One of the best ways to acquire a greater understanding about a student’s chosen field is by gaining practical experience in a work setting. It not only supplements a student’s educational experience, but it also provides many additional benefits to those who participate in one.
- Preview a career. It gives the student the opportunity for career exploration before he or she chooses a particular career.
- Gain employment experience. It enhances the student’s education and helps to develop career-specific skills and abilities. Students with internship experience are more competitive and marketable when seeking employment because it demonstrates interest and experience in the chosen field.
- Networking. Through an internship, a student will have the opportunity to make valuable career contacts, network with other professionals in the field, develop a mentor relationship, and possibly receive a full-time job offer.
- Apply your knowledge. An internship experience can add more meaning to academic study by giving the student the chance to integrate theories learned in the classroom with “real life” situations.
- Design your educational experience. An internship is a way for a student to design his or her own curriculum. The student decides what he or she wants to learn, how to learn it, and how he or she will synthesize the experience with academic knowledge.
- Financial Rewards. Although not all internships are paid, some organizations do compensate students for their internship experiences. In addition, some employers pay new hires more if they have some type of experiential learning, as opposed to those who do not have any.