5 Things to Consider Before Committing to Your Spring Internship
Internships have become an integral part of college education over the last decade. Students look forward to interning at their dream company or with a celebrity, hoping to gain valuable experience and kickstart their career. However, before you commit to an internship this spring, there are several things you need to consider. In this article, we will discuss the top five factors to look for in an ideal internship, including opportunity for advancement, competitive compensation, access to professional development, diversity, and perks.
Opportunity for Advancement
The first thing you should consider before taking an internship this spring is whether it will provide you with an opportunity for advancement. According to studies, 61% of paid interns receive at least one job offer, indicating the importance of interning at a company that values and invests in their interns. As you approach your final program while still a student and eligible for an internship, this could be your last chance at gaining employment through an internship. Therefore, it is crucial to learn about the employer’s hiring policy, what people are saying about them online, and talk directly with past interns. You should ask questions like, what are the typical rates of hire after an internship? What do I have to do to continue working in the organization? And, what traits do you look for when transitioning an intern to a full-time hire? The answers to these questions will help you navigate through the program better and understand what you have to do to get hired in the end.
Pay is significant when it comes to taking an internship, even though internships have been plagued with negative stereotypes such as errand or coffee running. Your spring internship should provide you with an educational experience, as well as earning at least federal minimum wage if you are paid. Paid interns not only have an edge over their unpaid counterparts, but they are also happier, more engaged, and have higher chances of getting hired, with a median salary starting at $51,930. Additionally, paid interns get the same rights as full-time employees, such as protection against discrimination, sexual harassment, and arbitrary dismissal, which is not the case for unpaid interns.
Access to Professional Development
Internships are a learning experience, and investing in your professional growth is crucial before committing to an internship. While having a reputable name on your resume is essential, it is vital to choose an internship where you can learn and acquire new skills. Studies show that 48% of professionals want to learn new skills, while 30.2% want the chance to do real work. Therefore, your internship should provide you with the chance to develop as a professional from company leaders, clients, co-workers, and even customers. This can be done in various ways, such as attending conferences, having one-on-one training sessions with your boss, and acquiring essential skills that can transfer to multiple professions. Also, while interning, it is crucial to have access to executives and mentorship as 47.3% of interns say they’re most interested in this during an internship.
One of the best things an internship can provide is diversity, not just in the people employed by the organization but also in the tasks that you will undertake. If you can secure a paid internship, even better since paid internships are historically more attractive to diverse candidates, giving you the chance to work with awesome people from different walks of life. It is crucial to appreciate the knowledge you receive from a variety of backgrounds, education levels, and overall experience since it will enrich your internship experience. Additionally, it forces you to see how you can improve based on varying opinions from industry leaders.
Lastly, when choosing an internship this spring, you should consider the perks that come with it. Perks such as flexible schedules, company culture activities, location, team size, project type, and the chance to attend industry events are some benefits that can positively contribute to your well-being, effectively enhancing your internship experience. While relocation or housing perks are typically given to summer interns, it is sustainable to consider an internship with such benefits if it aligns with your schedule.
In conclusion, internships are a vital part of your college education, providing you with valuable experience that could enhance your career prospects. While there are countless internships to pick from, ensuring that the internship aligns with your professional career is crucial. Therefore, before choosing an internship this spring, consider if it provides you with an opportunity for advancement, competitive compensation, access to professional development, diversity, and perks. By keeping this checklist in mind, you will enhance your internship experience and increase your chances of landing a job offer.