Internships can be key for post-college career

February 15, 2011
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internshipI was one of the very, very lucky few of my college class over the summer, because not only did I land an internship in my chosen field two summers in a row, but I was getting paid a whopping $5.25 an hour.

All joking aside, my internships gave me two things that were essential for my post-college career: Experience and contacts. I was actually doing the work — although a small bit at a time and with lots of supervision — that I wanted to do after college. And when I graduated, a job opened up at the place of my internship, and I was the first person they called. I accepted and worked there for nearly five years.

Work experience and contacts in the field are also two things mentioned by Kristen McGuire, executive director of the Baltimore Collegetown Network, in a Q and A session in last week’s Baltimore Sun website. Some of the other things she mentions:

– In a recovering economy, it’s not unusual to see more businesses offering internships, because they see it as a way to get short-term projects done without spending a lot of money.

– College students should begin looking NOW. Companies should be posting their summer internships NOW.

– Internships that actually give students a chance to do work in their field, as opposed to filing paperwork or going on coffee runs, are much more valuable.

What do you think? Did you have a college internship, and did it help advance your career? Does your company offer them now? Would you consider it for the future?

Check out the Baltimore-area internship website here.

This post is brought to you by Dale Carnegie Training of Maryland and the DC Metro Area. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

Image courtesy of kcolwell via Flickr
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