By William Mashburn
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word internship? To me, this means a learning experience and a new opportunity to do something that will help me towards my career. A lot of high school students, and especially college students, might have to go through an internship for credits, experience or just because they wanted to. For me, it’s credit and experience. However, seeing the benefits and understanding fully how important they are can sometimes go over people’s heads. Let’s talk about why an internship is a good thing.
To start things off, you need to pick one. If you’re in the medical field that might not be too difficult, especially in this day in age. People in other career fields might have more of a difficult time. Finding a place can be challenging, and there are many factors that play. For example, if you have another primary job, finding the time to work for someone else on top of your schoolwork on top of that will take its toll. Travel time should also be considered. Personally I could not travel miles on end to get to a building for my summer internship. I was fortunate enough to get one here at Lewis and Clark. How did this help me? Let’s talk about that.
Working for Lewis and Clark has shown me that internships aren’t as bad as some describe. One of the benefits is working on my own time. With a primary job in retail having a set schedule would simply not work for me. Luckily on my days off and before/after work, I am able to work for this internship. Another great thing is the staff. I have seen nothing but positivity and support from all the members who I have worked with so far and thank them for their help. I have talked with a friend of mine who also has an internship with another school and she has had the same experience.
Depending on what kind of internship you took you might also be able to work from home. As mentioned before, travel and time at another location can be hard to make the internship work. Working from home cuts all of that out and provides you with a personal and comfortable space for you to work. You can also take periodic breaks which can help boost productivity.
Lastly is the experience you get from doing an internship. My career is going to be in design, more specifically web design. So working for a place where I can practice web management or building, designing and animating is very beneficial for me. This is going to help me walk into an interview knowing I have newly learned skills that will help me excel in this field. I will admit I need more practice with some things such as animation, choice of color, wording and some sites. With practice and support, I am confident that I will learn to master those with this internship.
Each person is their own. You will learn your own things while you go through your internship. Can picking one be challenging? Yes. Can there be downsides? Yes. At the end of the day choosing or taking one is a good thing. Not only does it teach you valuable skills you will need to be successful, but it also shows you have the actual field and the environment you will be working with. If you’re in a client-based internship it will show you have to find and keep new clients. Maybe it’ll even teach you about sponsors and partnerships. I hope everyone enjoys the internships they have or chose, I am very happy with mine!