Did you have a summer internship as a college student?
Summer internship programs for college students can go both ways. You can have a blast and learn a lot. On the flip side, you can hate your boss and feel like switching majors after only one return. My friend ended up hating his job, until he landed a dream job on Facebook.
Since one of my major goals behind Studenomics is to help young people make optimal career decisions I think I owe it to the readers to dig a little deeper into the subject of paid internships for college students. As a result I’m excited to inform all of you that I will spend the rest of the week expanding on my three points from yesterday.
Today I want to give all of you a few questions to ponder when considering if a college internship is the right move for you or if graduating sooner is the better option?
How is your education being funded?
Since I pay for my education on my own by working full time hours while in school, it makes sense for me to participate in a work term because it’ll give me a chance to save even more money. If your parents are paying for your education then graduating sooner could be the better option for you. The stress of owing thousands of dollars is definitely a motivational tool to earn money whenever possible.
Another issue is student credit cards. Are you in debt? Do you owe money? If you want to pay off your debt faster, you can always find a work term to help with this.
What are the odds of finding work in the field?
If you are confident that you will find a job after graduation without any experience than all the power to you. Unfortunately, there aren’t many jobs out there where work is given to inexperienced individuals.
If you’re clueless about what to do after college, it would make sense to find a job in school to see what you’re into.
Is your field recession proof?
Certain fields will always earn money while others suffer greatly during a recession. The more your field suffers during a recession the harder it will be to find work in the next few years. Earning a degree in the business field has me motivated to gain as much real world experience as possible before graduating college.
What will the internship require you to do?
If a company is looking to hire someone to be the coffee boy or the chores guy then that isn’t exactly the best growth opportunity. If your school has the reputation of finding sub optimal positions for students then graduation is a better idea.
Whats is your networking progress?
Have you managed to make any key contacts in the industry? If you have then they are probably waiting for you to graduate to hire you. If not then an internship would provide you an easy opportunity to establish some strong contacts in the industry.
After reviewing these questions you should have a clear answer when it comes to deciding whether you should pursue an internship position or graduate quicker.
Jeff Rose wrote in the following about his summer internship program in college…
“I think internships are vital. I did an unpaid 15 hour a week internship the summer before my senior year of college. Financially, the national guard paid my way through school and I worked par-time for extra cash and also was a full time student year round. Was I busy? Absolutely!
The internship had me filing and other basic administrative tasks. I knew that having something on my resume was important though so I showed up each day dressed for success and eager to work. Apparently, it made a good impression because I got hired to work there part time for the rest of college and eventually turned into a full time job after college (financial advisor). So yes, from my perspective, an internship is vital if you want to get ahead.”
As you can imagine, free internships for college students don’t sound attractive at first, but offer plenty of value down the line.