Want to become the next CEO of Forbes? You already know you need an internship to start you off on the right foot. But now that everyone knows that, how can you make your internship experience stand out? Employers love hiring someone with experience. Getting involved in your desired field looks good on your resume, plus it shows your prospective employer true dedication.
So what’s the secret, the special sauce, to standing out? A longterm internship. A longterm internship can land you the job of your dreams as employers look for a reliable, efficient and dependable student with extensive knowledge and experience in the real world. You’ll thank me when you’re chillin’ in your office at the top of a skyscraper.
Land that internship and hold onto it as long as possible—here’s why you want that longterm internship.
You can make sure you actually like the career you want.
Whether you aspire to become an engineer, accountant or a journalist, internships can provide excellent understanding behind each occupation. You’re learning the structure of your career by getting hands-on experience. Plus, you can make sure you actually enjoy the work. Post-graduation, you’ll probably commit to 40 (or more) hours per week. So you need to know what you’re getting into before signing a contract.
“I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in science. But, it wasn’t until this summer that I had the opportunity to intern at a hospital. Shadowing doctors and assisting in the labs made me realize that the medical occupation is my calling,” said Cornell University junior Tara Tardino. Working side-by-side with doctors sounds as hands on as you can get before you’re a doctor yourself.
You can learn the business before you enter it.
In order to gain an idea of a day in the life of any occupation, interning early on can benefit you immensely as you’ll get the chance to see if you respond well to the responsibilities given to you. Interning gives you the chance to step into one’s shoes and lets you expand your studies from the classroom to a workplace in order to put all those tests and quizzes into action.
Remember that awful microeconomics test you took last week? Tests may not seem important right now, but as an intern on Wall Street, you’ll need to remember where the supply and demand curve intersect.
You can prove your dedication.
Not only do internships help you gain insight into your future career, but also show employers your dedication and strong interests. “Internships that are relevant to your future career path are key to employers,” said Michelle Futo, Program Assistant at The Career Center at Florida State University. Long-term internships that correlate to an end goal serve as one of the main points employers search for in an employee. “It’s quality over quantity. Consistency makes an impression which demonstrates your experience and how you spent your time,” said Futo.
Reliability is key, as long-term internships show potential employers that you’re in it for the long run. Putting your heart and soul into an internship over the summer or throughout the school year demonstrates dependability. Make yourself available for your employers. It will pay off—especially when you get your first paycheck.
You can leave your footprint behind.
“An internship where you actually learned things and contributed to the team’s success shows our company that you are worth our time,” said Lauren Donley, Regional Sales and Marketing Manager at Bowlmor AMF in Denver, Colorado. Take the time to research internships before applying to see what the daily tasks include. You don’t want to deliver coffee all day or tweet to your friends about the constant coffee delivering.
Internships obviously buff up your resume. But it stands for much more than words on a piece of paper. Internships should stand for full, hands-on experience and helping you learn important lessons pertaining to the company. If you find yourself in the nitty-gritty where you’re experimenting in labs or interviewing artists weekly, you’re doing your internship right.
Becoming CEO of a huge company or moving your way up to head engineer won’t be easy. Showing employers that you’re determined and in it for the long haul will make you stand out from others. With practice, dedication and consistency, you’ll without a doubt become the next Doogie Howser, M.D.