Recently, I participated in an interview process for an opening in my company. A part of the interview process was a presentation by the interviewee. She was given a specific topic related to the field she applied, and she tied in with her own experience. The presentation sounded really amazing. After the presentation was followed by a group interview with my team. Through the conversation, I learned that a lot of the experience she mentioned earlier were through internships. It not only amazed me how she was able to make those experience sounded very professional (which is something that I need to learn), I was also once again realized how important internships are for college students. Though I'm no longer in college, I have a sister who's currently a sophomore, so I would like to share my thoughts on "why I think having internships is important" to her and to those who are still in school.
When I was in college, finding an internship was like finding a job to me. I got my first internship in my junior year. I was recommended by one of my professors for a position to create news videos for the website of the local newspaper. After that, I was very lucky to have other opportunities presented to me. Of course, I didn't let them go to waste. I participated in at least one internship, one practicum, and one on-campus activity every semester till I graduated. Other than creating news videos, I was also involved in event planning, developing and designing marketing materials, sales, and some PR related tasks through all those internships and other experience. I was able to have basic knowledge in so many different areas and get a hang of how those jobs would feel like. I could apply what I learned from classes to real life situation.
However, the reality is, when I graduated from college, I had a very hard time finding a job, even with all the experience I got during the last two years of school. For a while, I thought that I was wrong for thinking that internships are important since having them didn't get me a job. But then I quickly realized, having internships doesn't guarantee that you'll automatically get a job after graduating. Instead, they are like raffle tickets. The more you have, the chance of you getting the prize (job) would be higher. Each internship means an opportunity for me to show them what I have done, the skills that I've learned, and what I can do for the company.
Of course, other than having the experience, knowing how to deliver them well is also very important. Just like the presentation I mentioned in the beginning, the interviewee was able to make all her internship experience sounded professional. So I understand that delivery would be something that I should work on. However, without internships, even if I perfected my speaking, there will be nothing I could talk about. And while learning to deliver a presentation better is something that I could work on my own, getting internship experience isn't. So for my sister and anyone who is still in college, take advantage of all the resources you have right now. Apply to internships and learn as much as you can from them. And don't forget, know how to deliver those amazing experience you have well on your resumes and during your interviews.