Internships are positions, both paid and unpaid, offered by companies and organizations to
those seeking work experience or to satisfy specific learning requirements for a degree or
training program. Internships are a common way for college students and new graduates to gain
marketable job skills. According to the 2016 National Association of College and Employers
(NACE) Student Survey, 56% of college students reported taking part in an internship of some
kind. The same study noted that 56% of reported internships were paid, and of unpaid
internships, 72% of participants earned course credit. Those who completed internships
reported an almost $4K higher average starting salary than those who did not.
Over 70% of interns are offered jobs at their internship sites, according to the 2019 NACE
Internship & Co-op Survey Report, and those with internal internship experience (as opposed to
external) had a 12% higher retention rate after one year on the job.
College students looking for an edge in the job market or in gaining admission to competitive
graduate programs should look to internships to gain marketable job skills, networking and
mentorship opportunities, and a deeper exploration of a particular field or occupation.
Internships are a way to stand out from other candidates and to gain “soft skills,” or general
professional skills needed in any field. In the 2018 LinkedIn Skills Report, 57% of employers
believed that “soft” professional skills like leadership, collaboration, communication, and time
management were more important than “hard” skills that apply to a specific career. Excellent
references from an internship position go a long way in proving to potential employers that a
candidate has the skills needed to enter and thrive in a professional environment.
How do I get an internship?
A good first step in securing an internship is to begin to think about a field that interests you or a
cause you feel passionate about, any experience you may have that would be transferable to a
specific field, or jobs that are common for people who have your major. Some internships are
paid and with big, multinational corporations; but a volunteer internship with a small, local group
can beef up your resume as well!
Using your college career center, online job boards, local networks, and even cold-calling,
identify internship opportunities that match up with your interests and skills.
All You Branding recommends polishing up your resume or CV, writing a dynamite and position-
specific cover letter, and taking charge of your public social media presence to help you shine
among a large pool of applicants. These three factors are a potential employer’s first
introduction to you, and All You Branding is here to help you make an excellent first impression.
Once you’ve made the first cut and are asked for an interview, it’s important to project
competence, confidence, and professionalism. But above all: be yourself! Highlighting your
unique interests, passions, and life experiences shows a potential employer who you are and
what you’d bring to the job. All You Branding provides interview prep and follow-up for those
looking to sharpen their interview skills so you can nail that internship opportunity!
By taking some time to research opportunities, refine your professional profiles, and bone up on
your interview skills, you’ll be prepared to secure an internship opportunity in a field that excites
you. Happy job hunting!
Glassdoor.com has a great article on how to secure an internship here.