SHELTON: Should every college student look into getting an internship?

Mykhalah Shelton

Internships are like taking a sneak peek to see what your future life will be like after graduation. As a college student, it is imperative to have at least one internship throughout college so you are prepared when the time comes to transition into a full time job. Internships are important because you gain exposure and real experience in the field.

Look at it this way, they could be useful in the sense of helping determine what you do not want to do with your life as well. Although everyone’s experience may be different, it is more than likely you will leave the program with gained professionalism and a bigger network. 

Before entering college, I knew why I needed an internship and had some companies I wanted to work for in mind. What always motivated me to apply for as many jobs as I could was the fact that the company is more inclined to hire you after graduation if you perform well. 

As a current senior, I have completed two internships. Both have taught me different lessons that I will be mindful of when entering the workforce. Based off movies and stereotypes, I was taught to believe that interns do the grunt work, go on coffee runs and become minions for the employees. My first time being an intern was the complete opposite.

Going into my junior year, I was a community affairs intern for AEG WorldWide in Los Angeles, Calif. I felt valued not only by my supervisors, but everyone in the office. I started the summer taking notes in meetings and ended it with a seat at the table. My opinion always mattered and it showed as I was given creative control over events for the BET Experience Weekend at L.A. Live.

This was an experience my classroom settings could not give me. Throughout my internship, I noticed how the principles of my core mass communication classes could be applied in real life. It was as if everything connected. It was confirmation that this was something I could see myself doing after graduation. 

The importance of gaining experience is underrated. Sometimes you may not even be considered for a job if you lack experience. Having a degree does not automatically make you a top qualifier in the eyes of hiring managers. What I also realized was building your resume could be the determining factor if a company selects you or not. 

You could be a top finalist in the selection process, but lose out because the other person had previous experience and you did not.

I was selected for my second internship based on my previous internship. This past summer, I was selected to participate in the Essence Pipeline internship. Interns were to work various positions throughout the Essence Festival in New Orleans. I was the perfect candidate as I had previously worked on the Arroyo Seco Music Festival and the BET Experience.

Everything came full circle. I saw the importance of gaining experience and more so marketing myself as the ideal employee. Internships get your foot in the door. Every college student should use their resources wisely in order to obtain one. It will only better your outcome.