BY JESSICA WILLNER
SC Contributing Writer
When I think back to my freshman year at ESU, I recall that an internship seemed like a frightening, far-away dream. I did not think it was something I had to worry about until I was closer towards graduation. Because I pushed it out of my mind, hoping that it would all fall together, I scrambled searching for an internship when that time came.
Creighton University says, “[Internships] provide meaningful work experience related to a field of study and major and exposure to real-world scenarios in the workplace.”
I knew an internship was an important part of my education and would help build my resume, knowledge, and experience. This pushed my anxiety further until I became more organized, spoke with my advisor, and used other resources to learn more.
An important part of the process of obtaining an internship is doing your research and doing it early. Start talking with your academic advisor during your first year at ESU. This will let you know how the internship process works, get you thinking about different types of internships available for your area of study, personal interests, and career goals.
Another part of early planning for internships includes online research and speaking with the Career Development Center. Not only will this put you ahead by building your resume and by finding possible internship opportunities, but it is the first step in the process of making your internship run smoothly.
When looking at a company or organization to intern with, make sure you communicate often with the professionals at that location. Do not begin the internship if you do not feel confident that they will follow through with their offers for the type of work you will be doing, the hours you will work, and the rate you will be paid.
While working at the internship, keep in mind that you may be offered a more permanent position and you should do your best work to further your chances.
Take advantage of networking with professionals in your field whenever you are given the opportunity. Even if you are not offered a position with the company after your internship, you may be offered one by another company in your newly expanded network.
According to Brigham Young University, an internship may “ease transition from being a student to entering the workforce, facilitate a higher starting salary than non-interns, and increase opportunities within a company for faster advancement and growth.”
If all else fails, your internship will provide you with real hands on experience and prepare you to work in your field after graduation. Although many major programs at ESU do not require internships for graduation, students who do take advantage of internship opportunities are one step ahead of their peers.
Visit the Career Development Center, located on the second floor of the University Center, or visit the ESU website for more resources.
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