Most college students, at one point or another, have to complete an internship for credit before graduation. The typical college student is too busy during the school year to fit a full-time internship into their schedule. Therefore, most elect to complete these credits during their summer vacation.
Last summer I had the privilege of completing my internship at VistaComm. For the months of May and June, I worked like a dog to prove that I had the sand to make it in the real world. Monday through Thursday, between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., I was at my employer’s disposal. Most days were spent working on data entry and sorting mail. The benefits of the job included sitting in on business development and production meetings and weekly “brain picking” session with our CEO, Bill Byrne. Not enough can be said about on-the-job experience. One hour sitting in a meeting or talking to Bill was the equivalent of five hours in a classroom. I learned the basics of marketing and the business world, along with a variety of lessons in corporate culture and professionalism.
The true value of an internship cannot be measured by the tedious, bottom-of-the-pecking-order jobs that fill most days during your time with a company. Rather, the value is measured by what you learn about yourself and what you can prove to those who manage you. My employers didn’t say, “Lucas is really good at entering data into a computer.” Rather, they saw the work ethic and potential of someone who could, possibly, contribute to the value of the company (many interns may not realize that their internship is just a really long job interview).
If you can prove your worth, there may be a job waiting for you after graduation. That’s why I’m at VistaComm today, no longer as an intern, but as a business development associate.