How to get the most out of a student internship

Sumra Hayden


Attending college is essential in today’s society. However, many students also need to have experience in their fields of study for an entry-level position.

Internships allow students to get the experience they need in the careers they plan to pursue. Dr. Van Roberts, associate professor of Communication, advises students to plan in advance for prospective internships.

“Everything is about planning, planning and more planning,” said Roberts.

Towanda Williams, a career specialist at The W, says students should keep an open mind when applying.

“Be willing to start at the bottom,” said Williams. “You won’t be able to go in at a top level position.  A lot of companies have a process that they take you through in order for you to know what is required.”

Students should also remember the area and time of their internship.

“If you can make arrangements to do internships during your summer while you’re on your break, it makes it easier for you once class starts,” said Williams.

Williams advised students to begin searching sooner rather than later.

“In order to get the full advantage of the internship, you want to make sure you’re inquiring in time,” said Williams.

Williams shared that many companies hire in seasons, so students should speak with employers ahead of time if they wish to intern at their company.

Roberts explained the importance of seizing the opportunity to receive experience in one’s field prior to graduation.

“Unless you have been working actively in the field that you want to plunge into after graduation, the internship could be your only time to prove that you’ve got what it takes,” said Roberts.

However, experience is not the only benefit to an internship.

“Sometimes the best benefit is that if you did a really good job, that employer will turn that internship into a full-time job,” said Williams.

Williams encouraged students to get out there and not be afraid to ask questions.

“Get your foot into every door that you possibly can because you never know whether you’re going to be able to go into your major working,” said Williams.