Author's Note: Names in this article have been shortened but the interviewees are real people.
Internships give one experience in their desired field of study and, let's face it, they look good on resumes, whether it's for college or a career. They're not as hard to land as a job might be, sometimes they're even paid, and they put one in an actual situation they'd need to be prepared for in their career.
Senior M explains his own internship, saying, "I assist Mr. H and help him with his daily tasks. Doing this, I get to see what the life of an IT worker is like before I go to college and study it."
Senior A says, "I work at Mead Johnson Nutritional in the facility management's department. Right now we're working on transferring HR data and floor-plans into a new software for the company to help improve functionality."
Internships are good for seeing if one is truly interested in a certain job or career. After going through the actual work experience that they're studying for, one will know whether or not to switch the field of study or major. They can then become an intern in those subjects and see if they like it there. It helps one be able to avoid wasting precious time they could be using to study something they'd love to have as a career.
They connect one's schooling directly to the work environment, not only by teaching them hands-on, but also by potentially offering academic credits. Internships come in all types, from medicine to engineering. Forbes magazine says, if you have an internship, 60% of the time, it will turn into a job.
Internships help get a name out there, giving students contacts that could help in evaluating potential employers, or making an individual's skills or abilities better known. This would eventually make it easier for them to get another internship, or even a job.
"I've gained a lot of experience from working with Mr. H. It will help as I go to college and study telecommunications," says M.
"[This internship] helps me get a grip of what the real work experience is like. It also allows me to have some experience in my field because it's so hard to find architecture internships without a degree," explains A.
One is rewarded real-world experience from an internship. Internships allow a glimpse at the professional life, including the hardships of it.
"I learned that [my choice of study] is a lot of hard work and it's not just sitting at a desk all day. There's physical labor, like moving computers and netbooks," says M.
It's not always easy choosing an internship, and one may be weighing the pros and cons of them, deeming it undecidable. So why do some people choose internships? M says, "I went to a tech school for one year and a half, and we got to go out on an internship once the curriculum was done. I chose [to intern for] Mr. H because I don't have to leave my school."
"I like that I get paid, that's nice. I also enjoy the work that I'm doing, it helps me with the software I'll use when I get to college," says A.
If you find yourself having trouble choosing whether to be an intern or not, perhaps a bit of advice from an experienced intern could help you pick.
M gives some advice, saying, "I applied at three places, and was rejected my first two times, but I didn't quit working and eventually found someone willing to take me in. It's a great experience, and I can see myself doing this in the future."
Internships are always going to be hard work, since it's most likely going to be the first time one would be in a situation actually preparing them for the labor of the actual career. An important reason to be an intern is that you may think you know everything about a career, but you may not really understand the good and bad details of the specific field until you've actually experienced it.