Opinion: The Perks of Being an Intern

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Jaime Baldwin

Although internships are not required for communication majors, I strongly recommend students take the initiative and serve as an intern. An internship can be a great addition to your resume and portfolio. I gained experience at the Providence Hospital Foundation this summer that I never would have gotten in a class. Internships are about making connections and getting a taste of the “real world.”

I debated for a while whether or not I wanted to do an internship. From what I had seen in movies and television shows, interns run around filling coffee orders and making copies. I was not really sure how that was going to help me career-wise, but I soon discovered that not all internships are created equal. After speaking to advisors and elder communication majors, I learned that the key was finding the right place.

Many businesses are looking for interns who actually want to learn and do things. I was blessed to find an organization with a great cause, friendly staff, and plenty of work for me that was relevant to my degree. My advice for those interested in interning would be to look into vaious options before deciding on a place. When you go to be interviewed, make sure you interview them too. See what the organization’s mission is all about, what the people are like, and what type of work they have for you to do.

Several of the projects they had me work on were tasks I had done on a smaller scale for classes, such as website designing. There were even some programs that I had only heard about in class that I actually got to use during my internship. Now I can say on my resume that I know how to use donor programs like Constant Contact. I can show future employers the before and after of the website I worked on for a real organization.

Most internships are unpaid and it can be a little sad to think that you’re doing all this work for free. I believe that you have to look at it from the perspective that you’re getting paid in experience and relationships. You never know if the place you intern at could offer you a job, or be the recommendation you need to get a job somewhere else.

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