7 Reasons to Complete an Internship

I’ve been working with students for 10 years and have noticed a trend amongst the most confident and successful high school graduates with regard to being college and career-ready. They are confident about their future career path because they have gained first-hand experience through internship opportunities. Today, I’m sharing seven reasons to complete an internship.

7 Reasons to Complete an Internship

1. Build Your Resume

If you do an internship, you are building your resume with work experience relevant to your career field. Having industry-relevant internship experience on your resume will be recognized by employers and by colleges when you submit your admissions application. Internships are impressive and noticed!

2. Learn How the Industry Operates

What you learn in class during high school and college is different from what you will experience in the industry. The severity of this difference will depend on the major/industry, but this disconnect will always exist to some degree. Likewise, each company is going to operate a little differently. Completing multiple internships really gives you the most well-rounded experience and knowledge and can inform your job search in college and after college.

3. Make Money Doing More Than a “Summer Job”

If you have spent your summers doing manual labor, lifeguarding, babysitting, etc., that is all good work experience; however, if you can have a summer job that makes you money and also gives you industry-relevant experience, take it! Internships often pay better per hour than traditional teen summer employment opportunities making them not only beneficial financially, but allow students to build experience as well.

4. Network with Other People and Businesses

When I recently asked a student, “Why do an internship?” his immediate answer was interaction with other businesses and professionals. He found the networking opportunities one of the most valuable aspects of his summer internship. You may have heard the saying, “It’s not always what you know but who you know.” The reputation and relationships you form during an internship can be extremely valuable to you as you begin your career.

5. Apply What You Learn in School

As a student, it can be difficult at times to see how some of the course content in high school and college will be applied in the real world. Having the opportunity to do an internship will make past coursework make sense and give you the perspective to attach new coursework to as well.

6. Try A New Career Before You Have to Commit

An internship can be an excellent opportunity to “try before you buy.” For example, one student I worked with recently has decided to pursue a career in marketing. Now that she is confident in her major, she will complete an internship to learn more about different specializations in the marketing field. Trying this career will also help confirm that it is the right fit before years of time and money are invested in a college education. All things considered, the worst-case scenario, if you do an internship, is you don’t like it. You should feel good knowing you only spent three months (if it was a summer internship) rather than four years obtaining a degree to find out you don’t like the field.

7. Explore Opportunities for Permanent Employment

Finally, a great reason to do an internship is it can turn into full-time or permanent employment. One student I worked with was not only offered ongoing employment during his final year of college but a full-time position after graduation as well. Imagine knowing you have a full-time job after college one year before graduation!
While not every internship results in an employment offer, employers have admitted that they prefer to hire current or former interns over other applicants because interns know the company and the company know them. It is another case of “try before you buy”!

So, you want to do an internship!

If the seven reasons above have convinced you to complete an internship (and they should!), it is time to get started finding the opportunity for you! Here are a few free resources to help you get started with your internship search, resume writing, and interview preparation!

    • How to Find Paid Internships: In this article, you will learn about great resources for finding quality, paid internships.

    • What Makes a Good Internship?: Not all internship opportunities are created equal. It is important that you look for several key components so you get a quality experience rather than just filing papers, getting coffee, etc.

    • How to Get a Summer Internship: This article focuses on the steps you should take from January to May to get a great summer internship. If this is your first time looking for a summer internship, you won’t want to miss this article!

    • How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience: You will need a great resume before you begin looking for an internship. If you have limited work experience or no work experience, this article will help you write your resume.

    • Fix My Resume! Five Mistakes to Look: For If you already have a resume, read this article and check to make sure you have a clean and polished document. I share five of the most common mistakes I see students and young professionals make on their resumes.

    • Preparing for a Job Interview in Five Easy Steps: This article will walk you through how to prepare for a job interview. If you have never had a job or internship, you might feel nervous going into the interview. The best way to reduce those nerves is to prepare and practice!

    • Job interview Questions to Ask: This is one of my favorite articles! An interview is a two-way conversation. Just as an organization is trying to ensure you are a good fit for them, you need to make sure they are a good fit for you. By asking some of these questions in an interview, it will help you determine if an internship is a good fit for you.


Completing an internship is one of the best steps you can take to set yourself up for career success! I encourage you to complete several, if possible, to diversify your experiences and gain different perspectives!

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