This was written as part of my freelance writing for Dream Row. It was posted to the Dream Row blog on September 19, 2012.
If you go to college, have gone to college or have even set foot on a college campus, chances are you’ve heard all about internships. It seems that every college career counselor is recommending that students complete at least one internship in addition to their normal coursework. In some programs it is even a requirement for graduation. All this pushing isn’t useless. In fact, being an intern can sometimes be more beneficial than your GPA when it comes to job hunting.
Think that’s a ridiculous claim? A new article in The Miami Herald may change your mind. The article highlights students from the University of Miami who have completed career-boosting internships and their experiences. It also discusses numbers released by the university’s Toppel Career Center regarding the correlation between internships and post-grad employment. The numbers provide numerical proof to the claim that internships help land a job.
In their research, the center found that 60 percent of the university’s 2012 graduates were offered full-time jobs after being a paid intern for a company. And if that’s not a convincing enough reason to be an intern, Frits Bigham, the assistant director of internships and assessments at the center, cited national data on the correlation between college internships and post-grad starting salaries. The data shows that graduates with internships had starting salaries an average of $6,000 larger than those with no internship experience. This can most likely be attributed to the fact that internships often give students experience and marketable skills that simply cannot be taught in a classroom setting.
Lauren Berger, better known as the Intern Queen, is a firm believer in the on-site experience internships offer. Berger, who held 15 internships as an undergrad and now runs her own company, has found that students with internships get hired, plain and simple.
“An internship provides a student with a hands-on learning experience that looks amazing on their resume,” she said.” If you were the employer, who would you pick? The student with experience or the student without?” More advice on landing and completing internships, as well as internship listings, can be found on Berger’s site. Officials at the center recommend that all graduates complete at least two internships during their college career in order to be a competitive job applicant.