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There are several key elements needed to help one find a job after college: a glowing resume, a well-written cover letter, and a decent grade point average. One element that some do not consider, however, is the significance of an internship. Some departments in college require internships as part of the curriculum; however, for they should encourage students to apply for them anyway. An internship is the perfect place for students to gain knowledge and experience in a particular business that interests them. It is a link between academic learning and hands-on professional learning. They allow students to be in a low-stakes environment where they are welcome to ask questions and learn as well as contribute to the business’s success. It is also an environment where students will learn what they like as well as the direction to go during job hunts. During an internship, the student could potentially discover a new skill or interest.

For Kristen, she has been given an entirely different view on the significance of social media for businesses. She now has a new interest in social media and its significance towards advertising . She has a better understanding of how to gather and strategically plan posts on social media. These are skills that she could potentially market to a future employer. Internships also allow the students to incorporate and highlight their already established skills and interests. For example, Kristen is an avid reader and writer, so her internship has allowed her to utilize those skills to create blog posts like this one. It allows her to improve her skills while also gaining real world experience on how to utilize writing in a professional setting. Furthermore, this internship has provided Kristen the opportunity to gain new relationships with Inner Spark Creative. ISC has introduced her to the importance of social media and advertising as a whole.

For Cat, she learned how to use an industry wide standard in her career field, Hootsuite, a web-based application that she most likely would not have been taught in a college class. Being able to put that on her resume is invaluable. Besides learning new social media practices, Cat has also gained an Auburn family. By that she means, Dayton, Jarrett and Joel have introduced her to Auburn. Being out of state, Cat was clueless about Auburn eateries–not your traditional Auburn must do’s- but the local favorites. They taught her the interesting culture around the city. While the internship has definitely helped her further her capabilities, it has provided her with much more than points to put on her resume.

Plus, having an internship can lead to a full time job. Stuart Lander, chief marketing office at Internships.com, proclaims, “You have a 7 in 10 chance of being hired by the company you interned with.” Not only does the internship allow for the company to see how you work, whether you fit in, and if you fit their needs, but it also allows you to assess the company.

Graduating students with an internship on their resume provides a significant advantage over the other candidates that do not have one. It demonstrates that the student utilized skills gained in the classroom in a more professional setting. Employers want to know that you put forth an effort to learn more about a particular field; however, they also like that the student gained some experience in a professional setting. In some instances, companies require a candidate to have an internship on their resume in order to even be considered for a position. An internship can be one of the most important steps for a college student because it opens several doors.

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