The Real Reasons Why Your Internship is Beneficial to You!

How to Use Your Internship As Your Stepping Stone

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As the summer internship season reaches its peak, I think its a great time to evaluate the real reasons why internships are important and how it will benefit you! Of course an internship looks great on resumes but would you believe me if I said that that isn’t all they are good for? Well believe it! There’s so much to gain from having an internship. You open yourself to endless opportunities, new relationships, and eye-opening experiences. Throughout your internship, you should have key take-aways that you hope to gain from your experience. These take-aways will translate into the real reasons your internship will be abgame-changer for you. They will help you get the most out of your internship and give you a stepping stone into your new career. So what are these take-aways you ask?

1. Network. This is your opportunity to take advantage of all the wonderful people you have met at your new internship. Networking is super important when it comes to getting your foot in the door these days. Sometimes the thought of networking can be harrowing but it doesn’t have to be. Your conversations with your new colleagues should be organic and genuine. Just let conversation flow and allow yourself to become a little closer to those you work with. They probably have some great advice to share with you or they may know somebody else that has some great advice for you. The beauty of networking is that you never know who or what somebody else knows. Your newly formed relationships with your coworkers could lead to a new mentor or an even greater opportunity that you never saw coming.

2. Likes and Dislikes. When you accept an internship, it’s like walking into a situation blind. You don’t know what to expect. You don’t know what you’ll like and what you’ll dislike and that’s kind of the beauty of it. It allows you the opportunity to take a baby step into your field. Majority of college students have an idea of what field they want to work in but have no idea if they’ll actually like it and that’s okay. That’s why internships are so great because it gives you the chance to figure out what you may like or dislike about your field. With that knowledge, you can then make the educated decision on where exactly in your field you’d like to someday be.

3. Time Management. This is probably one of the most important take-aways from an internship, at least in my opinion. Time management is so tough and I don’t think many college students realize it until it’s finals week and they have to study, go to work but first, finish whatever projects they’re working on at their internship. Time management/organization can help or hinder your success at your internship. Waiting until the last minute to do everything will not work. I repeat, it will not work. It’s going to be hard and of course it’s going to take some time to get your ducks in a row but I promise you can do it! You’re not going to be perfect and nobody expects you to be. However, practice makes perfect and if you practice perfect you’ll be close to perfect. You follow?

4. Balance. This one is similar to time management but not exactly. Balance has more to do with balancing your personal life and your work life as opposed to managing your projects like I mentioned previously. Sometimes it’s going to feel like you have no personal life and all you do is work, work, work, but once you get the hang of your new responsibilities, you’ll learn how to make time for fun. The most important part at this time is trying to catch your balance at your new internship, so focus on excelling there. After all, this is essentially what you will be doing for the next few years assuming that your internship relates to what your career one day will be, so make sure to get the hang of your duties there first. Your social life will always be there and your friends will understand and will be ready to have a girls night when you’re available.

5. Experience. Lastly, what we all look forward to gaining at an internship, experience. Your first couple of days may have involved you making photo copies and stamping envelopes but I bet things changed a couple of weeks in. Now, you’re probably actually learning new techniques and skills that you hoped you would learn upon starting your internship. Of course, these are experiences you can now include on your resume but most importantly, these are experiences you can take with you anywhere. That’s such an awesome thing to say because that is what separates you from someone else. The beauty of going through new experiences along your journey is not only because it looks good on your resume but because those experiences evolve into skills. Skills that you will improve on and have forever. Who knows, those skills may take you across the country or maybe even across the world! Embrace them, because they are yours to keep and will shape you into the person you want to become in the career that you dream to have.

This list could go on forever because there’s so much to take away from an internship. What’s important is, going in with a plan and a goal. Knowing what you want to take away from this experience is key. It will allow for your internship to be a stepping stone to your career. My biggest advice? Make a checklist of what you hope to take away from your internship. Some cool apps to make a daily list or long-term list are Wunderlist and Stripes! Good luck ladies.

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About the Author

Stacey Leatham is a New York native ready to take the Public Relations field by storm. A graduate of Benjamin N. Cardozo high school, Stacey always believed she would work in the medical field, until she attended LaGuardia Community College in 2009. After taking multiple science and mathematics courses, the Queens native felt she wasn’t able to showcase her vibrant and outgoing personality as much as she’d like. Shortly after, she decided to take a few communications courses and discovered that her passion involved writing and public speaking. The Nursing major would soon become a Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations. Now a Senior majoring in Corporate Communication at Baruch College, Stacey plans to use her experiences as a Communications and Marketing Assistant at LaGuardia Community College and a contributing student writer for PINC International to elevate her to the next level in her career. Her dream job? To work in the music industry as an artist or label Public Relations Specialist or as a Talent Manager.

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