As a college senior, I knew I wanted to start my career in the insurance industry. You typically don’t hear that from a majority of insurance professionals. Usually individuals “fall” into the industry and NEVER thought they would end up here. The insurance industry doesn’t have the most appealing reputation, so you probably are wondering what triggered my interest? It was the excellent internship experiences! Both of my internships were here at Central!
As students venture back to college to start their spring semester or quarter, they should consider searching for an internship for the summer. In today’s competitive work environment, internships can help you jump-start your career and become more competitive when searching for a full-time job. Here are some of the benefits of completing an internship.
Explore an industry. Not sure what you want to do post-graduation? You can always read about a career or talk to someone, but there is no better way to find out if you would like to work in a specific industry than the experience of actually doing a job and seeing what it is like from the inside. Can you see yourself doing this as a full-time job? Do you find the work exciting or interesting?
Gain work experience. As an intern, you are able to find out what your college studies look like in a corporate environment. It can also help you relate your coursework to the real world and add more value to your studies. Then, when you begin to interview for post-graduation jobs, you are able to use internship examples in addition to your coursework and extracurricular activities. This can definitely give you a competitive edge since many employers prefer candidates with experience.
Increase your network. The people you meet as an intern can introduce you to others in the field and notify you of opportunities. Connect with these individuals on your LinkedIn account so you can keep in touch with them.
Build references. The employer knows your quality of work, skills, and work ethic. They can serve as a valuable reference for you in the future when it comes time for you to look for a job. It might even turn into a full-time job!
Acquire new skills and knowledge. Internships give you the opportunity to see what skills and knowledge are desired in the workplace and allow you to determine your strengths and weaknesses. Then you can work on developing these skills prior to graduation. Internship experience can help you develop your communication, teamwork, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills – skills that employers are looking for in job candidates.
Even if your school doesn’t offer college credit for completion of an internship, the experience is irreplaceable. I encourage you to get a head start on looking for an internship in your field!
Have you already completed an internship? If so, please tell us about your experience below.