Why Are Internships Important? More Than Just Experience

why are internships important

Internships are important for many reasons beyond the experience. They help students build networks, practice theory, gain knowledge, make money, and gain a competitive edge.

Here’s a closer look at why internships are so important in today’s professional environment.

6 Benefits of Internships as a Student

Internships in college are a fantastic way to…

1. Build Your Network ⚒️

Even if you don’t plan on pursuing a full-time job after graduation at the same company, building up a network will help you go far in the industry. Why? People hop around to different companies frequently, meaning your connections will also spread. In addition, some opportunities let you mingle with external connections too. Internships widen your horizon to potentially people at all professional levels and across departments.

2. Practice Classroom Knowledge in the Workplace

Putting theory into practice doesn’t always happen in the classroom. Even if you complete a school project on a particular project, the application is still fairly limited. By completing an internship, you can exercise what you’ve been reading about in books through real-world decisions.

3. Gain Up-to-Date Industry Knowledge

Higher education can only update curriculum and textbooks so quickly. To gain the most up-to-date industry knowledge, it makes sense to work in the thick of it. Not only will you learn how current companies stay competitive, but you’ll also see the distinct ways that companies tackle their own problems.

4. Get Paid for Learning

While the importance of an internship definitely lies primarily in its learning value, several also pay a monetary amount. According to Indeed, the average intern hourly rate was $12.97 in 2019. Even if you aren’t able to snag a paid internship, you may still have a shot at getting college credit for your contributions.

5. Work Up That Competitive Advantage in the Same Company

Perhaps the most important reason to pick up an internship is the potential for a job offer after. A survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) revealed that nearly 2/3 of interns were offered full-time positions. Even if you aren’t in the bunch to receive an offer, you still get some great experience to flex for the job hunt!

6. Make Real Contributions to a Company

Sure, the long-time intern stereotype shows an overworked student peddling lattes to execs in a conference room, but the reality is actually a lot different. In fact, interns nowadays are much more likely to be doing “real work” in their jobs. The NACE reports that only 8% of interns do work that involves clerical or non-essential work responsibilities. Meanwhile, the other 92% does higher-level tasks like data analysis, problem-solving, and logistics, to name a few.

Need an Internship? Here’s Where to Start

If you don’t have tons in the “work experience” department of your resume, then getting your first internship may be a bit more difficult. However, as long as you prepare yourself with the right interview questions, a solid cover letter, and an impressive resume, getting your foot in the door is no issue.

Ready to start off your career at the right place? Discover your next internship at some of Arizona’s best employers!


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