Internships: Rationale and Benefits
There are many reasons to pursue an internship:
- Opportunity for "hands-on" experience: While students may gather a great deal of information in their courses, there is no substitute for direct experience in a professional environment. Internships allow students to gain direct experience.
- Opportunity to sample various career options: Students can use internships to test their interest in and aptitude for different career areas. This enables students to find out where they might fit best in a professional environment.
- Preparation for job searches: Students prepare resumes, write cover letters, and go through interviews as if they were applying for a job. This gives students valuable experience in preparation for employment.
- Compilation of a portfolio: Certain internships allow students to compile their work in a portfolio. This portfolio can later be shown to potential employers.
- Visibility for students from Florida Atlantic University: Students from FAU are given the opportunity to demonstrate their professionalism. This enhances the reputation of the University and increases the credibility of a student’s degree.
Incentive for academic achievement: Since only students with a strong academic record are permitted to do internships for credit, the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies wants students to view the internship program as an incentive to perform well in their courses.
- Enhancement of the maturation process: Since internships require a great deal of personal responsibility, the experience provides an important step in an individual’s personal and professional maturation process.
- Confidence building: Successful completion of an internship often provides students with professional confidence.
- Professional learning experience: The internship allows opportunities for the development of practical skills in contexts where professional criticism is both immediate and constructive. It also furnishes students with opportunities to observe and understand connections between coursework and skills needed to perform effectively in a given profession. Finally, internships aid in the identification of knowledge and skills essential to doing well in a particular profession.
- Potential employment opportunities and/or contacts: Occasionally internships lead directly into employment opportunities. Although this is more the exception than the rule, internships certainly provide a student entry into a professional network. Contacts made through the internship can be invaluable sources of information for securing eventual employment.