Internships are professional learning experiences that offer meaningful, practical work to a student’s field of study or career interest. An internship gives students the opportunity to gain knowledge, career development, and to grow useful skills for future jobs. Interns can bring new positive energy and insight to the workplace. From the balance careers website, quality internships usually include:
- Developing a clear defined job description
- Scheduling regular performance reviews
- Keeping your intern busy
- Making sure your organization is aware of and follow labor laws
- Provide opportunities for students to participate in social gatherings
- Show appreciation for the work your interns do
- Provide lots of opportunities for interns to ask questions
As an intern for AIF, I have been able to experience what a quality internship is like. Through my time at the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, my supervisors have included me in meetings inside and outside of the office giving me real work life experience, have given me a range of different responsibilities that have expanded my professional development horizon, and taught me new skills that will help in my future marketing and management career.
Some companies offer paid internships, while other companies stay with the traditional, unpaid internship experience. My internship is more of a traditional internship, but the experience and hands on knowledge I have received has been a great compensation. If you are looking for an internship, don’t let a small factor make your decisions, unless you need it, because you could be missing out on an amazing opportunity.
Not only does a quality internship benefit a student, but companies benefit from interns as well. Supervisors and managers can profit from having an intern around in numerous ways like:
- Ease the workload of employees
- Complete finite projects
- Meet short-term staffing needs
- Development of potential future employees
- Free advertising for the company (Brand Recognition)
A successful internship requires a good amount of work from both the intern and the manager, or supervisor. At the beginning of my internship, I was working 12 hours a week, accumulating over 100 hours, but now I work 8 because of some class conflicts. My supervisors were very understanding by putting in the effort to help work around that. If a company does not have the time or effort to provide proper internship experience, it is advised to not go through with it because it can lead to student’s not actually learning, student’s disliking the company, or student’s questioning their field of study and career interest. But when done properly, internships can be an exceptional experience that students will take with them for the rest of their lives, like I will, and have a forever professional relationship with the organization.
-Mary Moore, Abilene Christian University, 2021 Spring Intern for the AIF