Media portrayals of some of the more recognizable jobs in the field of communications are glamorous and invigorating. Unfortunately, if in college you decide to concentrate in Public Relations in hopes of becoming the next Samantha Jones from Sex & the City, or focus on Advertising to be the next employee at Mad Men’s infamous Madison Avenue firm Sterling Cooper, you may be disappointed to find that in reality, these jobs are not so much fun. On top of being aesthetically pleasing and having an interesting and eventful life, you actually have to do a lot of work and you might not have so much free time. As cool and hip as these jobs appear on TV, they are still jobs, and they require you to work hard; bottom line: things aren’t always what they seem. If this is the case, how are we really supposed to know what we want to do for the rest of our lives? How are you to decide on what career you want to work towards while you’re in college without having the risk of hating it after graduation when it is too late to change?
This is where internships come into play and why they are so valuable for college students. Internships give students real-life experiences in an actual work environment, allowing them that first step when transitioning from the college world to the career world. They allow students to feel as though they are an actual employee. Internships can help you sift out what you do and don’t like in a career, and evaluating your experiences as an intern will be useful when trying to find a career that is right for you.
If the career you are interning for just isn’t doing it for you, chances are you should rethink your plans for the future As valuable as learning from textbooks and lectures about a career is, you won’t really know what that career is like until you try it. Most internships are able to work with a university and reward students with course credit for their time spent, and this means that companies are not obligated to actually pay students. While some are unpaid, there are also paid internships, but just like with volunteering, they can be rewarding.
With an internship, you can meet some powerful people and easily get your foot in the door with many potential employers. What company would say “No” to a fresh-minded student who is willing to work for free and actually desires to succeed? And aside from their educational perks, internships are also a great choice because there never seems to be a lack of opportunities in finding an internship. So what are you waiting for? Get ahead of the game, test the waters with an internship, and find the career that’s perfect for you!
-LaPuasa, Dillard, Reindhardt