internship opportunitiesPost-graduate internships sometimes get a bad rap. In the excitement of searching for that first job, many eager job seekers overlook these opportunities and unfairly characterize them as nothing more than “free work.” However, unlike microwavable ramen and red party cups, internships can still be a valuable resource for hungry graduates long after Graduation Day.
Here are some reasons to consider taking advantage of an internship after you grab that diploma:
Gain Experience
You may have been a star in the classroom, but the experience you gain in the workplace can make a longer lasting impact than grade point average alone. Additionally, finding the right job takes time. Will you be prepared when an employer asks, “What have you been doing since graduation?” Hands-on experience in a field related to your major, rather than a short-term solution that may be irrelevant to your career goals, might just be the first step in a successful career.
Avoid Culture Shock
Every company has a unique culture. While online research can be helpful, the best way to find your best fit is to experience it firsthand. Are you most comfortable working on a team of two or 20? Are you a Casual Friday fan or is a traditional workplace style more your speed?  Take this chance to learn what engages you and how to fit your personality to the right workplace.
Build Your Network
You never know where a new connection can take your career. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to meet likeminded professionals while applying to positions from behind a computer screen. Forming meaningful business relationships might help you land full-time work now or plant the seeds for future success.
The days following graduation can be an exciting, uncertain time. As you begin the next step of your professional development, try taking a closer look at internships.