Students who complete internships before graduation are more likely to be hired as an entry-level employee after
With the unemployment rate still hovering above 8 percent and many employers reluctant to take on fresh-out-of-college graduates, students are doing everything that they can to give themselves a competitive advantage in today’s marketplace, including taking on multiple internships. Whether a student is working toward a master of business administration degree or a business degree there are internships available.
Internships, whether paid or unpaid, are tools that both employers and the interns themselves use “try out” working relationships and gauge fit within the organization. Many former interns are either offered full time work by the organization they interned for or are able to use that experience to find a position at another company.
Benefits of Interning
According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, nearly 40 percent of entry-level positions this year are expected to be filled by former interns. This is an increase from five years ago, when former interns only accounted for about 30 percent of new hires.
Both interns and organizations report that internships are valuable relationships. Interns are able to gain practical experience before graduation, and employers are able to find talent early. Former interns also accept offered positions at a higher rate than other applicants, and usually stay with the company longer. These two benefits can be pinned on the fact that interns have already have experience at the organization and thus know the company’s culture and values.
Even if an internship does not result in a direct job offer, however, interns are able to gain on-the-job experience that can give them a leg up on other entry-level applicants. For that reason, students who have completed one or multiple internships are much more likely to find full time work within six months of graduation than are students who did not complete an internship.
Obstacles to Interning
One of the most commonly cited criticisms of internships is that they favor those who have the financial means available to support themselves without pay for a few months. Many internships, especially those in the creative industries, are not paid, meaning that students must pay for room, board, and relocation to wherever the internship is located.
Those students who cannot afford to work for no pay for three months are at a sincere disadvantage, and with colleges recommending that internships be taken earlier and earlier (sometimes as soon as freshman year), this achievement gap is likely to grow.
For the time being, internships are an important way that students can boost their resumes and test out potential companies for a good match. Those who intern are more likely to get hired at an organization that fits with their talents.