College is great: pizza is $1 per slice, sweatpants are acceptable everyday attire and the majority of people in the town are between the ages of 18 and 24. This social aspect of the undergraduate experience is commonly portrayed in popular culture. However, most (if not all) students attend a university with the ultimate goal of obtaining a job.
One of the easiest way to gain work experience and show employers that you are serious about a specific field is to become an intern. Internships can lead to professional connections, applicable skills and, potentially, a future job.
For some majors, such as journalism, internships are required for students to graduate. Journalism senior Carina Belles interned with NBC/iVillage last summer.
“It was really great because it helps you figure out your strength and if you can see yourself being successful in that industry,” Belles said. “You also meet a lot of really great people who will help you further down the road. I think that goes for just about every job imaginable.”
Other students have a practicum class that is required. Practicums involve more observation than actual responsibility for tasks. These can give students real-world experience, while not being as intensive or time-consuming as internships.
Ashley Carpenter, a senior majoring in exercise physiology, is waiting until winter break to complete her practicum.
“We are allowed to take our practicum at any time, but I waited until my senior year so I could actually do something I was interested in. There’s a lot of options in my major and I didn’t want to waste my time on something I wouldn’t actually end up doing in my career,” Carpenter said.
Although some students change their majors multiple times throughout their college career, this should not deter them from seeking out internships.
Lena DePuccio, an administrator for Mercy Health, hires new employees. She stressed that internship experience can be beneficial, even if it is not in the same field every time.
“I’m a firm believer in the fact that you need to get your feet wet. I’d rather have someone have multiple internships and realize what they do not want to do with their lives. It’s better to have a person that is aware of what they want out of a job,” DePuccio said.
Ohio University even has a department focused on connecting students with these type of opportunities. For more information on how to snag an internship, visit the Career and Leadership Development Center in Baker 533.
If you are interested in the best opportunities in the county, here is a link to the top twenty internships in America, according to Yahoo Finance.