Experiences Outside the Classroom: Internships!

Hi Everybody!  Hope you’re having a great week so far.  I don’t know about you, but I’m having a hard time believing it’s Thursday already!  At this rate, my Senior year is going to be over before I know it…

For the upcoming month, I will be doing a mini-series of blogs related to experiences outside the classroom.  Today’s  post is about internships and why I feel they are important for students.  As a business major, I am required to have an internship before I graduate.  In my experience, internships are a great way to apply what I am learning in the classroom to a real-world work environment.  I think it would benefit students in all areas of study to intern, whether or not it is required.  Of course, I recognize that every major is different and time consuming in its own way.  For this reason, interning may not be feasible for every student.

The cool thing about internships is that there are a lot of options.  Some internships count as class credit, as long as a certain number of hours are met.  Some internships are paid.  Then there are some internships that count as credit and are paid!  That’s a pretty good deal 🙂  Take the initiative to look into what opportunities are out there.  My internship this past summer with the Legal Services Corporation was through the school; I initially heard about it via my student e-mail.  My internship this semester I learned about by asking an adjunct faculty member if his company ever takes on interns.  It was definitely worth my time getting to class early that night to talk with the professor!

For students that are considering having an internship during school, my advice is to start looking at options now.  Take some time to think about what you’d like to get from an internship and decide which companies could best provide you with that experience.  Keep in mind that certain jobs and tasks may be required of you that are not necessarily fun or exciting.  You may even leave an internship and decide that you don’t want to work for that company or in that field in general.  I feel strongly that in addition to knowing what you want to do in life, it is also important to know what you don’t want to do.

Already this semester, my internship with NYSID, Preferred Source Solutions has given me a lot of great experiences, both in and out of the office.  Last week, I participated in my first Business Development Team meeting; I gave updates on my projects and answered questions for the team.  After the meeting, I went with my supervisor, Brian, to promote NYSID at the UAlbany Career Fair.  Below is a picture of us by the table.  We met the “SmileMonster” at the fair and the company took our picture for its website.

Photo courtesy of smilemonster.com

As always, thanks for reading.  Have a great rest of the week!

What do you think?