Experience: The Argument for Internships.

When it comes to getting that job, it nearly always boils down to two things: attitude and experience. When submitting your resume, hiring managers have immediate concerns regarding your experience. Mainly, how much do you have, and it’s relevance.  If you’re just out of school, it can be tough to make a strong argument for your qualifications without any practical experience to back up your claims. This is where the power of internships goes a long way.

It may seem obvious, but school and work are two very different worlds, no matter your chosen field. In school, you’re paying someone to teach you. In the working world you are being paid to produce, you are not being paid to learn. The onus is on you, once you step into the professional sphere, to understand that difference, and to focus on producing results for your employers. It’s this mindset that the majority of hiring managers want to see in their candidates.

The pros of internships far outweigh the cons. They are a great way to not only gain necessary experience for your resume, but to make the transition into the workforce easier. During your tenure, you gain essential professional skills that schooling often misses. Time management, professional demeanor and communication skills, technical knowledge, tech skills and concepts, mentor-ship and a professional network, as well as enough of a basis in your chosen field to get you started.

An internship can give you confidence in your abilities, and adds value to any professional team. You learn to apply what you absorbed in school, but in real world scenarios. Internships give you a solid understanding of the specific type of work and culture you seek to join as you transition into the job market. Knowledge is wisdom, and not just the kind learned from books and lectures.

In addition, having internship experience demonstrates to hiring managers that you’re willing to put forth effort to gain experience and further your education. It also shows that you’re better equipped to enter the workforce compared to an applicant without it, as well as having strong initiative and an awareness of professional workplace expectations. You can be of more value to your future employer right from the start.

Next month we’ll explore the Power of Volunteering in Your Industry, until then…

Check out these great DC internship resources below:

DC Internships

Look Sharp – DC

USAID Student Internships

Nationwide and beyond:

Summer Jobs for College Grads



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