It’s no secret that internships make you more marketable for future endeavors, but aside from that, why else would you get one? I mean it is work, sometimes even unpaid work, and you have better things you could be doing in your free time. Right? Wrong.
Having an internship, whether it’s during a semester or over the summer, not only looks fantastic on a resume, but it will give you the opportunity to learn A LOT. You will learn not just about the field you want to work in, but also about yourself.
My internship experience wasn’t exactly an enjoyable one, but if I could go back in time I would do it all again. Everything I learned made the internship worth my while, even if I couldn’t see it at the time.
I was forced to teach myself how to do things on the spot: how to do a thorough lit search for a publication, how to become a pro at excel, how to give successful interviews, how to create manuscript covers, and so on. I even also learned communication skills that are necessary when communicating with people that may not be the most desirable people to work with. This was very overwhelming, especially since I wasn’t familiar with the organizational culture that I was thrown headfirst into.
As unappealing as it may sound, being tossed in a situation and having to learn how to be successful in that environment is the fastest way to acquire new skills that can help you well into the future. For example, I now know that I will be able to adapt and be successful in any similar office environment in the future. I now have the confidence I will need to do serious job searching when I graduate without all the additional anxiety of wondering if I’ll really be up to the task.
No, internships are not always fun. However, the pros far outweigh the cons. Not only will having an internship on your resume make you more competitive and marketable, but also you will acquire a whole new skill set you may not have acquired otherwise. You’ll also be given the chance to learn more about yourself and how strong and smart you truly are. You will find out you are much more capable of overcoming obstacles than you ever may have thought before.
I strongly encourage any and all of you to start hunting for that internship as soon as you possibly can. Even though the experience may not be enjoyable, the outcome will be SO worth it.