You need a job but you don’t have experience. What good is your college degree if it only provides you with theoretical expertise? This is a real Catch-22 for students. For those wanting to kick start their careers, they often turn to an internship for much-needed on-the-job real world experience.
Internships exist in a variety of industries and often are linked to professional careers, while apprenticeships often refer to a craft or trade. In exchange for services the intern receives experience and the company gets a fresh set of eyes.
An internship can be paid, unpaid, partially paid (as in the form of a stipend) or result in college credit. If unpaid, internships are usually subject to stringent labor guidelines through U.S. federal law, which mandates that unpaid interns must not benefit the company financially nor displace paid employees. Some states, such as California, regulate internships by stipulating that unpaid interns must receive college credit in exchange for their work.
An internship can be an experiment to see if you like a position or a company, a way to travel the world with internships abroad or even a means to transition from one career to another. Additionally, virtual internships are growing in popularity for certain fields, such as marketing and technology, where the participants can work remotely.
While some consider an internship as a temporary job, it can lead to full-time employment more often than not. A 2016 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) of U.S. employers with interns found that employers offered permanent positions to 72.7% (up from 67% in 2009) of their interns after their terms were complete.
Looking to set up your own internship program? It may seem daunting but the experts at Internships.com give you a simple 12-step plan to create an internship program that covers how to:
Internships can help someone determine whether a specific industry is right for them. “Interns get to see the technical side of working at a company like DCR,” said Lucas Santos, Business Development Analyst. “They can assimilate what they learn in school and put it to use in the real world.”
With an intern, companies can test the waters without making a full commitment. Also, they may have special projects where they require some expertise they don’t have in-house.
“I worked with an intern on a special project,” said Lindsay Castro, Supplier Relationship Analyst. “It’s great to have a fresh, innovative mind full of new ideas. We can take their ideas and combine it with our proven technology to create something brand new for our customers.”
For the intern and the employer alike, it’s really a win-win situation. For a peek into the internship program at DCR, check out DCR’s Internship Program video:
Do you have an internship program tip? Please share below!
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