As a part of my Wednesday series for new grads, today I present "Practice-Jobs or Get Thee an Internship!" I never had an internship when I was in college. I was involved in a number of extra-curricular activities that helped me craft a decent resume after graduation. However, I have regretted not taking the opportunity to get some extra work experience through getting an internship. When we lived in Santa Barbara, each year I spoke at the internship class about life after college. I always congratulated the class on getting a leg up by choosing to spend a little less time on campus their senior year, and a little more time adding to their resume and work experiences.
Why get an internship?
1. Extra Experience - I've alluded to this already but obviously, an internship gives you some extra experience to put on your resume and reference when you attend interviews. Look for internships that give you the opportunity to focus on a particular project, not just make copies and get people coffee.
2. It might turn into a job! When hiring interns, I typically conduct a fairly rigorous screening and interview process. If an intern impresses me, I do everything I can to find her a position at our company. At the very least, I become a glowing reference for her. You see, there's always a fair amount of guesswork when it comes to hiring. I can only tell so much through a couple hours in an interview process with you. But if I've had the opportunity to work with you directly for a couple months and you impress me (even if you don't necessarily have all of the qualifications a position might require), I'd rather hire you than take my chances on the unknown.
Stay tuned for next Wednesday's topic "How to make the most of your internship"!