Internships: More Than Fetching Coffee

By Mercedes Livingston on October 3, 2012

 

Let’s be honest, when most people think of interns they imagine miserable college students slaving away for stuffy executives.

Picture Andy Sachs from The Devil Wears Prada, who constantly made coffee runs and dropped off dry cleaning for her scary boss. Or, think of Jane from Jane By Design, who seems to dedicate her life to pleasing her boss.

Photo Source: Film, The Devil Wears Prada

Contrary to all of these stereotypes, internships are valuable assets for any college student. Internships are the best way to try out a profession, and figure out what to do with your life. Majoring in a field is completely different than experiencing it.

Wouldn’t you rather do an internship and decide you don’t like your major, than wait until you graduate and then decide that major isn’t for you? Internships can save you time and money.

In many internship programs, college students not only contribute to an actual company, but they are also given opportunities to talk to real people in their field of interest. Many programs also encourage mentoring, which is an invaluable experience that anyone can benefit from. Also, many interns do get paid, usually minimum wage or more.

Internship programs that don’t pay interns usually offer college credit, and some type of stipend for meals and transportation each day. Internships will also provide students with access to professionals, who are essentially networking contacts.

There are many ways to find internships locally and nationally. Here at Southern Miss, you can make an appointment with Career Services and talk to a counselor who can help you search for internships. The counselors also help with resumes and other application materials.

For national listings, internships.com is a good source. You can also visit internqueen.com, a website created by Lauren Berger, who completed 15 internships while in college.

She also wrote a book, All Work, No Pay: Finding an Internship, Building Your Resume, Making Connections, and Gaining Job Experience. Her book is a fun, easy, and very informative read. It will definitely motivate you to start your internship search ASAP.

Many internships are held in the summer, so why not head to New York or Washington, DC. and spend the summer discovering a new city while gaining experience and making money? Every college student can benefit from an internship, whether it’s in your hometown or in the Big Apple.

Mercey is a sophomore double major in English and Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations. At Southern Miss she is an intern with Uloop and is a social media assistant and contributing writer for Her Campus, an online magazine for college women. Mercey hopes to one day work in book publishing as a literary agent or book publicist.

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