A Post-grad Internship is More Valuable than You Think
You’ve just graduated college. Diploma in hand, you score an interview with the company of your dreams. You nail the interview, feeling even more confident that it’s the perfect opportunity for you.
Then a few days later, the hiring manager calls, and you wait patiently for her to offer you the job. But instead, she offers you an internship. An internship? You didn’t just spend all of that time and money on a college education for an internship. You want a full-time job, right?
But things just don’t always work that way. And though post-grad internships often get a bad rap, they can actually be incredibly beneficial. Here are a few ways a post-grad internship can help you in your career.
Reason 1: Bulk Up Your Resume
One of the most frustrating and challenging problems that new graduates face is gaining the relevant work experience they need in order to get the job they want. However, you need a job to get that experience. So at this point, you are kind of in a pickle.
The great thing about internships is that they directly address this problem and can help you build up several sections of your resume, including:
- Work experience
- Professional skills
- Portfolio samples
All of these are necessary for creating the perfect resume that will give you the competitive edge you need to land the job of your dreams. And internships are a fantastic way to build up all of these crucial areas and polish them immensely.
Moreover, internships allow graduates to try out new positions in different areas of a company and get the opportunity to work with different groups on different projects. If you have your sights set on a particular area within a company, this is a fantastic opportunity for you to take some initiative and ask to help out with a project on that specific team.
Finally, internships give you the chance to bolster up some crucial professional skills that hiring managers are always on the lookout for. Tip: these skills aren’t necessarily covered in the classroom. So for many, an internship is the first chance to practice them.
Some of these skills include:
- Self-Reliance: you demonstrate that you can work independently and that you are organized in the workplace
- Team: although the ability to work independently is important, you also need to be able to work well with others in collaborative environments
- Proactiveness: you show that you have the drive to get the job done, no matter what it takes
- Adaptability: demonstrate that you’re willing to constantly keep learning and be able to manage change effectively
Internships offer new graduates a perfect environment to learn, as well as showcase, these skills.
Reason 2: Get Ahead of the Competition
Securing an internship after graduation is a great way to get ahead of the competition. As I’m sure you are aware, you are not the only one who is going to be applying for most jobs. There will likely be a pool of applicants with varying degrees of experience and skills that will be competing against you.
However, an internship can make you stand out above the rest and give you the boost you need to secure your ideal job. It can be particularly valuable if you have your eyes on a specific company or job.
Even more, getting an internship can help pave the way for you to earn a full-time position at a company. As a matter of fact, returning and non-returning interns usually receive first pick at positions within companies they intern for.
Think about it. Hiring managers have a pool of applicants. Most likely, a lot of these applicants are like you: recent college grads, only some work experience, newly developed skills, etc. However, you stand out amongst the rest because the hiring manager knows your name, and the company knows your abilities. Chances are you’ll be picked over someone they don’t know.
Reason 3: Build Your Network
One of the best benefits of getting an internship after graduation is the opportunity to build up your network. The individuals that you meet as an intern can often become the most influential and helpful people in your professional career. These people can act as mentors, professional references, or connections to new job opportunities.
Vying for a full-time position in the company you’re interning for? Make a strong connection with your internship supervisor, who may be able to pull some strings at the end of your internship and help you move up the ranks to a full-time position.
And you aren’t just limited to making connections with only people on your team. Meeting with different clients, customers, or people working in different job functions or teams can also make valuable professional connections.
There are many people that you can interact with during an internship. Building relationships with each of them can help you build your professional network which can open up doors for you in your ideal career.
Though a post-grad internship may not necessarily have the same ring as a full-time job, don’t fret! Post-grad internships are an extremely valuable way to bulk up your resume, get ahead of the competition, and extend your professional network. And just maybe, you can leverage your internship for a full-time paid position.