5 Benefits Of An Externship

Before I came to Ohio University, I had little to no idea what I wanted my major to be or even what I wanted my future career to look like. I was a nursing major starting off due to my passion of helping others, but then I soon found that being a business student fulfilled that passion, as well as my desire to be more creative about solving problems. Now a junior studying management and strategic leadership with one internship under my belt, I feel as if I have a better understanding of what I want my life to look like after college. Even though I do feel a lot more confident, I am always looking for ways to learn more about other companies, industries, and most importantly what I like about business. This desire to learn led me to apply for an externship through OU’s college of business. 

An externship is essentially a 1-3 day shadowing of a company, where you learn about a company's culture and what various areas of the business do on a typical workday. After sending in my application, I was ecstatic to find out I would be shadowing the office of Brandmuscle, a local digital marketing company in Cleveland. I learned so much from my 1 day shadow, especially about what I want in a company I work for after college. Brandmuscle exceeded my expectations and now I am excited to have a possibility to work there after college myself. 

Here are a few reasons why doing an externship can be beneficial for your professional career:  

1. If you already applied for an internship at that company

Meghan, a current junior studying Strategic Communication, had an externship at Cleveland Clinic, which is also where she applied for an internship at for the following summer in marketing.

When asking Meghan what she got out of her externship, she said "I feel that the connections I made throughout my externship will be lifelong contacts that will help me in the world of marketing. I found that marketing is so much more than what I originally thought and I now know where my specific interests lie".

By doing this externship, Meghan gave herself a competitive advantage over other applicants applying for the internship. It showed how interested she was in the company and really made her stand out. An externship is great for anyone who already has an interest in the company or is still looking for an internship!

2. It’s a resume builder!

As a junior, I currently already have a decently full resume, but you can never have too many experiences! This externship is something I can talk about in other job interviews because it shows you went the extra mile. Most people over winter break don’t have much to do besides work, so this is a great way to use that extra time to do something to further your career!

3. Helps expand your personal network

At my externship, I met over 15 different Ohio University alumni in just that 1 day alone. This made me realize that your college network follows you even after you leave college behind! These alumni were super helpful and engaging because they always want to help out a fellow bobcat. I also made a lot of connections with the various people I shadowed and after my externship I made sure to send follow up emails to all of them, as well as connect with them on LinkedIn!

4. Figuring out your interests

Both mine and Meghan’s externships were in the field of marketing, due to the fact that we both have minors in that field. At my externship I learned that there is also a client relations aspect to marketing which is something that interests me as a management major. I also had the opportunity to shadow Human Resources and Organizational Development, which showed me that you can find a job that relates to all of your interests. Meghan realized at her externship that she would love to be on the digital side of marketing, more specifically in social media. An externship is a great way to hone in on your interests in a certain field and find out what you are passionate about.

5. Finding a company culture that fits you

After my internship, I realized that I really enjoy a “work hard, play hard” atmosphere, which is exactly the mantra that BrandMuscle embodies as well. It was a young and collaborative atmosphere and after talking to all the people I shadowed, I also learned that they rarely are at their desks all day. Everyone at the company was so inviting and also very candid about what they love about their job and even their college experiences. This externship provided me with endless amounts of advice and also reaffirmed what I want in a company in the future.

It was a great way to spend my winter break shadowing a company that I can potentially see myself working for in the future. I was able to learn so much more about myself, as well as the business world. Meghan will hopefully be getting an internship out of this experience, as well as all of the knowledge she learned in her 3 day experience. If you ever have the opportunity to do an externship, just apply, because you never know if the company you shadow could be your potential dream job!