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Benefits of Having a Summer Internship

Welcome back to another year of college, and for all of us seniors, welcome to what is hopefully our last year of school. Most of you are probably reading this while bored in a class that doesn’t interest you, so I’ll make this interesting and short.

This summer I had the amazing opportunity of interning at a large international hotel and vacation ownership company. I worked at Wyndham Vacation Ownership in National Harbor, MD. It was my dream internship, and I never thought I would get it in a million years. Here are my top reasons why having a internship in the summer as a college student is beneficial.

 

1. THE MONEY

Now, this is an obvious reason because every college student wants and needs money. I mean how else are we supposed to afford that Domino’s at 2am when we are craving that cheesy bread? I was lucky enough to get a paid internship. A paid internship can be rare for college students because lots of internships offer school credit or simply experience. The downside about paid internships is that to earn the big bucks, you have to work the long long hours. I did not get to see my friends a lot this summer because since the hotel is open 24/7, I had to work long 8-12 hour shifts. However, those hours are worth it when that big paycheck comes through by direct deposit.

 

2. THE EXPERIENCE

All you hear about in college is experience, experience, experience. All your professors have told you at some point during your college career that you need to get some type of work experience in your field if you want a job when you graduate. Having done work in your field gives you a HUGE advantage over so many people when handing out your resume come job hunting time. My major is hospitality management and that primarily revolves around hotel and resort work. As anyone who has vacationed knows, a hotel is always open and has many departments that work together within one location. I was able to work in every different department of the hotel and see what goes on everywhere from the front of the house to the back of the house. I find that now when I sit in class and professors talk about hotel related topics I have a better understanding because I experienced it first hand. The experience in turn gave me a better grasp on material being discussed in class.

 

3. THE JOB AFTER COLLEGE

When I was applying for internships I always heard from my parents and professors that if you do well in an internship, you may be offered a real job there after your internship has ended. I always brushed that off because I never believed it would happen to me. Some companies hire 10 interns and only offer 2 of them jobs when they’ve finished. As I went through my internship and talked to my friends going through theirs, we all were fortunate enough to be offered jobs there after we graduate. Piece of advice: work hard, always say “yes” and be willing to do any job (even the boring ones) because you’ll have a higher chance to receive a job offer afterwards. I think that this is one of the biggest benefits because when May comes around and you and the rest of the world are searching for jobs, you will not have to worry, because you have already secured your job thanks to your hard work during your summer internship.

 

4. THE LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION AND CONNECTIONS

If you are applying to graduate school or need some references when applying for a job, having a good reference or letter of recommendation is key. Doing well at an internship or even just having the internship adds a good chance that you will get a letter of recommendation for a job you want in the future. Having that letter is sometimes that golden ticket that gets you the dream job you have always wanted. Another big benefit is the connections you make. At this point in my college career, my Linkedin is the most important social media platform I have. I am always looking to connect with people and grow my number of connections. Having that internship allowed me to meet so many people in the business and grow my circle. Also the people you connect with are great sources of advice when it comes to getting jobs.

 

Those are the benefits I am experiencing after my internship, and hope those of you reading who are thinking about applying for internships get on the path to these benefits as well.

 

Senior, Hospitaltiy Management and Marketing major from Potomac, MD. I love guac, sleeping, and eating.  Twitter: @liasohl   Intagram: @lia.sohl 
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