Hello friends, sorry for such a delay between posts! You know how things get when you’re graduating from college and applying for jobs. Yes! For those who don’t know, I graduated from college! I know it may sound cliché, but college was the greatest, hardest, most fun five years of my life. Indeed, I was one of those super seniors, but every moment was worth it. There were memories and friendships made, tears of joy and even tears of frustration, but there isn’t a thing I would change about my collegiate career.
Now, however, the tears of frustration stem from something that every post-grad has to suffer through: job hunting. If you’re one of those lucky few who managed to turn their college internship and/or job into a full-time career, or find a job shortly after graduating, I applaud you, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t envious of you. However, not all of us can be so fortunate when it comes to landing a job, which brings me to my point: I am a firm believer in internships.
Among my friend and classmates, the concept of internships is a very black and white topic, with friends either agreeing with me that internships are a pivotal part of one’s collegiate career or disagreeing and condemning them as a waste of time. And while I do agree that unpaid internships can be the bane of a student’s college-experience, it is a burden I believe all college students should bear. As someone who has been job searching – unsuccessfully, I might add – for about two months now, I have come to realize one very important commonality among most of the jobs I have looked at: “entry-level” no longer means entry-level. In an ever-competitive work environment, managers are looking to hire employees who have at least one to two years experience in the field they are hoping to pursue a career in. Now, understand that I am not trying to group all employers together; however, most employers aren’t going to hire an employee who has absolutely zero experience. In fact, according to an article by Mashable, while holding a higher-education degree is an important factor when looking for candidates, many employers look more-so to see if the candidate has the skill-set relevant to the job.
Now, I understand that some students cannot afford to go to college, work an unpaid internship, and work a job to support themselves. Some internships are paid, but even then, the time it takes to work multiple jobs and go to school can be strenuous and simply not feasible for some students. I am also not saying that an internship is necessary for everyone; for example, students taking over a family business, starting their own business, or attending a vocational or trade school. However, I am saying that internships are a crucial necessity for many students who hope to move up in their career path. For those who are still in school, college or university advisors are a great place to start in your internship search. Take advantage of your professor’s knowledge and contacts, and ask them if they have connections who are looking to hire an intern. Many colleges and university degrees often require internships, so be sure to make the most use of that credit! And, of course, search your college or university website and even Google to find companies that your school may work closely with or companies which tend to hire many of your school’s graduates. It’s also important to remember to choose an internship that is relevant to you and your career interests as internships are a great way to get your foot in the door to your future career path, and if you’re lucky, turn into full-time careers. So go, find your internship; I wish you nothing but success!