An internship is on most students’ minds — an opportunity to jumpstart their professional careers and supplement their courses with hands-on experience. Graduating seniors who applied for a full-time job and participated in an internship received 20% more job offers than those without internship experience (NACE, 2019 Study).

Internships benefit both the student and the employee. On-the-job learning reinforces what you see in the classroom and teaches invaluable skills like time management, communication, working with others, problem-solving, and, most importantly, the willingness to learn. For employers, you can build relationships and prepare future employees.

How Internships Benefit Students

Experience 

Most college graduates will have to overcome a barrier to entry due to an experience requirement — something college students do not always get with their education. An internship provides you with firsthand experience, professional opportunities and personal growth. 

It will also make you more competitive when applying for jobs. As an intern, you’ll gain relevant skills to showcase on your resume. After a successful internship, it’s common to receive a letter of recommendation or a potential job offer.

Professional Network 

An internship expands your professional network. Interns often report to mid- to senior-level positions.  These mentors can help guide you and provide helpful advice for your career path. Plus, you will meet others within the company who have diverse work experience and professional connections. 

Real-World Application

Not only can you apply knowledge and theories from classroom discussion to the workplace, but you will gain other practical and professional skills. Students must often apply and interview to receive an internship. You will learn how to be professional, accountable and take initiative.  

Career Discovery

Field experience in your major or study of interest is a great way to discover your career path. Many employers use interns as generalists to help complete a variety of tasks, allowing interns to gain new experience in different aspects of the company or business model. It may also be a good opportunity to learn whether the career is a good fit for your skill sets and interests.

An internship is a test drive of your chosen career, and you are under no obligation to make a commitment. Maybe you wanted to be a marketer, but the internship had some accounting responsibilities that you enjoyed more. You never know what you will learn about yourself along the way.

How Internships Benefit Employers

Additional Support 

Student interns can be a great asset to your team. You can hire an intern for a specific job or a generalist who can help anywhere needed. Students are interested in gaining experience and are often happy to jump into a new project or learn a new skill that helps prepare them for a career. 

Preparing Future Employees

Internships are a great way to create a pipeline of great future employees. Employers often hire interns to train up and try out new employees part time. It is a smooth transition for students to earn jobs right out of college, as employees are familiar with the student and their skill set to know where to place them. 

Build More Professional Relationships

Ideally, you will be your intern's professional connection for years to come. Even if they do not work for you after their internship, they may have a need or opportunity at their company that could benefit from a partnership with yours. 

Offering internships through a local college is also a great way to build relationships with the greater community. You can get involved with school projects and campus programs, and build relationships with future employees or partners.

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