All About Internships

By Lynne Finnegan

Lynne Finnegan from The College of Business at the University of Rhode Island gives us an in-depth scoop on internships for interns and businesses looking to receive interns. Highlighted are reasons why students should do an internship and why businesses should share their knowledge with interns.

What are the benefits of an internship?

√ Educational Experience

√ Future job opportunities

• Internships provide work experience to students and recent graduates.

• An internship provides the opportunity to gain hands on work experience within the student’s field of interest.

• Employers see interns as prospective employees and many finish their internship and continue working with the company in a part time or full time capacity.

• Internships can help you decide if this is the right career for you.

• Internships are generally short-term, so you can test your future career without committing and find out if it is a career that will satisfy you.

• Internship are great ways to meet people and develop your professional network. An internship allows you to meet people that might help you land a job later on and give you the contacts in the industry you’re trying to break into. Also, internships can help you develop professional reference with in your industry.

• Internships are a great place to apply classroom knowledge in a real-world setting.

• Internships are a great way to build your confidence and professionalism. It is also a great way to build your resume so you are more marketable.

What are some of the benefits for a business to hire interns?

• Internships allow the company to see if a good fit with the company. The company can hire a well-trained person at the end of the internship.

What can a company learn from students?

Internships provide employers fresh innovative business solutions. Tell us about the process for assigning students to an internship. Do you follow a specific strategy? Students search for an internship just like a full-time job search. How do you best prepare your students for internships? Students in the College of Business take a required one credit career class to prepare them for the internship search and job search. They develop the tools that they need for applying and the interview process. An example of this would be a resume and cover letter, the skills that they need for interviewing and searching for an internship. The also participate in various career events though out the semester. This is all of the same tools that they will need for the full time job search after graduation.

Do you recommend specific ways for business to attract great interns?

Follow the academic cycle for the college (fall, spring, and summer terms) and start your process early, this would be posting and interviewing. Students are looking for experiences about a semester ahead of when they need to be doing the experience. They are also looking to work their academic schedule around an experience or vice versa. One of the more significant advantages to providing internships is the opportunity to select and develop your future talent. You have the opportunity to evaluate and screen potential employees prior to making a full-time position offer, which leads to financial savings.


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Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

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