Internships and other work experiences are vital to one's successful transition into the world of work and graduate school. The number one factor employers look for in prospective candidates is relevant work experience, including internship experiences*. And, more and more graduate and professional degree programs seek applicants who also have experience in their field of interest. Grounding your academic endeavors with relevant, hands-on experience is crucial to successfully navigating your way to the next step in your life after Smith.
Internships can help you in many ways:
- Learn first-hand about a career field. It's a perfect way to try something on to see if it's a good fit for you.
- Gain solid experience and professional skills that can be used in the professional arena, and can make you more marketable when searching for jobs and applying to programs.
- Gain confidence in yourself and the background you bring to the internship.
- Provide focus; help you clarify your academic endeavors when you return to Smith, and help you understand better what direction you would like to go when you graduate.
- Build a professional network of contacts who can help you learn more about your field of interest and can assist you when you begin to look for jobs.
*Source: Percentage of Students With Internship Experience Climbs, NACE, Oct. 7, 2015