career. Or, it might help you realize you should change paths and pursue other opportunities.

Internships are often unpaid, which is why some people don't consider them. They think internships are only for the employer. And while an employer does benefit from the free labor, there are many advantages for the intern. Typically, employers use the internship as a trial period. They may choose to hire you based on your performance. Even if the company doesn't hire you, they could write you a glowing recommendation letter.

Perhaps the most important thing you should know is that paid internships exist. If you know where to look, you could find an internship that pays a living wage.

Whether or not an internship pays, it could be a worthwhile experience. In a world where experience is becoming more important than a degree, an internship could be the key to your future.

The Major Benefits of Internships

Still not convinced? Take a closer look at the benefits of internships, and you might realize it's the right stepping stone for your career.

Add to Your Resume

If you're fresh out of college, you probably don't have a long resume. You can include your academic endeavors or an unrelated job on your resume, but it won't be enough to get you the job of your dreams.

By adding an internship to your resume, you make your resume much more appealing to employers. Your internship shows hiring managers that you're serious and professional. If there's an experience requirement in the job listing, your internship counts towards it.

Of course, you need to present your internship in the proper way. Don't only discuss the duties of the internship, especially if it doesn't directly relate to the job. For the best results, include your achievements. Rather than give a general overview of the internship, use numerical examples of your success. Try to include ways in which you made the company better, like boosting productivity or sales.

Learn What You Want to Do

There are so many jobs to choose from, and most college grads are overwhelmed with the options. If you make the wrong decision and jump headfirst into a career you don't like, you'll waste years of your life. In the end, you could be back to where you were after college.

You can save yourself time and frustration by trying things out with an internship. If you want to get into finance but aren't sure which niche you would enjoy, pick one and try it out in an internship. Whether or not you enjoy the internship, you can have more clarity. You will know how to proceed with your career.

Learn Your Own Way

People learn in a variety of ways, and this is why classroom learning isn't the best way to start a career. If you don't learn well by listening to lectures or reading books, you won't be ready for your new career.

Fortunately, learning in an internship gives you other ways to learn. If you learn by watching, you can pay attention to others in the workplace. And, if you learn best by doing, you can jump right in. Thanks to your internship, you will be much more prepared for a career in the industry of your choice.

Get Feedback

Everyone makes mistakes. But when you make mistakes as an employee, the stakes are high. An internship is a learning opportunity, and employers expect their interns to be imperfect. As you perform daily tasks, your supervisor will give you regular feedback.

This feedback prevents you from making mistakes in the future. Overall, it helps you to be a more valuable asset to a company. If your supervisor doesn't willingly give you feedback, ask for it.


When it comes to a successful career, networking is crucial. But it's hard to network if you're not working. An internship is a great way to start networking in a new industry, and this may be just what you need to get started.

As you work as an intern, introduce yourself to everyone. Connect with people in-person and on social media, and strive to make an impression. When you build relationships, you leave doors open for future opportunities. Just be sure to stay connected with your network. If you don't follow-up with the people you meet, your connections won't do you any good.

Who Should Apply for Internships?

If you're about to embark on a new career and lack experience, you should apply for a few internships. First, make sure you understand the financial aspect of the internship. You may not be able to afford an unpaid internship, in which case you should only apply for paid positions. Secondly, make sure you pick the right company. Your values should align, and the industry should be in line with your goals. Finding the right opportunity could set you up for a lifetime of success.

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