It seems like most people in my position, those who are just a few short months from graduating from college, are looking for a real, full-time job. However, if their experience is anything like mine, they find themselves feeling unprepared and under-qualified. I plan on getting into some type of development. Ideally, I would like to work for University Information Technology Services at IUPUI. Like most employers in this area, however, they require a year or two of experience. This leaves me with a Catch 22 to contend with.
Internships offer a great opportunity for students or recent graduates to get real-world experience. I apologize if that sounded like a line from a brochure, but it’s true. Earlier this year, I did a four-month internship at Mobi and I learned a crazy amount of stuff in that time. Many of these internships are paid internships and they may or may not provide enough income to live on your own. In this sense, an internship can provide the best of both worlds from a regular job and school. You are essentially being paid to learn and gain real-world experience beyond what any class can ever provide. Internships are a pretty good deal for students.
The advantage is not entirely the intern’s. The company providing the internship can have someone to perform tasks that do not require a high level of expertise, allowing them to delegate more experience employees to more challenging tasks. At the end of the internship, they will also have a person on their hands who will probably be in the workforce for the next forty years and will be well-trained in recent technologies and will be familiar with the company’s policies and customs. Internships are a pretty good deal for employers.
I am looking around for a second internship before I move into the regular workforce to build up my skills a little more. If you are about the graduate, start looking for internships in your career area. You will not regret it.