Internships prepare students with experience

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Internships are among the most highly sought after positions for college students in preparation for the real world. Students still wonder, though, how to not only be considered for the internship but actually get it.The question remains the same: What do employers look for in an intern and why should students consider doing an internship?
According to Dr. Keanon Alderson, associate professor of business at California Baptist University, there are two main things students should expect when landing an internship: validating the professional pursuit and landing a job that progressively looks toward hiring.
“If you’re going to go for one of those big internships that looks great on your resumes, … it’s as hard as getting a job,” Alderson said. “GlaxoSmithKline, a leading pharmaceutical company, would fly you back to North Carolina, send you to a hotel and would rent you a car.”
Alderson further explained that employees hardly go to the corporate headquarters. As an intern, you would interview and spend three months there; unfortunately, you start the application process in March to get an internship in the summer. If you start applying in May, summer internships are most likely already taken.
Deborah Meredith, talent acquisition manager at Enterprise Holding Inc. in Redlands, Calif., said, “Some programs have a certain level of education to be considered. Taking my company, for example, you need to be a junior going to senior year.”
Eduaction is not the only aspect for which hiring managers look.
“There are some characteristics that include flexibility, your will to work for the company and a capability to stay for full-time positions,” Meredith said.
“In general, hiring companies that are looking for interns want students who are committed for experience.”
Companies who are hiring look for people with experience that has some bit of relevance to the position for which they are applying.
“I personally look for people who have people-skills and communication skills,” Meredith said.
Lara Cardinale, adjunct English professor at CBU, said that employers seek professional appearance and an intern who will be responsible and timely, someone willing to take on the tasks that are at hand.
“Maybe you’ll be interning for a law firm, but what they have available for you is filing for the attorney, which isn’t exactly the sect of law you may be interested in, but that’s what they have; so flexibility and willingness is key,” Cardinale said.
Professors and employers can agree that any internship gives a student experience they need. The only negative aspect to taking an internship is with most, there is a lack of a paycheck.
Emily Gross, senior communication studies major, said, “To maximize chances of landing an internship, I would recommend attending job fairs, asking people you know for referrals and not disqualifying yourself from any positions.
“Always be professional and polite during interviews, but try and make yourself memorable, too.”
Two of the key elements in landing an internship include networking and taking advantage of opportunities when they are readily available.
Ultimately, students may consider taking on an internship depending on the stage of their life, but note that internships will offer knowledge and experience.

About Matthew Swope

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