By Tony Espinal
Internships are an integral part of your academic career.
Without one, you can place yourself in a tough spot when you start your job search after college.
Employers are demanding more education and experience as more people enter the workforce.
I once saw a job posting on Indeed.com, a job website, for a position with a news station in Chicago. The station wanted applicants to have one to three years of previous experience.
This position was part-time and entry-level.
I did not do any interning while I was an undergraduate, and I paid the price.
I took a job that is out of my desired career path and am now trying to play catch-up in graduate school.
My fiancee did several internships. She was still rejected from many jobs because employers said she lacked sufficient experience. Even with all the experience gained from her several internships, employers still wanted her to have more.
In today’s job market, it is imperative to differentiate yourself from your competition. Internships are the way to do it.
In 2010, U.S. News reported university personnel and employers are in agreement that an internship is critical to finding employment after graduation. The report also said universities are starting require internships for graduation.
Internships are important because they give you the opportunity to network and gain the experience needed for future jobs. Internships also give you a chance to get your foot in the door with companies.
In December, “Forbes” reported 69 percent of companies with 100 or more employees offered full-time employment to their interns.
Stuart Lander, chief marketing officer of Internships.com, told “Forbes” you have a seven in 10 chance of being hired by companies with which you intern.
So what steps should you take to get ahead in your career?
Butler offers great resources to get a jump-start.
The university’s Career Services website, B.L.U.E., has a great list of networking events, websites and career events you can utilize. You can even engage in practice interviews and check out who is hiring at the many career fairs. You can also use B.L.U.E. to start your internship search.
Take some time to familiarize yourself with career services. Ensure you have maximized your opportunities to get ahead and apply for internships.
Otherwise, you may find yourself struggling to find a position in your field right after college.