Why Internships Are Vital to Your Career

So you’re looking through the course list for your major and you get down to the bottom and see “Internship” on the list. You glance across from it and see that it’s only worth one credit and you ask yourself, “why would I waste my entire semester on that?” Little do you know that that one credit four years from now can mean the difference in whether or not you get that job.

Nowadays, employers are looking for students with more than just a fancy piece of paper saying that they’re qualified for the job. A good friend of mine is a web developer and a successful business owner¬†and has told me on several occasions that some of the worst web developers are the ones straight out of college. Employers want people with experience. It’s really no wonder it’s so difficult to land a full-time job, especially in this economy, where employers have to be selective about who they hire.

The name of the game is networking. It’s a good sign when people are actually coming to you with a job. It means that you’ve really put your name out there and have shown everyone what you’ve done or are currently doing. Treat your degree as a business and yourself as a product to be sold, you’ve got yourself in the right mindset to find yourself a potential buyer. But if you’re in college, you shouldn’t have to go to such great lengths to find a job.

If you’ve never been to your campus’ career services center before, you may want to mark it on your schedule and pay them a visit. Not only will you find job opportunities there (if they haven’t all been taken already), you’ll also find internships. You shouldn’t be too picky. While paid internships are more attractive than the ones that well, don’t pay you, you want to find one that you can see yourself working for in the near future.

The key in the end is diligence. If you land that internship, work as hard as you can at it. If you don’t get the job afterwards, don’t worry about it; it still looks good on your resume, because it says you’ve at least worked in that environment before. Just remember to keep at it. Take whatever you make out of it and add it to your portfolio. If you’re into web development, start making websites. Take your best ones, and make a separate website to display it. Then everywhere you go, continue to point people to it. Before long, you’ll get someone’s attention.