The Importance of an Internship
As young professionals, and college students, it is important to plan out your next steps in the coming years as you enter adulthood. One way to do that is to nail an internship during the summer or do a co-op during the fall, or spring, semesters.
Why are internships important? Internships allow you to apply the skills you have learned in school to real life situations. By doing so, you will be able to experience how companies operate on a day-to-day basis. Internships really prepare you for the real world and if you perform well, your chances of full time employment become higher.
Benefits of Domestic Internships
With domestic internships, it is possible to intern while you study. Traveling isn’t a big issue since the internship is domestic. In addition, if you make a good impression and perform really well, you might be lucky enough to have a full time job lined up, post graduation.
Commonly known as, “co-ops”, these internships are offered by schools. They allow students to get hands on experience in the real field within the parameters of their major. For example, at Grace College in Winona Lake, IN, students complete 12 “field” credits as part of their “Applied Learning” requirement. What does this guarantee?
- Professional career development- Internships allow students, and young professionals, to interact with real time corporations. Internships are task-specific and will allow you to use what you’ve learned to find solutions in a given amount of time. In addition, classroom concepts suddenly become real tools and your personal asset as you interact, network, and learn in a professional setting. Internship experiences are concrete and extremely fundamental towards your career. A strong internship means a strong foundation towards your career. Remember, it is crucial to develop the ability to collaborate with others, practice proper business etiquette, and most importantly, communicate efficiently & effectively. Approaching co-ops this way will build your resumé and teach you monumental, career-developing qualities.
- Multiple opportunities- Internships really do open doors to opportunities, after graduation. Employers all around the world seek recent college graduates with adequate work experiences and a hunger & thirst to learn and grow. A survey has shown that college graduates with internship experiences receive higher rates of job offers and salary, as compared to college graduates with no work experiences.
- Personal growth- Aside from the work experience, you will also come to realize that you’ve grown into a much more mature individual by the end of the internship. Several traits that you will develop are, integrity, self-motivation, determination, and commitment. Realize this, employers will want college graduates that are more than just “book-smart”; they’ll want those with individual qualities to execute the job.
What makes an internship abroad so special? It doesn’t sound so pleasant knowing that you’ll have to book a plane ticket, live in a foreign country for months, overcome language barriers, and ultimately, learn to immerse yourself into a whole new culture. However, the rewards and experiences that you get from internships abroad make up for the uneasy feeling that you had before the internship actually began.
When is it most suitable to do an internship abroad? In contrast to domestic internships, international internships have a limited duration. What does this mean? Well, the best time to do an international internship is during the summer, when students have two to four months of free time. Another perfect time to do an international internship is during your gap year. Gap years allow you to really explore your passion. There are no better ways to discover what you want to do than partaking in an internship.
Internships abroad really get you out of your comfort zone. You’ll be living in a foreign country by yourself while going to work five days a week. As cheesy as it sounds, the experience you get is worth it and will help you grow as a professional individual.
Benefits of an International Internship
Internships abroad are unique in their own way. Think of this opportunity as your chance to travel, and live, in another country. Aside from the generic reasons as to what international internships can provide you in the progression of your career, why are they so special? Why do so many students and young professionals around the world seek to find opportunities abroad?
- Culture Immersion: When you take trips to a different country, what better way to know the ins & outs of the country than to truly immerse yourself into the unique culture that each country provides. Immersion is a valuable “trait” in life. Eddie Sotto, former Senior Vice President of Concept Design at Disney Imagineering and founder of SottoStudios/LA, believes that immersive experiences allow you to enjoy the whole journey while acquiring knowledge that you’ve yet to learn.
- Meeting new and different people: Your fellow interns, mentors, or the local people that you meet during an international internship will shape your life one way or the other. When you meet people that grew up in a different country and culture, you tend to learn more about yourself than you do about them. There will be occasions when you meet people that don’t see eye to eye with you. It is important to remember that handling the situation (in a manner) and learning from them will make you the better person.
- Traveling: Make it a promise upon yourself to travel during your internship abroad. Interning abroad gives you the opportunity to explore other countries and cultures easily, without having to spend too much. Try your best to live like the locals. What this means is, eat what they eat (AKA authentic food) and learn what it truly means to be a part of a country’s culture.
Similarities & differences
There are both notable differences and similarities between both types of internships. A domestic internship will promise you work experience but there will not be as much exposure to different cultures, or perspectives from an international mindset.
An international internship on the other hand, will guarantee work experience, travelling, and an element of adventure. In the end, what is your preference? AIP is able to help you find both domestic and international internships and you are more than welcome to ask us for recommendations.
Apply for an internship with AIP!
Internships are really the foundation of adulthood and employment opportunities. Offering both normal internships, and remote internships, let us help you jumpstart your career. It is never too early to start planning out your future and we’d like to be there to help.