The VPM Blog

5 reasons why internships are so important for college students

Posted by Caroline Thompson on Feb 29, 2016 8:00:00 AM

It’s very easy to get wrapped up in the fun and excitement of college life. You want to go to parties and football games and don’t realize that those four years will fly by faster than you think. During those four years, every student should be building up their resumes for the day they have to enter into the “real world.” And believe me when I say this, it will come. But before it does, one main item that every student must have on their resume is an internship. Internships for college students are vital, and having a great one will give you a leg up among your competition. 

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Sure, employers will see that you sold retail at Hollister for one summer after your senior year. However, folding clothes in a dark, perfume-filled store will not look very impressive to a potential employer. Companies want real, working experience. Without an internship, you will only be hurting yourself and will help your competitors be one step ahead of the game.

An internship is the difference between you and the thousands of other college graduates who need a job. Although your degree is important, some employers would argue that having an internship is what makes one candidate stand out from the rest. Therefore, we've compiled five reasons why internships are so important for college students.

1. You will gain real work experience

As a graduating college senior attempting to stay focused, I can honestly say that if I didn’t have an internship, I would feel 100% lost. I have been interning at Verge Pipe Media for about two months now, and I’ve learned more in this short amount of time than in most of my classes. It has made me more focused and motivated to find a job and be successful. I have had to adapt to working in a different setting and have improved my communication and team-working skills.

 2. Have the chance for a higher starting salary

When finding a job, there is a greater chance you will start off with a higher starting salary if you have internship experience. If you can sit down at an interview and tell your potential employers exactly what your role was at your internship and what you learned, the chance of receiving higher pay is likely. The more experience you can convey and showcase should entice an employer to pay you at the rate you've earned.

 3. Learn what aspects of your job you enjoy

Before moving to a new place and starting a job, an internship can give you some insight into what type of job you will or will not enjoy. I know several people who have interned at a company and realized it’s just not what they expected. So instead of being miserable for a year or two, take your career path on a test drive. Maybe you’ll love it, maybe you’ll hate it. Either way, now you will know.

 4. Start networking

Even if your manager at Hollister is going to write you one heck of a recommendation, it won’t look that great compared to the head of marketing. Interning at a business setting will give you the chance to get your name out there and show your boss what you can do. You will also meet numerous employees you could call at a later date for a recommendation or advice. There are many companies that see interns as potential entry-level employees. Even if you are interning as a sophomore and can’t get a full time job for 2 more years, try to stay in contact. Chances are if he or she’s not hiring at the time of your graduation, they’ll know someone who is.

 5. The real world won’t seem so overwhelming

There is no doubt about it that interning will give you a dose of the real world. No more showing up to class hungover or sleep deprived for 50 minutes and running back to your dorm to spend the rest of the day in bed. You are expected to be professional, prepared, and put together every day. I can guarantee you will feel overwhelmed and out of your comfort zone when you start your first job. But by interning, you will already know what to expect and how to handle yourself in a new and unfamiliar environment. Confidence is key.

So don’t wait until the last minute. You don’t want to be scrambling to find an internship your last semester before graduation. Start early so you can have options. Find out what internships will have you running errands and making coffee and which ones will give you some real responsibility. An internship is the difference between you and the thousands of other college graduates in need of a job.

If you want to learn more about Verge Pipe Media and our interns, follow us on our social media accounts. You may also want to brush up on your inbound marketing techniques, becuase all of Verge Pipe Media's interns must become Inbound Certified. So, download our FREE ebook by clicking on the link below to see what you could be learning as an intern at Verge Pipe Media.

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photo credit: Business Meeting via photopin (license)