A common myth among job seekers is that internships are only for high school or college students. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. While many internships are geared toward pre-professionals, interning is an excellent way to develop your career at any age. Whether paid, unpaid, local, or international, becoming an intern could be just the opportunity you need to boost your career—especially if you’ve been unemployed for a while. Take note of these 5 reasons why interning can be a great career move:
You build valuable body of experience: It is strongly recommended that undergraduate and graduate students secure some type of internship while working toward a degree. The combination of education and experience makes you more qualified and more marketable. Internships are also suggested for seasoned professionals who are out of work or deciding on a new career. Just like a full-time job, interning allows you to develop skills and areas of expertise that can be applied to future positions. Internships also act as a resume-builder for entry-level professionals or those seeking a career change.
You gain exposure to a new industry, city, or job: The opportunity to intern can provide excellent exposure to a particular industry or profession. If you land an opportunity away from your hometown, interning can also expose you to different cities, countries, and cultures. Whether the internship is for two months or two years, interning allows you to establish and maintain lasting professional relationships. The ability to network with experienced staff and executives is a rare opportunity that internships provide. Securing an internship gives you access to hiring managers, current trends, and industry advances in your particular field. When deciding who to hire for an open position, many companies take a look at their interns first because they already know the work and the culture of the organization. Performing well as an intern could very well result in a job offer that you wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to.
You strengthen vital on-the-job skills: While formal education is important, the best education happens on-the-job. Though many educators make an honest attempt to prepare you for the real world, the classroom can’t teach you how to thrive in a real-life work environment. The education and information that you receive during an internship will serve as invaluable knowledge that will stay with you throughout your entire career. Think about it…if you never had that tough boss, that annoying co-worker, or that demanding workload, you wouldn’t have many of the skills and hardly any of the patience that you have now. Internships provide an opportunity for you to learn, to grow, and to develop.