The best advice I could give to another student is to get an internship as soon as you can. Going to school in a city gives us SO many opportunities, it is silly to pass them up. I’m currently a junior holding my second internship and I can not tell you enough how much the experience has benefited me. You can learn all you want in the classroom but until you have that hands-on, real-world experience you don’t know anything yet. It’s one thing to know it and it’s another thing to be fully surrounded and absorbed by it. You need that experience, the more you know the better off you will be. Another reason you need the experience is that of the endless list of “what if’s”
- What if it’s not the right profession?
- What if it’s not the right culture?
- What if I don’t enjoy the industry?
- What if I discover I enjoy something else more?
- What if the work you’d be doing is not what you thought?
- What if the company you wanted to work at is not what you thought?
- What if you lean towards a different division?
- What if you’re better in a different section?
In order to answer these questions, you need experience. You don’t want to end up somewhere doing something that you thought was going to be one thing and it turns out it’s the total opposite and you are miserable! You don’t want to just be placed or get stuck somewhere, you want to know your options and pick the best for you so that ultimately you’re enjoying what you are doing for the rest of your life (basically).
Personally, I thought I knew I wanted to be on one track but then after experiencing it and learning more about what else is out there, I did a full 180 and ended up somewhere I did not think I was going to. In addition, I’m figuring out what kind of company I want to work in and the type of culture that’s best for the type of person I am. I’m better at interviews, managing my time, responsibility (just to name a few) and I have my internships to thank for that. I’m doing all of this for my future sanity and I advise you to do the same because the more you know the better off (and probably less stressed) you will be!