Today, internships and other experiential education opportunities have become an integral part of a career path. And many companies are offering opportunities for individuals that have recently graduated. These opportunities allow you to:
- Gain real work experience
- Develop your professional image and build confidence
- Learn new skills
- Create a network of connections
- Build your resume
- Explore new opportunities
- Land a full-time job
- Gain school credit
- Make extra money
- Learn more about an industry
- Be competitive in today’s marketplace.
There are different ways to gain experience so do your research. If you are a student, utilize your school career center for more information as some schools have specific requirements.
- Cooperative education: Instead of a one-time assignment with a company, a co-op provides multiple periods of work. These assignments usually alternate between school, study and work and are typically related to a specific major or career.
- Public sector: Typically this term refers to companies that are for profit and can range from small to large businesses.
- Non-profit sector: Working in a non-profit sector usually allows you to dedicate your time to helping others or a cause.
- Start-ups: Being part of a start-up organization can be very exhilarating. However, understand that they are usually working on a tighter budget, so expect to wear many hats during your internship.
- Virtual internships: These internships allow you to work from your dorm or house using a computer.
- Paid or unpaid: Some companies pay, while others don’t. There are new laws concerning unpaid internships, so you will need to do your research. The issue of pay is determined by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Credit or not for credit: Talk with your career services center about the process to receive credit for your internship. Each school and employer may have its own guidelines.
- Leadership Development Programs: These programs will provide rotational opportunities within a company offering a wide range of experiences.
Susan Caplan is the go-to MARKETING YOURSELF expert. She is an inspiring keynote speaker, consultant, teacher and author of the Marketing Yourself to the Real World™ book series.
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