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!
-Luci Keefer, Griffin Weidele, Austin Moody, Allen Wooten, Scott Uraro