Have No Regrets: Get that Internship!

In case you needed another piece of input on why you should get an internship, here it is: in Penelope Trunk’s blog post today, she says, “Recent grads say one of their biggest regrets about the time they were in college is that they didn’t get good internships.”

“According to Vault, 90% of students graduating from college have had an internship. So it’s not like a leg up on the competition if you get one. Getting one is just surviving.”

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve interviewed for my book who said they wish they had known how important it was to essentially start your career in college. Many people had their heads down doing their schoolwork and not much else. For example, one young woman told me that she thinks she’s interested in international development – based on one class she took – and is now in the process of conducting an informational interview with those in the field. She plans to make her career decision based on a single discussion and academics, as opposed to authentic experience gained through readily available internships!

The job market is just too tough now to rest on your laurels and just be a student. Or think like a student. Sorry.

Trunk also says those who are getting the plum internships for next summer will be busy lining them up this fall. So get working on that. Meanwhile, what about the internships for this fall? Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn, network and grow your sphere of influence during this school year!

I know you have a lot going on with school, but don’t forget… work is the long-term proposition here. And you’ll need to stay competitive to get traction. It’s tough love; you’ll thank me later!

 

About the Author: Allison Cheston is a New York City-based career advisor who works with mid-career executives and young adults to help them identify their unique value in the marketplace and explore alternative careers. Allison is the author of an upcoming book In the Driver’s Seat: Work-Life Navigation Skills for Young Adults, to help young adults from late high school through college develop strengths and interests and match them to internships, coursework and, ultimately, the right job.

Cheston blogs frequently on career issues for young adults at her own blog, In the Driver’s Seat as well as at Forbes. She also blogs for mid-career professionals at The Examiner. You can reach Allison on Twitter.

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  • Hi Allison!

    Thanks for sharing.

    I know that, for me, one of the biggest changes going from “student” to “job seeker” mentality was shifting away from showing my intelligence (more or less the goal of education / college applications) and instead focusing on the value I can bring. Its not something that we really teach college grads!

    Rebecca

  • Rebecca, this is such an excellent comment. I hadn’t really thought about it and of course, you’re absolutely right. Showing your intelligence in a pure way does change after college, but of course what does continue is how important it is for people to think you’re smart. And being smart brings a lot of value with it. Thanks for mentioning this.