‘Getting a foot in the door’: Why internships are essential in a student’s career

By Jessica Stamp

Internships can be an essential step to take in a college student’s professional career. Internships help students learn how to network and help them understand more about their chosen career and how certain skills, like teamwork or critical thinking, factor into those careers.

Deciding to do an internship in a particular career field can help students determine if that career field is something they want to pursue in life after college.

Internships provide certain knowledge and insight on the everyday activities of a professional job, Jacob Imm said in his article “Benefits & Importance of Internships in College,” on North Central College’s website.

Another benefit of internships is networking. Networking is a useful resource in building professional connections and understanding what is involved in the student’s desired career.

Isaac Serwanga, educational consultant, said in The 3 Bones of Networking for Student Success TEDx YouTube video,that he strongly believes in students knowing the importance of networking and realizing early on what they are passionate about doing.

Students at Youngstown State University can use a tool called Handshake, where employers post available internships or jobs, to search for positions.

Justin Edwards, director for the YSU Office of Career Exploration and Development, believes that Handshake is a good opportunity for YSU students to network and make connections with employers in the community.

“There’s a lot of networking…working to meet new people in the field that students are interested in but we also have found that [Handshake] is a way for employers to market their opportunities and help students find connections,” Edwards said.

Internships allow students to build hands-on experience in different career fields and develop a workplace identity for themselves.

Want to hear more about YSU’s internships? Listen to my interview with the Justin Edwards, Director for the YSU Office of Career and Development.