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Benefits of Being an Intern
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Take a look at what our ICI interns have to say.


this is some writing to create a space Meet Chloe, one of our summer 2017 ICI Interns:I’m Chloe Alexander, a recent graduate of an ICI member campus, where I studied Communications and History. You’ll find me in a library, coffee shop, or thrift store. I speak primarily in English, but also in Spanish with a terrible accent, FRIENDS quotes, and Disney song lyrics. I strive to make my mark on the world by writing, traveling, reading, engaging in critical thinking, and enjoying the arts. Ask me about my adorable dog and I will talk to you for a minimum of an hour. 



Benefits of Being an Intern

January 23, 2018

Why is everyone talking about internships?


Now is a good time for college students to begin searching for summer and fall internships. Many schools encourage or even require their students to do an internship in college, but maybe you find yourself asking about their purpose.


Work experience. This is the biggest advantage that being an intern provides. You are placed directly into your field and no longer have to wonder what a normal day looks like in the industry. Though you may be doing more menial tasks at the beginning of your internship, your supervisors know that you are here to gain experience and will slowly trust you with more responsibilities. You’ll also learn the ins and outs of the workplace, regardless of the field. You will be entering into that workplace following college and getting to know it a little bit will be helpful when that time comes.


Build your portfolio. You will be doing a lot of different things while serving as an intern, but they will mostly relate to your field. This is a great opportunity to build your portfolio. Maybe you are an English major working for a magazine. Maybe you’ll be given the chance to write your own piece that can be added to your portfolio of work. Or you’re a science student who will get some valuable lab or research experience. Look for ways to be included on projects that will give you something to show at the end. Use your internship as a way to begin building a folio that shows the quality of your work.


Start a network early. Whether the company you intern for has ten employees or a hundred, you will have been given the opportunity to network. Even as an intern, your name may become more recognizable to others in the field. Your new co-workers and supervisors can serve as references later or write you a recommendation letter for a new position. You will also become more familiar with important names and companies within your field.


Cement your commitment. I had several friends in school who said they weren’t absolutely positive about their decision of their major until they had done an internship. Sometimes it takes actually working in the field to know that you have made a correct career choice. For some, it finally “just feels right” when they become an intern. If you’re still an undecided major, perhaps try interning to find the right work for you.

Acquire new skills. An internship is a way to begin using the knowledge you’ve gained in the classroom. But sometimes you learn new skills on the job as well. During one internship I had in college, I learned how to digitize old photographs, letters, and other materials, and as a result picked up some basic Photoshop skills. Another internship allowed me to strengthen my editing and proofreading skills. Learning new things is extremely valuable, and oftentimes you can boost your resume as a result of being an intern.


Find your confidence. Learning how to be confident in your skills can take some time, but an internship is a great place to start. You will be interacting with professionals on a regular basis. Just being observant of your co-workers will help you better present yourself in the workplace. Offices are usually very quick to encourage and help interns however possible. They know that you are still a college student and there will be a learning curve, so they are willing to guide you in the right direction and gently correct when needed.


Possible job offers. Producing quality work as an intern can lead a company to offer you a job after finishing your degree. It could also be that your boss will be able to recommend you to another company in the field. This is part of why it’s important to spend some time networking wherever you intern. Those connections are extremely valuable and can lead directly to job offers.


Lots of students assume that all internships are unpaid, not worth your time, and just another requirement to complete in college. This is not at all true. Many internships are paid or provide other perks, and putting real effort into being a great intern can lead to some fantastic career opportunities now and down the road! 


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