The long lasting benefits of obtaining a college internship

While you are going through your college career, there are certain opportunities that you may never come across again in life. This time here allows you the chance to sit in a room and share ideas without the fear of judgement, to stay up all hours of the night figuring out it takes more than 45 minutes to write a term paper, and the chance to work at amazing company in your field, before you even graduate.

Internships are a great way for students to enter and explore a possible career path without having to give a lifelong commitment to a job. Most internships last a semester, so if it turn out the work is not for you, it won’t be forever.

Some students are fortunate enough to come to college knowing exactly what they want to study, and exactly what they want to be “when they grow up”. Other folks take a bit more time to gather their thoughts and figure out how they want to apply their time and studies.

Either way, getting a taste of experience may be the perfect little nudge a person needs  to either go forward with their plan, find their plan, or come up with a new plan all together.

I was fortunate enough to obtain an internship position this past summer right down the road at Pepperjam. Pepperjam is an affiliate marketing company that has humble roots starting with a Wilkes-Barre native, Kristopher Jones.

Since those early days, Pepperjam has grown into a big contender in the affiliate marketing space and has a long history of hiring Wilkes University students for internships in the summer, fall and spring.

After completing my summer internship, I was offered to stay on for the fall semester, and jumped right on the opportunity. This is the dream for every student engaged in an internship, the offer for a longer interview. Just like that my plans had changed for the upcoming months but thanks to the training Pepperjam gave me, I was ready to handle the unexpected.

That brings up another great benefit that someone will learn in an internship, the ability to be flexible. On the job training never goes as planned. It is often left to the intern to figure out a percentage of their job on their own. This is a radical idea for someone coming from an academic background where they have been told exactly what to do with every minute of their day.

That’s another great benefit of obtaining an internship is that they allow students, maybe some who have never had a job, to get experience structure and deadlines past an academic setting.       

Let’s face it, college is as close to the real world as high school is to college. Some people are going to be in for a world full of hurt when they realize that situations get progressively more complicated and difficult the further away you get from your college time, and internship helps detail that.

The experiences and knowledge I have gained through this internship are going to be a huge advantage for me when I enter the workforce. Job offerings often ask for experience upon applying, and this is one of the ways to get said experience. Internships look great on a resume and the more you have the better you look.

Furthermore internships give you even more names to list as references, and if you have done a good job, intern mentors will be happy to talk you up to possible future employers.

These have just been my opinions though, and the reality of the matter is, I am no expert. I have only ever had this one internship, so I thought it was the responsible thing to do for our readers to get some expert advice on internships at Wilkes University.

Sharon Castano is the Director of Internships at Wilkes. Her office is located on the second floor of the Henry Student Center. Castano would love to talk to anyone interested in internships and suggests you either stop by her office directly or you can send an email at [email protected].

Along with providing a definitive list of benefits for our readers, Sharon has also left us with some golden advice for each and every student, and a quote that puts everything into perspective;

“I tell this to all of my students, as they decide who they want to be when they graduate from Wilkes University. I ask them to please get involved in extracurriculars and consider an internship even if it’s not necessary for their major; do not graduate and wonder…”what happened?”

“There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.”

– Mary Kay Ash.