You graduate college; you get your first full-time job – that’s how it worked for most in years past. However, it’s not so simple today. Yes, the job market for new grads has improved since the recession, but Slate reports this past spring, 8.5 percent of college graduates were unemployed and 16.8 percent were “underemployed,” or holding jobs for which they are overqualified. Clearly the post-graduation career path has changed, and for many, the first step has become a post-graduation internship. You might believe that taking an internship after graduation is a step backwards, but it truly is not. Here is why:
You Gain More Experience
You spent a lot of time in school listening, reading and learning about your field, but taking on an internship allows you to get up and actually do the work. You will learn about what you’re good at, what you like and actually see a career path you want to follow. Furthermore, you learn about a company’s culture and the type of organization you will want to work with full-time. This knowledge is invaluable. Not to mention the fact you will also get to add more lines on to your resume!
You Get Your Foot in the Door
An internship is a great foot-in-the-door of an organization. Many interns who prove themselves get hired on by their companies full-time. If there is not an immediate open position, hard-working interns are kept in mind for future opportunities or referred to other organizations with open spots.
You Grow Your Network
Another huge benefit of a post-graduation internship is the people you will work with! You will have a supervisor with whom you will work closely, leaders, colleagues on the team, other colleagues in different departments and fellow interns. All of these people will be able to introduce you to their network and speak about your work.
Do yourself a favor, and stop thinking about a post-graduation internship has a step backwards in your career. Instead, look at it as the gateway it truly is!
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