Internships are common parts of many students’ academic careers. They provide hands-on experiences within a student’s field of study, allowing them to better understand what responsibilities their future may entail.
Communication major senior Anna Kelly enrolled in her first internship in the summer of 2016.
“I worked for the health insurance company Lifetime Care,” Kelly said. “I worked in their public relations department and was able to apply my communication teachings to the work I was doing. It was a very rewarding experience that I feel will help in my future career.”
There are a wide variety of tools—found both within and outside Geneseo—available to find such internships. Resources such as these all serve to streamline a potentially complicated process.
“I used several different search tools while looking for my first internship,” Kelly said. “I used KnightJobs through the school as well as Internships.com, Indeed.com and Monster.com to look for internships. I could enter my city of choice and the field I wanted to work in, so it was an incredibly helpful process and its simplicity made it easy to find an internship suited to my goals.”
While students can find internships outside of Geneseo to explore their fields, they can also enroll in internships on campus alongside their normal coursework. Kelly found such an opportunity in the fall 2016 semester.
“Last semester, I was an event programming intern for the Department of Student Life,” Kelly said. “In addition to that, I have had dual internships as a Career Mentor and Marketing Specialist for the Department of Career Development throughout my senior year.”
In Kelly’s eyes, each internship builds upon the lessons of the previous one.
“At your first internship, you learn the broad strokes of the professional setting,” Kelly said. “You learn how to present yourself and work with others, and the next internship builds on that, teaching you the more nuanced parts of the job—and having that experience in your pocket helps build you up for your first job post-college.”
Some people feel that internships are a requirement for students nowadays, as they provide on-the-job experience to students before they find themselves in the professional setting post-graduation. But not all students’ degrees are fit for an internship, as Kelly sees it.
“I feel like an internship’s necessity is determined by the student applying for it,” Kelly said. “Sometimes an internship is not a necessity for a degree; more like, it will simply add experience toward a future career that a student may want to pursue. I have met students who were successful both with and without internship experience. It’s mostly what you make of it.”
As students, we reap what we sow, and working hard at an internship can provide valuable experience and preparation for future opportunities and impending professions.