Internships are a great way to get real-world experience, put what you have learned into practice, and hone your interests. Having an internship during the school year is beneficial in many ways.
Here’s the top three benefits I found from having an internship while studying:
- Apply what you learn in the class in the job and vice versa
Since you are taking classes and interning, you are simultaneously learning in each environment. There were times where I learned skills in the classroom, such as how to conduct a social media audit, that I was asked to employ at work. In another instance of crossover, I learned how to create a campaign budget at my internship, which I was later asked to do for an upper division PR class.
- Get real-world experience
Being in a workplace environment is extremely valuable in and of itself. You learn how to be on time, work at a desk, work with others and have a supervisor to report to. You also learn how to send emails to different audiences and follow long virtual conversations. Since you will most likely be surrounded by people older than you, it is a tremendous opportunity to learn from their experience.
- Learn time management skills
As you start getting more responsibilities in your internship, your to-do list will get longer. You learn to be organized, conscious of deadlines and communicate with your supervisor ahead of time if you cannot meet a deadline. Since you are in school while working 15 hours or more a week, you find the balance between work, studying and life. You become more productive and task oriented. You learn key time management skills to help you stay organized and perform to the best of your ability. Some of the ‘tricks’ that worked for me is having a weekly and daily to-do list. For reminders or high priority tasks I use colored post-its and place them on my computer screen. I also outline how much time each task will take and try to stick to the projected time.
Before going out to the real world, try to get as much experience as you can through internships, extracurricular activities or something else. Don’t be afraid; be confident and curious. Put yourself and skills out there. Good Luck!
Written by, Maritza Rendon