So you’re a Junior or Senior in college, you’ve got good grades, and you’re ready to take on the world… or are you?
In this economy, it is becoming increasingly hard to get a job out of college. The completion is ‘increasing’ while the amount of jobs is decreasing. However, there is one thing that you will set you apart from your other peers, something that is often regarded as necessary in today’s society. We’re talking about an internship, and if you haven’t participated in an internship yet… well, there’s no time like the present!
With the ever-growing popularity of internships, we cannot stress how important it is to get an internship as early as possible. Long gone are the days when you could wait until Senior Year of College and ‘squeeze’ into an internship program somewhere. Now, thorough planning and preparation are obligatory in finding that perfect internship. But trust us, at the end of the day it will be worth it! The benefits certainly outnumber the effort.
We could honestly sit here all day and discuss the benefits of an internship, but the following article from MSN, provides a straight-forward explanation as to why internships are so important.
Internships and the economy
The hope of gaining an advantage for future employment has increased both the number and quality of internship applications. “Internships have become key in today’s economy,” says Melissa Benca, director of career services at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. “Graduating students with paid or unpaid internships on their résumé have a much better chance at landing a full-time position upon graduation. Students are doing internships as undergraduates, and it is now not unusual for recent grads to take an unpaid internship with hopes of turning it into a permanent position or at least making some contacts and building their résumé.”
The state of the economy also is changing the nature of work given to interns. “In this economic downturn, employers are relying increasingly on interns to shore up areas where full-time hiring has been cut,” Benca notes. Thus, while you still may be making the coffee in the morning, don’t be surprised if you’re also given opportunities to contribute substantially at the meeting where that coffee is being served.
Benefits for you
Besides getting a foot in the door with a potential employer and looking good on a résumé, internships have other advantages:
- The opportunity to “test drive” a career
(Would I be happier in marketing or advertising? Am I more comfortable working with patients or in a lab?)
- Chances to network
- Establishing relationships with mentors
- Possible college credit or certification
- An introduction to the field’s culture and etiquette
(Are clients addressed by their first name? Are jeans appropriate for Casual Friday?)
- Accumulating new skills
- Gaining a “real world” perspective on an occupation
(How much overtime do employees really work? How much time is spent behind a desk versus in the field?)
What’s in it for employers?
Most job applicants put their best foot forward on paper. Their cover letter and résumé usually have passed through many hands to make them as appealing and professional as possible, and nearly every job seeker picks references who will say positive things.
Employers do not create internships just to be nice to students and others interested in a certain career. While an interview or a company test can add to what an employer knows about a person, an internship helps an employer evaluate how an individual would fare in the actual workplace.
Like The McTigue Group, many companies develop an internship pool and hire from that group. As Benca notes, “Not only are they seeing potential employees with experience, it is experience within their company.”
Companies that devote time and resources to finding, selecting and training interns are looking for a return on their investment. The benefit might be in the present (using the services of talented individuals without having to make a hiring commitment), or it might be in the future (the added ability to choose a person who will work out well as an employee).
And remember that internship opportunities are not limited to office settings. From being a bird-keeping intern at a zoo to a horticulture intern at a theme park, all sorts of opportunities exist for motivated individuals and interested companies to enter into a mutually beneficial relationship.
If you are living in the Massachusetts area and are interested in fulfilling your internship at a Zoo, then take a look at the internship opportunities offered by Southwick’s Zoo. Southwick’s Zoo, located in Mendon, MA, offers hands-on experience to those with an interest in wildlife and nature. While participating in Southwick’s Zoo’s internship program, interns will be able to learn how the Zoo is run as well as be educated in animal care and husbandry. Those involved in the internship program will also be responsible for cleaning cages, assisting with documents, observing the animals, and assisting the Earth Discovery Center with shows and visitors. As an intern at Southwick’s Zoo, you would not be held responsible for doing menial tasks, instead you’d be put to work in a fun, yet challenging environment.
So the question is, would you like to spend your internship outside with animals? Would you like your internship to be hands-on? Would you like to participate in an internship that will benefit you in the long run? If so, then we’d like to talk to you! Further information about our internship program can be found online, but if you have further questions please feel free to contact us.