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The Importance of Interning

As I enter into my second semester of sophomore year, I realize that I am almost halfway done with college, and eventually, I am going to have to figure what I want to do with the rest of my life. Oh, joy. Right before final exams first semester, I sort of had a mental breakdown, which was bound to happen eventually, right? It occurred to me that I had no set plan for my life. I am almost halfway done with college, and I have no clue what is actually going to happen after graduation. The thought of student loans seemed daunting to me, and the urge to find a solution to my future became vital. 

I am majoring in Music Business, and I realize that there are a hundred different career paths I can take in this industry; my problem is that I cannot decide on one. However, I realized in order to know what I want to do with the rest of my life, it would be wise for me to gain experience in many areas of the music industry, so I can be well-versed when deciding which career path to choose. I found an internship for this coming semester at an Artist Management company in Nashville. Over the years I have heard mixed opinions on internships. Most people argue that you need to intern to succeed. However, some people say that running around and making coffee-runs is not always worth it. In preparation for my internship to start, I wanted to get advice from the people I look up to most in my life, who have already taken internships in all different fields.

Janah Sprenger-Mahal is a Psychology major at Judson University in Elgin, IL. She interned at Elgin Mental Health Center and Alexian Brothers Hospice Residence her junior year. The biggest lesson she learned while managing two internships in the same semester was how important learning outside the classroom is. Said Janah, “It’s an entirely different world learning how things work and actually seeing them in action. I learned a lot about the field of psychology that I truly don’t think I could’ve learned by sitting in a classroom. I saw people who were in my place a few years ago, who now have careers in their dream profession.” 

Madison Kendrick is a marketing major at Belmont University and interned with Do Good, LLC in Washington DC over this past summer. She explained, “I think the main thing to realize before you start an internship is to recognize that probably 90% of internships are NOT going to be glamorous. Although I got to do some amazing things, most of my daily tasks were filling out databases, posting on social media, making phone calls, etc. It is important to realize that these tasks are not ‘busy work.’ They are vital to the success of the company. So make sure you do a really good job with these smaller tasks and with a great attitude. Internships are not just resume boosters. They not only give you real-world experience, but also connect you with people that may be able to help you 30 years down the road!”

Interning helps build a solid foundation for your future. No matter how minuscule the task you have may seem, give it your all. Employers want to see their interns work hard at anything thrown at them, because it shows them your work ethic and that you are not just going to be watching the clock all day. Most importantly, I learned how essential it is to start interning as soon as possible. Honestly, I was intimidated by the industry I was studying, and I was hesitant to put myself out there. I thought it would be no big deal if I just put it off another year. DO NOT WAIT. College goes by fast and so does life for that matter. Work hard and meet as many new people as you can while interning. Networking is how you succeed in the future. So, as I start my first internship (and hopefully figure out my life), I’ll be going on those coffee-runs with a smile on my face.

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I am a freshman music business major, like the majority of Belmont, from the Chicago land area. Like most people, I fell in love with Nashville's music, coffee shops, and obviously all the wall murals. I am a firm believer that one day I will marry Jim Halpert, but until that day, I will wait patiently and keep re-watching The Office. I believe that in an another life time, Amy Poehler and I would be the best of friends. I would hold out hope for this life time, but I am just waiting for her to respond to my emails. Life is good--remember that.
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