1. You might find your future employer
An internship program is something common in large companies, but SMEs are having more and more interns as a way to increase their HR capacity and create some branding through such internships. Fall internships, summer internships, semester internships, or quarterly internships, doing any internship program means you have an ongoing pipeline of future employers and references.
2. Test-drive your knowledge and skills
Let’s be honest. Just because you are getting a degree in a specific subject, does not mean you are passionate about it. You might have a marketing degree and find out a couple of years later that is more than just thinking of TV commercials. Doing an internship gives you grounded experience of what your studies might look like in a work environment.
3. Find role-models
Yes, there are plenty of leaders and worldwide known role-models. But they are not the norm, rather the exception. Doing an internship can give you opportunity to meet different managers, with diverse leadership styles and that gives you experience on how to manage your boss. One of the biggest assets you can have when you get out of college is how you adapt yourself to your boss style and become an added value to his/her team.
4. Strengthen your CV
It’s natural and obvious that if you have more experience, you will have a better CV. Yet, most students and graduates don’t have work experience when they leave college. They limit themselves to having great grades, do the school program and then go to the market. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with that. The different will come when you have to perform and demonstrate that you understand the business in a fast way, know how to work on a team and assume responsibilities. Having an internship experience might give you a story to tell beyond having spent your university life studying.
5. If you do well, you have a network
Sometimes the different between getting your dream job and not getting it is that one reference, one call that you missed to have in comparison to someone else. An internship gives you the opportunity to increase your network, expand your professional branding, and having probably one or two personal ambassadors that would be glad to help you when you need them.