What Next? Why Undergrads Need Internships
This blog post comes from INK graphic design and social media intern, Ryan Riggins.
I am a twenty-something, recent college graduate, who traded his small college community to start a career in the rapidly growing tech town of Austin, Texas. In a somewhat questionable economy, entry-level jobs in my field were few and far between. I had a variety of experiences in college that helped prepare me for a career, but none were as valuable as my current position at INK, so I have come to the following conclusion: an internship is likely the most valuable learning experience you could have in your college education.
Now, to the ambitious undergrad wanting to figure out what’s next after graduation:
You are likely swamped with academic and extracurricular activities, questioning how you could possibly fit one more requirement into your already jam-packed schedule, but here’s why you need to go find an internship before you graduate.
- Searching and applying for internships is great practice for the job-hunting you’ll be doing after graduation.
- Now is the time to go after that company you dream of working for. While you might not be ready for a career there, an intern could be just the experience you need.
- An internship can be like dating. Spend some quality time with a few companies to learn what aspects of employers you like and don’t like. If you’re lucky and find a company, you might land a full-time gig.
- An internship is an opportunity to sharpen skills you already have while learning skills you never knew you needed.
- An internship will give you hands on experience that will never be fully replicated in a classroom or textbook.
Whether or not your university encourages you to pursue an internship – you should. Ultimately, an internship can provide you with valuable insight into solving that pesky, never-ending question: “what am I going to do next?”