Oh, college internships. Some people want them, some people don’t. While this may be a little biased, I’d have to say that those who don’t are missing out. Completing an internship in college has many benefits and can open many doors leading to your future career.
Completing a college internship can be “inconvenient” in the sense that if you do one during the school year, you’ll have to find a way to balance school and everything that comes with it, but if you do one during the summer, you’re giving up your summer break. This is why it’s imperative to know all the benefits an internship can provide you with.
The first benefit, and usually a notable one for broke college students, is that you can get paid for your internship. While not all internships are paid, there is a generous amount that are. This is a great perk as it allows you to grow your skills while being able to still pay your bills. Internships also provide you with a great opportunity to dip your toes into various career fields to see what you do or don’t enjoy. While at these internships, you’re able to network with other professionals. This is essential to do as it will help you later when looking for your first job post-graduation as you can ask them to be a reference for you. Internships also act as great resume builders. Employers love to see that you’ve put in the effort and completed internships while in college. A final perk, and what I’ve seen as the most helpful, is the field experience you gain during your internship. Being able to take what you’ve learned in the classroom and apply it in an actual job setting is a great feeling because it shows you that you can actually do this in real life.
I have attended Fort Hays State for three years and will be graduating in May this year. For every year I’ve been here, I’ve completed an internship, totaling three internships. My first internship experience was at an electric company, the second at a government agency, and the third at a car dealership. Having all of these internships be in different fields helped me greatly because I had the opportunity to explore different areas and see what I enjoyed doing, and what I didn’t like. Working in the field allowed me to become more confident in what I was doing because finally a grade wasn’t depending on it, and I was receiving real-time feedback for the work I was completing. This helped me know right away what I needed to change or do better, and what I was excelling in, allowing me to grow my confidence and produce more work that I felt fully confident in.
Getting an internship can be difficult. The first two internships I completed were on their own, not through the university. My third one, however, was through FHSU’s Hansen Foundation. I used the networking ability I didn’t know I had yet to land my first internship. A family friend who worked at the place I ended up interning at put in a good word for, I got an interview, and bam, internship number one was landed. Networking would also play a part in landing my second internship as my future boss was impressed with the student organization I was involved in since she was part of the parent organization. Some bonding over this organization as a whole took place, in addition to my interview, and I found myself spending my second summer interning. Finally, my third internship was brought to my attention by Fort Hays’s Career Services team. After landing this one, my belief in the career services that FHSU provides was solidified.
It may seem hard to find the right resources to help you land an internship, but it just takes a little bit of research, a little bit of networking and reaching out to people, and a little bit of hard work. While your grades can typically speak for themselves, you have to be able to sell yourself. After you’ve (hopefully) made or spruce up your resume, cover letter, and whatever else you may need, you need to work on selling yourself. This does not mean arrogantly bragging about yourself but in a sense, bragging about yourself in a professional, respectful way. This can feel awkward at first, but interviewers want to hear about your accomplishments, something you’ve overcome, something you’re most proud of, etc…so, you need to be able to answer these questions confidently. In addition to this, attire can have a huge effect on first impressions. It’s essential to dress professionally. Once you’ve done of all this, you just have to put your best foot forward on your given interview day.
Getting an internship in college can seem impossible, but you just need to take a step back, breathe, and proceed to show off everything you can do. The internships I have completed have allowed me to grow into myself so much and have left me with lasting relationships that will help me as a look to start my career after graduation. If I can do it, anyone can!
For FHSU’s internship and career resources, check out https://www.fhsu.edu/career/students/
Hey y'all, my name is Sienna Rodriguez. I'm a May 2020 Communications Studies graduate of Fort Hays State University. Growing up, I always found myself drawn to my writing classes. I participated in UIL creative writing and spelling, as well as being a part of my high school's yearbook and newspaper staff. My love for writing continued to grow as I began college. Luckily, I found a job posting for a position with University Relations and Marketing during my freshman year, and I leaped for it. This position, along with writing for Tiger Media Network, has helped grow my writing skills in all facets. When I'm not working or writing, I enjoy many hobbies. A few include reading, cooking, playing with my dog, and the occasional mini golf outing. As I enter the professional world, I hope to find a career where I can continue writing.