You may be asking yourself, “Why do a need an internship, and why in the U.S.?” Whether required by your university or not, an internship, especially in a foreign country, provides you with the real-life experience needed to succeed in today’s job market.
While educational experience is definitely the largest factor, most employers are looking for “real-world” qualities and skills that can help them in their business. If you were hiring someone for your business, would you choose the applicant with the degree or the applicant with the degree and an internship?
This may seem like a no-brainer, but real-life skills and knowledge really do go a long way in opening up your career prospects. Not only that, but an internship will allow you to find out if the field is really what you’re interested in. What if you studied Accounting and got a job in the industry right out of university only to find out that you hate it? An internship will provide the opportunity to learn the basics of the industry and find out what it’s really like before committing yourself. Trust us, this will save you time, money, and energy later on.
Speaking of experience, if you’re not a native English speaker an internship provides a great opportunity to not only improve your basic English skills but also to improve your vocabulary and fluency in words and phrases specific to your field while gaining an international perspective on the industry.
Add credibility to your resume and make it stand out. Having more information and experience to put on paper gives you a substantial leg up when applying for future jobs. Many companies use computer programs that scan resumes and CVs for keywords and phrases to search for a qualified candidate.
Your internship experience and the description of your tasks and duties will bring your job application to the top of the pile. Not only that, but you’ll finish university with your degree and relevant work experience; how many college graduates can say that?
While experience is without a doubt important, having the right contacts and connections in the industry can be a major advantage. Knowing the right people, people you’ll meet during your internship is vital to find out how to succeed in your field and what it really takes to get there.
During your internship you’ll not only work with your supervisor, you’ll work with numerous people with unique insights and knowledge who may be able to serve as a personal mentor long after your internship is finished.
Many universities abroad and in the United States require, or strongly prefer, an internship in order to graduate with a degree. Even if yours doesn’t, your internship can provide you with practical applications that your university may allow as credit toward your degree. Sure, the theory is great but hands-on experience gives you insight that other students in your class won’t have. Besides, putting your education into practice in a real-life setting beats sitting in class.
The benefits of an internship are substantial.
With more and more qualified applicants applying for jobs every day, not only will future employers look at your job application more favorably, you will gain invaluable experience, provide substance to your resume/CV, connect with the right people, and most likely receive college credit.
Don’t you think you should start looking?