The Value of Internships for College Students

Education can be the golden ticket to a path of prosperity. Not only does a university education enrich your mind, but it can also increase your market value and long-term career prospects.  However, in a tighter job market, employers are often seeking more than a college degree along from recent graduates. How should students seek to distinguish themselves during their four years in college beyond achieving stellar grades and majoring in a field that has a high demand?  Internships have become a key way to differentiate recent college graduates applying for their first professional positions. Employers want to see a modicum of experience and self-initiative from recent graduates. Follow these recommendations from campus recruiters to maximize your four years in college and become a more competitive candidate for jobs upon graduation.

The first year in college is generally a time of exploration, learning to navigate the campus and college process. Time management skills are generally honed during the first year of college. While most companies will not recruit freshmen for internships, opportunities still exist for freshmen to begin developing a professional network and building a resume. Give serious consideration to the enormous options for activities on campus. Most academic majors offer professional organizations that explore career options and offer hands-on career experience.  Joining various clubs and organizations that truly interest you and can add value to your resume and future career aspirations are absolutely recommended and well worth your time and effort.

As you begin networking for internship positions, keep track of your efforts and begin building your network by either maintaining a digital log or written. Take advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and select from the office supplies and electronics available at Target. During your freshman year, connect with the professionals at the university career development office. They will have access to companies that recruit from your campus and a very clear picture of the profile of the students that succeed in the recruiting process. Ask for assistance or inquire about available workshops to help prepare an effective resume. Keep the professors in your academic area of study informed of your efforts and let them know your interest in landing a quality internship. Networking is just as valuable as gaining exposure and experience in campus clubs and organizations.  Not only will internships in your field of study make you a more attractive candidate to employers, internships also serve as a confirmation that the area of study you’ve chosen can translate into a career that would genuine interest you. Best of luck in building a strong resume of quality internships over the next four years and presenting yourself as a strong candidate to company’s recruiting graduates from your university.