Even though many colleges do not require internships to graduate, working for a company as an intern shows that you are a “go-getter” – something all employers look for in candidates. The learning opportunity provided by an internship, paid or not, offers value that will last throughout your career.

College students and college graduates join the company’s internship programs because it is a great chance to gain industry knowledge, skills, and experience while creating a professional network. During an internship, students will learn real-world insights about their concentrated field of study, corporate culture, and organizational policies, while applying their education and building a portfolio.

Internships offer students a competitive advantage. Working during the summer demonstrates respectable professional qualities, such as good motivation and drive. In addition, you will gain proficiencies in a specific industry or specialized department. By taking the incentive to jumpstart your career, you will be able to advance your resume and show future employers that you have real-world experience.

4 reasons you should not ignore an internship:

  1. Making Personal Connections. During an internship, you have the chance to develop relationships with a variety of professionals. Doing your best work, managing your time and creating rapport with others in the company will encourage co-workers to recommend and/or introduce you to their professional networks.
  2. Building Business Savvy. When working in an office environment, you can learn the best professional habits in communication, behavior, and etiquette.
  3. Determining Future Goals. Working an internship is the best way to learn if that specific position, industry, or corporate culture is right for you. During this job, you will get a better idea of your strengths and weaknesses, and what you can see yourself doing in the future. This is a great chance to identify what you will strive for in your career later in life.
  4. Learning Opportunities. When you work at any job, you acquire new skills. Internships are a great resume-builder for obvious reasons such as problem-solving, enhanced knowledge and use of various software, and discovery of how to meet daily expectations.

Exposure to real-world experience is the number one benefit of taking an internship. An internship makes you a better job candidate, helps determine which job and career you want, and allows you to collect personal references. The biggest lesson to take away here is that experience is a good thing, and you can never have too much!