Story-telling: No Longer Just for Kids

The demand for internship experience on a resume is rising, and with it, the competition for internships among college students. However, the benefit of an internship is not that it will land you a job offer after graduation, but the professional experience gained and effectively communicated. A narrative communication structure allows the interviewees to establish an emotional connection with the prospective employers by outlining problems they faced, goals they set for themselves, and solutions they eventually came to.


Your narrative is affected by accepting a paid or unpaid internship. A study published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers showed that 52.1% of applicants who had previous internship experiences received a job offer compared to the 38.6% who didn’t have previous internship experienced. This is due to the experience and professional skills developed during a person’s time as an intern and his or her ability to communicate those skills. Whether the internship is paid or unpaid, what you put into it is what you get out of it. However, if you’re looking for a job offer after graduation with the company you intern with, paid internships are the way to go. After interning for for-profit companies, 64.5% of applicants with paid internships were offered jobs at the company while only 38.5% of applicants with unpaid internships were extended the same offer. If you have your heart set on working for your dream company, this is definitely something to consider. Would your time be better spent working as an unpaid intern for said company or choosing to intern elsewhere and apply later?

The narratives we create for ourselves when communicating professional experience are make job applicants competitive. A student could have interned at several companies over his or her college car. Thankfully, there are resources available to help students find potential employers to communicate their narratives to. The UNCW Career Center is the powerhouse behind resources like SeaWork and the Certified Internship Program (CIP). SeaWork allows anyone with a UNCW login to access job and internship postings from all around the United States. The CIP gives students an alternative to unpaid internships by offering class credit for the work a student does. The Career Center also offers resources like mock interviews and resumé workshops to help you feel confident in the professional world. Be sure to follow @dubcareercenter on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest for the latest information!
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-Luci Keefer, Griffin Weidele, Austin Moody, Allen Wooten, Scott Uraro

19 thoughts on “Story-telling: No Longer Just for Kids

  1. Awesome post! I have yet to complete an internship but am set on doing one in the spring semester. Thanks for all the stats! It really helps to hear how beneficial internships can be when considering doing one or not. I am hopeful to find an internship that will benefit my future and help when applying to a job.

  2. Great information on the importance of internships. To clarify the CIP program does not offer credit hours or class credit. A quick review of the CIP website under Credit or No Credit and you learn that while the CIP does fulfill the Explorations Beyond the Classroom (EBC) University Studies Requirement you do not earn credit hours for the program. A review of your degree audit will tell you that EBC can be fulfilled with zero credit hours which is how the CIP fulfills that requirement. I am highly disappointed that you did not discuss or even mention the department internship program. COM 498 – COM Studies Internship provides credit hours toward graduation (300/400 level additional hours in the department) and fulfills the EBC requirement. We work with students to establish internships with agencies in Wilmington and out of town and even out of state. For future post ensure that you provide accurate information and all relevant information.

  3. I’m so glad this article was written–it makes me feel a lot better about my internship this semester! I can attest to the experience part of it, especially because where I’m interning is exactly what I want to do out of school, just on a smaller scale. I currently intern at the Wrightsville Beach Museum, which is a perfect combination of my two majors–communication and history. I do think that it will make for a great addition to my resume when I go to apply for jobs out of school, and that it will be a good place to tell some great stories! It’s comforting to know that it’s easier to get a job if you’ve had experience (which makes sense, in my opinion), and I believe that if you have the chance to do an internship, you should! Even if you decide it’s not for you, at least you have the experience of that, and you can use it to guide yourself to something you love.

  4. I had no idea the statistics to having an internship or not would be so powerful. I knew that getting an internship in your specific line of work was going to be a very good first step to a career after college but I had no idea it would be that valuable. I wonder why the unpaid internships have a lower percentage of offering a job after. Is it due to the companies budget seeing as they might not be able to pay an intern and therefore there are less job opportunities or is it something else? Overall, I thought your blog was interesting and informative.

  5. Great blog post, I love that it is very relevant to a lot of UNCW students. Whether you’re a freshman, sophomore, etc. everyone is worried about their futures and it is important to stress that internships are beneficial. You did that here in this post, but you also relieved some of that stress by providing options as to how you can go about looking for internships no matter what you are looking for. I enjoyed your take on this subject and definitely want to look more into ICP after you’re mentioning it.

  6. Thank you for informing us students more about this topic. As a junior I recently have been in the search for an internship and trying to find the right websites and places to start. You were able to provide me with some resources and information on what an internship requires and can help with. Great post!

  7. I think this post is extremely accurate. I love my internship and it has provided so many opportunities for me. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door and to be introduced to so many people in the same industry as you. I have so many friends who haven’t ever had a job or even an internship and I have told them time and time again how difficult it would be for them to find a career after college without any experience in any field at all whatsoever. Such an eye opening post!

  8. I was so excited to see a post about the importance of internships. The main reason I studied abroad in Wales this past spring was to take part in an international internship. I was actually given tasks I never would have been allowed to do as an intern in the US. My supervisors were extremely trusting that I would fulfill their expectations which spurred me to WANT to exceed them. I must have proved myself because after five months of unpaid intern work, I was extended an offer to continue my internship for an extra month with pay. I really enjoyed it and definitely recommend internships throughout college!

  9. I am a Junior and I am currently applying for internships. I truly understand how important it is to have an internship. I just had my first phone interview yesterday which was very intimidating. Whether i get the internship or not, it was a good experience in the process of finding the right internship.

  10. Fantastic post! Expecting to get a job simply because you completed an internship is a misconception I know many college students believe. I recently finished interning with a startup business and while I didn’t gain the knowledge I would have wanted for my field of work, I did learn what I do NOT want from a job. There are just as many valuable lessons in unpleasant experiences. As the post articulates, these experiences will create your communication narrative.

  11. Really good post, I am planning on doing an internship next year and this post just made me even more determined to find one. Seeing the statistics for it really inspired me to work hard to get an internship.

  12. I see the relevance of internships with the higher education learning process, and I see how having one appears more attractive on a resume. You touched on how they are almost “required” now, and what I don’t like is the trend of employers spinning unpaid internships as requirements for entry level positions. It seems like more and more hoops keep being fabricated to jump through before the hopes of employment.

  13. I personally love the Career Center. I went to them for help with my resumé about two years ago and they walked me through the steps with that and even mentioned some internships to be researching for when it’s time for me to get one down the road. With the time for me to be looking for internships getting closer and closer, I can deeply appreciate all that the Career Center has helped me do in the past few years whether that be helping me find locals jobs, keeping my resumé updated, or continually voicing new internship opportunities to me.

  14. This is a very great and informative post about how important internships are in the world we live in today. When starting college, it is important to keep in mind that your future is right around the corner and an internship is a great gateway into stepping into the “real” world. Developing the experience and professional skills during an internship goes a long way when trying to land jobs. Being able to communicate what you’ve learned is a big part of that and one can practice this in an internship whether it is paid or not.

  15. internships are really important. i heard from a potential employer that people with internships are kept on top of the application list. if you do not have any experience you are put on the bottom intentionally.

  16. Very interesting point! I have been led to believe that internships were merely existing because they are a gateway into a career. I have never thought of it from the perspective that it can enhance your chances of becoming a better worker and more sociable person as a whole.

  17. I really do see this importance of an internship, as I am approaching the end of my college career. It can put your foot in the door with a company and possibly lead to a starting out job. My boyfriend, a new graduate, did not have an internship in college, and he truly struggled to find a job. I think it’s important to have that experience on your resume and to be able to apply to the work field one day. I aim to get an internship this spring semester this summer, whether its paid or not! This article really motivated me and shed light on how vital it is to get one.

  18. I think this is a great post and very informative! Having an internship will not only help you gain valuable experience but it will also help you after you graduate. I have had two internships and know that both of these experiences will help me out with future jobs.

  19. I liked the post, and makes it evermore evident that I need to get another internship before I graduate. I have had one in sales, but that was when I was a business major. Now a Communication Major I would like to get an internship pertaining to my major. I am hoping my IMC class will give me more direction on this.

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