Internships are the gateway to the real world

Zac Carlisle
Like many of the academic departments on MUW’s campus, the Department of Communication requires students to complete an internship. This allows the students to become more well-rounded. Also, internships can look good on a resume. But are internships important?
I’ve thought of this for some time now, and I only have one answer: yes! The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. 
One advantage is that it prepares a student for the career after school. The internship, wherever that may take place, helps the student experience the rewards and downfalls of working in the “real world.”
For my internship, I interned at my local newspaper, The Monroe County Journal, in Amory, Miss., during the summer of 2013.
I got to experience the excitement of seeing my name and article in the weekly newspaper. I came in each Tuesday to see if my article(s) had made the final cut. That was a “high” to me. I can still remember when one of my articles made it on the front page. It was a tremendous feeling.
I was lucky enough to be around a great group of people who showed me how to do my job correctly and with passion. 
There is a saying that sometimes comes into conversation when an internship is completed, “I learned more during my internship than I ever could have in the classroom.” This is a true statement in my case.
However, not all internships can be perfect. It takes a bit of luck and determination to make it count.
I decided a year after my first internship to complete another one. I was fortunate enough to land one in the athletic department at Mississippi State University. I had extreme interest in athletic media relations, so that’s where I would work.
My internship may not have been as perfect as my first, but I did learn some valuable lessons from my time there. I learned more about the career than I could have imagined. I know the hard work and determination it takes to have a career in athletic media relations. I also received great advice. 
I still have a great interest in athletic media relations, and I’m glad that I did that internship.
I like to think that my first internship was about learning the skills it takes to work in communication, while my second helped me prepare for my future, whether or not that be in athletic media relations. 
My advice to anyone, no matter the academic field, would be to gain as much experience as possible. It will be very beneficial in the long run.
Experience different areas of the career field. See what fits. 
I keep on bringing up the word “experience,” but that is, after all, what an internship is all about.