Auburn Family

The Importance of Internships: How Internships Can Help You Get Your Dream Job

There is a myth that has been planted in the minds of Millennials since birth: in order to succeed in life, one must simply earn a degree. This ideology has led to larger class sizes, higher grade-point averages and more college graduates than ever before. However, the question remains: does an impressive GPA and a college degree guarantee a job upon graduation?

The truth is that a high GPA and a diploma are no longer enough. These days, almost everyone has a degree. With so many college graduates flooding the job market, employers must create new stipulations to narrow down the applicant pool.

One of the requirements that can be found on nearly every hiring manager’s checklist is related experience. This experience comes in the form of internships. The modern-day student is not only expected to study a subject, but also gain hands-on experience in their field of study.

“Employers are telling us across the board that it is no longer enough just to have a degree, they want to see that you have had some related experience or at least some appropriate skills. The best way to prove that is with internships,” said Addye Buckley-Burnell, Assistant Director of Career Development at Auburn University.

It is this internship experience that shows employers what a student is capable of. While being knowledgeable on the subject is great, practical work experience is an even greater asset. As with anything, the more experience listed on an applicant’s résumé, the better. The more internships completed during college, the more likely a student is to obtain a job.

Buckley-Burnell adds that according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, having an internship not only increases your chances of getting a job but will also lead to a $6,000 to $7,000 higher starting salary.

Choosing the right internship is no easy feat; there are many variables that come into play when deciding where to apply. Factors like location, salary, job functions and potential promotion possibilities often come into play.

“If it’s a situation where you can’t get an internship with what you want to do, getting one in a location that is helpful can be beneficial just for the networking potential of that or for the company recognition,” Buckley-Burnell said. “Typically the more closely related your internship is to what you want to do is your best option.”

When it comes time to apply for an internship, the Auburn University Career Center has a wide array of services available to help students prepare themselves for the application process. From one-on-one meetings with career advisors to mock interview sessions, there is a service designed to help improve students' chances of being hired.

The Auburn University Career Center also hosts a variety of career fairs in which potential employers visit Auburn’s campus to recruit students for internships, as well as jobs. The 2014 All Majors Career Expo will be help on Tuesday, October 21 at The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center.

Photo Credit: Auburn University Career Center

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