As another school year winds down, your college student is probably excited to kick back all summer. But if this is the summer of his or her sophomore or junior year, this is no time for relaxing. Paid or unpaid, it’s time to consider an internship.
Your child may not be too keen on the idea of an internship, especially if it is unpaid. However, the benefits of both unpaid and paid internships stretch far beyond that one summer of work. Reasons why internships matter include:
- Determining whether a profession is the right fit. Your child probably has an idea of what he or she would like to do after graduation, and an internship is the perfect way to take a potential career for a test run. If your child decides he or she would rather do something else, it’s better to know now rather than after graduation.
- Getting a foot in the door. Internships are more than just a chance for your child to learn about a company. They also provide an opportunity for the company to learn about your child. Research shows that students who do either unpaid or paid internships are more likely to get job offers. In fact, the National Association of Colleges and Employers report that 60 percent of 2012 college graduates who did an internship received at least one job offer.
- Making valuable networking contacts. People change jobs all the time. While your child’s internship may not land him or her a job at that company, they will have a chance to make a memorable impression on the people who work for that employer. This could lead to opportunities further in their career either at that company or whatever companies their new connections work for later on.
Next, learn some ways your child can find and apply for internship opportunities.