The Value of an Internship

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Why should you consider hiring an intern? Interns can be beneficial to the employer because it is an extra set of hands for the summer, which can be an extremely busy time for a lot of businesses. Maybe you have been looking for an employee to fill in for someone while they are gone, but do not want to hire a full-time employee? An intern is a great way to fill any open positions that need filled for a short period of time – it not only helps you, but it is also giving them the chance to gain some real working experience. Interns are great to have around because they can also add a lot of spark to your business – they have young, fresh minds and that might just be what you have been looking for!

Why are internships important for college students? Internships are great for college students to get a glimpse into what their future might look like and it provides them with the experience that they need for future employment opportunities. Having an internship during your time as a college student can help you decide if it’s the right career path for you, all while gaining work experience for your resume. Internships can also open doors for you – you meet a lot of people during your time spent at your internship and can provide opportunities for networking with other employers and businesses. The company who hired you on as an intern might even ask you to come back after you graduate if they think you are a good fit!

Whether you are a student thinking about finding an internship, or an employer who is debating hiring an intern for the summer, I think it is important that you know why internships are valuable experiences. As a current intern at Chatfield College, I have learned so much in the four months that I have been here, and I think sharing my experience could be helpful for those who are considering internships.

I have always had some sort of job while in high school and in college. It has always been a priority for me to uphold a job while I am in school so I can start saving money for my college loans. I have always worked part-time throughout the school year and sometimes as a full-time employee during the summer. Although this was good experience for me and could be added to my resume, I wanted to gain more experience in my chosen field. Working as a sales associate was not going to help my graphic design career as much as I had hoped. I decided to look for internships during my junior year of college in hopes to gain more graphic design and marketing experience.

I began an internship at Chatfield College where I essentially took over for a well-experienced employee who had been working there for years. I was hired on to take her place while she was on maternity leave to cover the marketing and digital operations for the school. Chatfield hired me on as a Marketing and Social Media Intern, where I took on the challenge of handling the entire marketing department. I had enough experience in marketing and social media that I was able to meet the needs that they were looking for as their new intern for the summer. After three weeks of training, I was on my own.

I was able to navigate my way through the job fairly well with the help of a few coworkers. Everyone I worked with was super nice and helpful in my first few weeks alone on the job. They all knew I needed a little extra help and were able to push me in the right direction whenever I needed something. After a few weeks on my own, I had already learned so much. I now knew how to write press releases, keep up with weekly social media posts, update the website, and so much more. I was also able to have a lot of freedom when designing flyers and other marketing materials for the college – this was a great way for me to gain graphic design experience because I designed so many different things.

During my time at Chatfield, I have gained so much experience in a lot of different fields like marketing, graphic design, public relations, communications, and digital operations.  I was so worried when I first started because I did not think a college student would be able to keep up with a full-time job that required a lot of experience. It ended up being a great opportunity for me in so many different ways. I was able to gain work experience which will be great to add to my resume and I was able to learn a lot of different skills. I have also been able to connect with other companies and businesses along the way, which will serve as a great way to network in the future.

I think that Chatfield has also benefitted from hiring an intern. I was able to fill a position for a few months while an important employee was at home with her new baby and take care of the marketing department. I met the needs of my employer and provided fresh, new designs and marketing materials. My employer had an immediate need to fill this position for the summer and provide a smooth and effortless transition between the Marketing Director and me. Now, when the Marketing Director returns from maternity leave, it will be like she never left – all of the daily and weekly tasks have been taken care of and are up-to-date. Without an intern, these tasks could have been easily overlooked. Chatfield was able to provide me with great experience and I feel very confident in my ability to find a job after I graduate from college after this internship. In the long run, this internship was able to help not only me, but my employer as well.

Although my internship was not the average experience of an intern, I still think internships are very important. Not every internship requires taking on so many responsibilities and tasks, but they still give you a lot of work experience. Even if the internship is to shadow someone, it is still providing an opportunity to learn about the business or field of work that you are pursuing. My experience helped me decide that my career path is on the right track and that I do want to continue a career in graphic design and marketing. This internship provided me with an opportunity to test it out before making a commitment to my future career, which can be difficult as a college student to decide what to do with the rest of your life!

Internships provide great opportunities for both college students and employers because it helps both of them out in different ways. For the employer, it is a way to fill an immediate position or lend an extra set of hands without the hassle of finding an employee who is only needed for a short period of time. It can also be a way to introduce fresh ideas to the company and get a new perspective in your marketing efforts. For a student, it provides great opportunities to learn and succeed in a real work environment, all while helping them see if this is the right career path for them. Internships are a great way to lend an extra hand and learn so much along the way!

-Taylor Wilson, Social Media and Marketing Intern for Chatfield College