April is National Internship Awareness Month which means a time to explore and learn the importance of internships! What exactly is an internship? How does it differ from a part-time job or volunteering? Internships are experiences that take place to allow you to gain experiences in a particular career field. Interns gain inside access and have hands-on experiences in a specific industry. These opportunities are usually shorter in duration and typically range from 4-16 weeks. A part-time job is for an indefinite period and compensation. Internships are paid or unpaid depending on the company. Often, companies will offer school credit for completing internships. On the other hand, volunteering is a one-time event or over a longer period. Volunteering is never a paid opportunity and allows you to give back to your community. Internships are available in every career industry, so it is important to explore your options. A person can have several internships throughout high school and college. According to the National Association for College and Employers, internships led to 81% of students securing a job in their chosen field (NACE).
Benefits of an Internship
Internships have a myriad of benefits for those completing them. These benefits include short-term and long-term impacts. Many reap these benefits long into their careers. These benefits include:
- Learning industry-specific skills
- Gaining invaluable hands-on experiences
- Networking with other professionals for future opportunities
- Increasing confidence in professional skills
How to Find an Internship
Finding an internship might be hard if one is unaware of where to look. You can find internships in a variety of locations. This includes career search websites like Indeed, Monster, Glassdoor, counselors at your high school or college, local businesses, and local organizations. When searching for an internship, networking will also help. By talking with different people, attending community events, one might build connections that will lead to an opportunity.
You can also enroll in an internship preparation program like the one at Believe & Inspire. Through the duration of the program, you will learn the essential skills of an internship. This includes: interviewing, writing a resume and cover letter, communication, and searching for an internship. To learn more about our program and how to participate, please visit https://believeandinspire.org/internship-prep-program-virtual/.