An internship is defined as a short-term, usually semester-long opportunity for a student to gain valuable hands-on experience in their field of study/interest. An internship has many invaluable benefits for students, while also enriching academic programs and satisfying the needs of area employers. Students are able to identify career fields that fit, as well as those that don’t. They also gain valuable employability skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, and effective communication within the context of the workplace.
In addition, students are meeting and networking with professionals in their potential field, which significantly improves their chances of securing permanent employment upon graduation. Finding employment is essential for most, if not all, students - whether they plan to go on to graduate/professional school immediately after graduation or begin their careers. Without any tangible, career-related experience, their employability is drastically reduced. To stay competitive in today’s job market, internships are no longer an option - they are a necessity.
For a position to be considered an internship, the following criteria should be met (NACE, 2011):
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