Sometimes life teaches us more significant lessons than the classroom could ever facilitate. Internships are an excellent opportunity for students to develop career and life skills outside the classroom. Paulette Chaffee, educator and attorney breaks down how students raise their chances of achieving success in their future careers and beyond by participating in an internship opportunity.

Internships Provide Real-World Experience

Students participating in internship programs are exposed to real-world professional experiences. Participating in an internship is a perfect avenue for students to take advantage of when exploring and discovering the career options that interest them most. Internships go beyond tests and grades and can aid students in ensuring they are selecting the profession that is the best fit for them. In addition, internships are also a platform to practice applying what was learned in the classroom to a professional setting.

Internships Help Grow Professional Networks

What better way to grow a professional network than to work in the industry as an intern? Internships allow students to foster professional relationships in a work environment and increase connections. Professional networks benefit students in numerous ways, from supplying robust recommendation letters to leading to job opportunities. Networks can also assist in career discovery.

Mature old female mentor or manager training young intern explaining sharing professional skills in office. Middle aged senior business woman teacher speaking to student teaching trainee at meeting.

Internships Open Doors to Mentorship

As a young professional, one of the most significant relationships to find and establish is a mentor. Mentorship can provide valuable industry knowledge to a student that otherwise can be learned from years of experience. Meeting a mentor often occurs naturally, as a certain level of human connection is required for a proactive match. Internships are great for temporary learning experiences with mentors, too.

Internships Boost Resumes

When adding an internship to a resume, students should list their experience, highlighting what duties and projects were fulfilled and executed. Doing so gives hiring managers insight into a potential candidate’s knowledge and understanding surrounding professional exposure and learning.

Internships Build Confidence

An internship can foster a student’s confidence to enter the workforce. Students who have never participated in an internship might experience more anxiety or nervousness at their first job compared to students who already have professional experience. Internships offer students a safe platform to gain experience in the field and implement what they have learned in the classroom into their roles.

Internships Foster Self-Awareness and Personal Growth

When working under established professionals, students can observe experts in action while gaining insight and constructive criticism from those experts. This type of feedback is excellent for students to take advantage of when building self-awareness and developing and refining skills. Learning from supervisors also helps students gain awareness of what strengths they should continue to foster and what areas they can strengthen.

Internships Often Lead to Job Opportunities

One of the most significant benefits of internships is a path to a job opening. Many internships are structured to lead to new hires, while others result in professional referrals to increase hiring chances with other organizations as well.

About Paulette Chaffee

Paulette Chaffee is a teacher, speech therapist, and attorney deeply involved in the Fullerton community. As an educator and member of various non-profit boards, her focus has always been on providing children with the highest quality education. Ms. Chaffee holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Redlands, a California Lifetime Teaching Credential, and is admitted to the California Bar.

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