What Are The Benefits Of An Internship?

a. National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) statistics

  1. 60% of 2012 college graduates who participated in an internship received at least one job offer.
  2. 95% of employers are looking for college grads with experience.
  3. Organizations converted 58.6% of their interns into full-time hires (highest recorded percentage)
  4. 83.4% of employers say that their internship program is designed to help their organization recruit entry-level hires.

b. Gain the real-world experience that all employers seek.

When employers are asked what they are looking for in a recent college graduate, they say that they want an individual with critical thinking skills, excellent written and oral communication skills, the ability to work in a team, and above all else, real-world experience in their field. This skill set cannot be achieved by only spending time in the classroom and earning your degree.

Volunteering and being engaged on campus through student organizations are great ways to develop personally and professionally, but the best resource available to you to gain the skills that employers covet most is to participate in internships! During an internship, you have the ability to engage in multiple projects, and interact with everyone in the office, which enables you to diversify your experiences.

Employers know that internships are designed to be learning experiences for students, so not only do you get to participate in multiple tasks, but you are given the hands-on training and feedback that empower you to leave your internship with the confidence to tackle any task at your next job.

c. Promote exposure to various fields.

A common mistake that students make is that they choose a major that feels like a good fit for them, work hard to earn a degree in that major, and then when they enter the world of work, they realize that the field they chose is not what they thought it was, and they want to find a new career.

One of the many great advantages that internships offer students is that it enables them to try on many different careers during their time as a student. If you are working with students who are currently undecided on their major, stuck between one or two different majors, or even if they are confident in the major that they have chosen, multiple internship experiences can give them the exposure they need to make the best and most informed decisions for their career development.

d. Help your students build their professional network

As faculty, you are the experts in your field, and can serve as a tremendous resource to your students. Many students are unsure as to how to begin building and maintaining a professional network on and off of campus, and your expertise can pave the way to their career success.

e. Great resume boost

Internships can provide the shot in the arm that many of your students need, so be sure to remind them that without the real-world experiences and skills garnered through internships, their resume may fall short in comparison to the others competing for the same jobs.

f. Classroom-Internship-Job

If employers are looking for real-world work experience from new college graduates, then what about all of the great knowledge that your students are learning in the classroom? Internships are a great forum for them to apply and practice that knowledge, all while gathering the skills that employers seek.

For example, you teach a theory in your class that your students then see in practice or decide to implement at their internship. This not only makes them an asset to their internship employer, as they are bringing a fresh educational perspective to the workplace, but it also helps them bring real-world applications back into the classroom, thus strengthening their comprehension and performance as a student. This symbiotic relationship leads to the development of knowledge, experience and skills that employers are looking for.