What's the Big Deal With Internships?

What’s the big deal with internships? Are they really as important as people make them out to be? Why are they a critical part of your career preparation? I’ll give you three good reasons.

Extended Interview
Think of internships as an extended 3-4 month interview with the company. This is your opportunity to practice what you preached in the formal interview and show the employer your best skills. It is the perfect time for you and the employer to gauge whether or not you are a good fit with the company for long term employment. Several companies that have come to Auburn this fall have stressed the importance of their internship programs and say that approximately 75-85% of interns are converted to full-time hires following graduation.

Build Experience
Internships build experience related to your field of study and apply skills and concepts learned in the classroom. You can be involved in actual projects and see how problems are addressed and teams work together. Where classroom exercises often function in a bubble, real world projects typically involve professionals from many disciplines collaborating to reach a goal. Plus, related experience bolsters your resume.

Reinforce Career Goals
Companies want to hire people who know what they want from their career and what qualities they can offer their employers (See this posting on “The Kiss of Death”). Internships allow you the chance to test out your chosen career field and learn more about long-term career development. This experience can help inform future decisions about the specific industry you want to work in after graduation, company cultures in which you thrive and locations where you enjoy living.

Are you riding the internship wave now? Fall is the perfect time to start your search for next summer. Begin identifying companies, revising your resume, signing up for on campus interviews, and practicing your interview skills. And remember, the Career Center can help with all of these tasks.

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