College Internship Programs
During the college search process, BHHS students and their parents may want to pay particular attention to the internship programs offered at colleges and universities because they are invaluable sources of real world knowledge, understanding and experience. Internships are essential because they expand the classroom curriculum, bridge the gap between theory and practice, and provide first-hand career exploration. They also allow college students to learn more about teamwork, organizational development, multitasking, and project management. These experiences can contribute to professional portfolios, job contacts, and references and recommendations for graduate/professional schools and future employment.
A good number of college professors, career counselors, and human resource professionals believe that college students should complete 2-3 internships before they graduate. More and more employers are looking for internship experiences on resumes to show that college students left the comfort zones of classrooms and campuses and actively sought and gained related work experience. Recruiters at many Fortune 500 companies use their internship programs to recruit top candidates for full-time job offers after graduation.
Generally, there are three types of college internships: credit internships, non-credit internships, and paid internships. In a good number of cases, credit-bearing internships are required for juniors and seniors, take place during the fall and spring semesters, and average 8-16 hours per week. Non-credit and paid internships are available in the fall, spring, and summer and can average 8-16 hours during the fall and spring and 35-40 hours in the summer. Colleges and universities will place limits on the number of credit-bearing internships (usually one or two, totaling 1-6 credits), but there are no limits on non-credit or paid internships that students may wish to pursue. It is important to note that the competition for paid internships is significant because few companies offer these opportunities.
College students can take full advantage of their internship opportunities by showing a positive attitude, always being punctual and responsible, respecting all employees and employers, taking initiative by volunteering for new projects, and going above and beyond the details of a job description whenever possible.
Since the nature, policies, and procedures of internships vary from college to college and academic major to major, it is best to check with admissions and academic personnel so accurate information can be obtained and valid comparisons can be made.