We often hear coming into college that internships are very important because they are the key into getting us that job after all of this is over. But what else do internships provide us with besides the golden ticket into a career?
For starters, internships provide us with so much insight on what the “real world” looks like. While it is somewhat scary, it is rewarding when you’ve found an internship that speaks to everything you’ve ever wanted in a career. On the flip-side, you may not have the best internship experience. Often times you will hear people share their internship story and say all they learned was how to fetch coffee and run errands. While this is a harsh reality for some of us, it is ultimately up to us to take initiative and demand what we want out of the internship we are at, because no one is gaining or losing anything but us. If you are not assertive in asking questions or asking for more work, you will ultimately get nothing out of your experience.
Secondly, don’t stress over finding the perfect internship the first time around. Often, we waste our college years getting so consumed in finding that one perfect internship just to find that it wasn’t the one for us all along. To avoid the possibility of this happening explore every possible internship that comes your way, even if it doesn’t seem like the perfect fit. This way, by the time graduation comes around you’ve had enough experience and you are able to determine what absolutely works for you and what absolutely doesn’t.
Lastly, don’t stress yourself. It can be intimidating for all of your friends/peers to talk about what they want to do after college and what their experience with internships has been when you’ve had none. At the end of the day, just know we’re all a little confused and that’s normal. Nothing in life comes easy, and in everything we do we will be faced with challenges. But with trial and error the answer will soon come around.
Good Luck to everyone either in an internship or seeking an internship. We got this!