Why You Should Take An Internship
In today's job market, it is incredibly hard for young adults finally stepping out into the real world to get an entry position at most places. Whereas before college graduates could count on finding steady employment with a cozy, white-collar occupation, the over-saturation of bachelor's degrees means that even the most menial of positions are highly competitive. This is why we see liberal arts graduates working at fast food restaurants or coffee shops to pay their student loans. Whereas they might have been able to work at corporate in times past, they're not even qualified to run the restaurant they work as a cashier at now.
Thus, we are left with this question: if everybody has a bachelor's degree now, how do I go the extra mile to differentiate, to distinguish myself from the competition. Some people, who have apparently learned nothing from the rapidly-expanding bachelor's degree bubble, suggest that the best thing to do is go to graduate school and get a masters degree or even better, a Ph.D. On the face of it, this sounds like a good idea, but once you really start thinking about it, the tenability of it fades away. In addition to costing an arm and a leg (or should I say, after your undergraduate studies, your other arm and leg), graduate programs require extensive amounts of time and concentration even in comparison to undergrad ones. A Ph.D. can take as long as six years to complete. This is understandable if you're seriously interested in the field you are studying and planning to work in it, but if your goal is to have a little extra nudge when you apply to flip burgers somewhere, it is a colossal misuse of time.
What you should do is try to get some of that elusive thing that employers are always asking for: experience. But how do you, a lowly college student, get that? To get experience, you need a job, and to get a job, you need experience, so it's kind of a catch-22. Or it is at least if you're only looking for paid work. If you're looking for unpaid work, however, you will have much better luck getting a position somewhere.
"Unpaid??" I'm 99% certain you thought to yourself upon reading that last sentence. And I'm 100% you continued with "I just can't afford to do unpaid work!" Well, I'm going to let you in on a little secret: "unpaid" is a misnomer. What it really means is they don't pay you with money. Rather, you are paid in experience and connections that you can pad your resume with for when you actually go searching for a paying position. It is through programs like internships that you learn the tools of whatever trade you're trying to get into as well as the way the workplace functions. Over the course of such a program, you develop valuable skills and build a professional-level body of work to present to potential employers. I should know: during my time with HonorSociety.org, I have written dozens of articles that I can now use when applying to writing positions at other websites. Not only that, but I have also honed my craft so as to make myself valuable to anyone I work for. Others seem to agree because within the past year I've been writing for the site, I got not one, not two, but three writing positions at other sites, all just by writing for HonorSociety.org and applying the skills I learned here elsewhere. And you can easily do the same, if you just find the line of work you're interested in and look for opportunities in it.