We were all given the same advice: pick a marketable undergraduate course, find the right college, and graduate. Do all that and you will soon find out that job hunting is a walk in the park.
After all, a bachelor’s degree is your ticket to a good job. In today’s market, however, bachelor’s degree holders raise their chances of landing that dream job through experiential knowledge or on-the-job training.
Every year, more and more people add to the already saturated workforce. This means you are competing with hundreds, even thousands of applicants for the same job. However, you have the chance to make yourself stand out from a pile of job applications.
One way of doing this is by taking internships. This will not only set you apart from the rest, but internships will also give you a unique experience and valuable skills before joining your industry of choice.
Paid and Unpaid Internships
As job positions become more competitive, industries adopt new assessment tools for hiring new employees. Factoring in other considerations, employers see applicants with internships as a more practical choice. In fact, employers nowadays often include internships in their job requirements.
To ensure that future employees are competent and skilled in their jobs, employers across industries open their doors to potential employees. They offer internship programs where interns can work either part-time or full-time in the company.
An internship usually specifies the amount of time required for an intern to work. It is very popular among undergraduate and graduate students. It is where they can gain valuable experiential knowledge in the industry.
An internship may be paid or unpaid. While most internship programs are unpaid, there are some which offer monetary remuneration for work rendered in the company.
Unpaid internships are ideal opportunities for students to gain academic credit. After all, the program is designed to provide students with a chance to gain knowledge on the job. But unpaid internships are subject to more stringent labor guidelines.
This aims to safeguard the rights of interns when companies take advantage of their free labor.
The United States federal law mandates that unpaid interns cannot be assigned to work, which is usually done by a paid employee. The program must be limited to training in an educational environment that would expose students to hands-on training opportunities. Unpaid interns enjoy more flexibility and less workload.
On the other hand, paid internships require more commitment, not only in your schedule but also in the work you do for the company. Unlike an unpaid internship, you will be treated as an employee with responsibilities to complete your assigned work.
Benefits of Internships
Regardless of the internship program you engage in; there are countless benefits that you will gain from being an intern. If you need more reasons why to take an internship, here are a few that will surely prepare you for the demands of the workforce:
Gain Professional Work Experience
An internship is professional training in a safe and structured working environment that encourages the mentor-mentee relationship. A typical internship program assigns interns to a mentor or one of the experts in the field from whom they can learn from.
Mentors train and give professional advice to their interns on how to navigate workplace culture in a specific industry. Internships are designed to help you develop work habits that will lead to your success.
Improve Your Soft Skills
While you gain professional skills that will surely help you succeed in your future career, you will also improve your soft skills while interning.
Having well-developed soft skills will not only help you become a better communicator but will also help you land your dream job. Soft skills like communication, time management, teamwork, respect for other people’s time, and empathy are now considered more important than test scores.
These skills are strong predictors of self-awareness in employees, which allows human resource managers to assess whether they are a team-player or not. Having these skills means you have the key to success.
Learning about the value of taking responsibility at work while in an internship is an invaluable benefit. Building competence begins with learning your responsibilities and taking charge. Through this, you will learn how certain projects are done and what skills and knowledge are required for a certain job. This way, whenever you begin a job, things will seem familiar, giving you an advantage at work.
Build Your Confidence
When you are exposed to a real working environment, you will soon realize that work-life can be fulfilling. Having experienced this, you will be more determined in school and open to more opportunities. Internships can build your confidence to face future challenges far outside your comfort zone.
Attract More Future Employers
Completing your internship will make you more attractive to employers. Companies prefer graduates who have completed an internship. Interns are viewed to have better work habits, possess well-developed soft skills, and are more adept in the workforce.
Having completed an internship program is a marketable accomplishment. You will attract not only employers but also scholarship panels and other opportunities to better your skills.
Tips to Overcome Internship Hurdles
Despite the many benefits and advantages that you may gain from an internship, there is no denying that you will face hurdles in the workplace. For one, you are expected to please your mentor and the rest of the team you are interning in. So, how do you overcome internship hurdles that may be thrown at you? Here are some tips for you to come out a champion intern:
Do not feel bad for unnoticed work because hard work does not go unnoticed for so long. You need to understand that workplace dynamics may be different from the classroom environment. Your work may be unnoticed for a while; it may even be ignored by your mentor.
But instead of begrudging the people you work with, persevere. Be consistent with the amount of dedication you put into your work, regardless of how big or how small. You will soon realize that your work is valued.
Be patient but persistent with your mentor. The quality of your internship is largely dependent on your mentor, but it can be challenging. Mentors tend to be aloof, uncooperative, and overbearing. However, if you want to learn from them as much as you intend to, you need to be persistent while maintaining respect.
If you want to learn, you should have a list of questions as well as points you want to clarify and ask your mentor whenever an opportunity presents itself. if all else fails, and if the relationship proves to be counterproductive, you can always ask for a new mentor.
Develop time management as well as time management. These two are important in ensuring a successful career, but you cannot learn either overnight. Arguably, self-management is harder to develop as it requires more commitment. It is seen as a key employability skill that guarantees your success.
You can develop your self-management skill through habit-forming. Experts say that it takes 21 days to form a habit, so we advise that you start investing in good habits while still interning. Of course, respect other people’s time. It is a basic principle, not just in your professional life but as much as in your personal life.
Do not feel guilty for taking on a paid internship. Yes, an internship is a learning experience, and they typically do not pay or give inadequate compensation.
However, if you feel the need to apply for paid internships because of financial concerns, do not feel guilty about it. Paid internships are designed to assist students in getting their required academic credit while actually earning a salary.
You will still get the same mentorship as those interning in an unpaid internship program. When you feel like you are receiving less than what you deserve considering the amount of work you render, you may inquire with HR. You may clarify your position in the company and maybe ask for a raise.
Take advantage of the competition with co-interns. Yes, an internship may be intimidating when you share it with high-spirited and competitive co-interns. However, having competitive co-interns in the workplace may drive you to work harder.
Take an active part in the competition by doing your part, and you might find out that having competition can make your internship experience better.
Ten Online Undergraduate Courses that Require Internships
Internships are opportunities for students to gain real-world experiences and get a glimpse of what their chosen career paths would be like. It gives you an opportunity to be hands-on in a professional environment. Internships also help you build connections with the people you get to meet and work with.
For most people, their internship experience sets the foundation for their careers. For this reason, most degree programs in online colleges have incorporated internships into their curricula in recent years.
Online Associate of Applied Science Physical Therapy Assistant
Students under the physical therapist assistant (PTA) program require clinical internships. This can range from 30 to 40 hours each week.
Over 40% of the credit hours are for practical assessment under the direct supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist (PT). While in-class learning is valuable, it does not provide a PTA with the vital training needed for actual practice.
Upon completion of their core courses, PTA students engage in the practical application of their new knowledge. While completing work assignments,
They become interns who help actual patients in the clinical field. These may involve rehabilitation sessions with stroke patients and injured athletes or therapeutic care for outpatients who have recently undergone surgery.
A PTA’s internship experience also serves as a practice of forming meaningful connections with patients. This also enhances a PTA’s people skills. These internship experiences become helpful later on.
It is worth mentioning that, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 95% of employers consider candidate experience as a vital factor in hiring decisions.
Why invest in Physical Therapy as your focus of study and look forward to an internship? We hope this video encourages you.
Online Bachelor of Arts in Education
There are many concentration areas for the discipline of Education. But they all have one thing in common: they require their students to become interns. Students taking Education as their undergraduate course have to participate in supervised internships before graduating and after state licensing.
The length of teaching sessions may vary depending on the online degree program.
Accredited online programs match online student teachers to schools within their local vicinity. Student interns take subjects related to their concentration areas.
Strictly speaking, these are not of the standard internship format. However, they offer valuable experience, which is the more satisfying takeaway.
An Education student’s teaching experience lasts one or two semesters depending on state requirements. In it, a licensed teacher delegates tasks and responsibilities to you, observe your performance, and make an evaluation. This experience will help you understand the kind of teaching specialization you will pursue.
Online Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene
Schools have expanded the educational options for obtaining a Dental Hygiene degree. This is because of the recognition that there is a growing need for dental hygiene professionals.
One of these options is earning a degree through distance learning. All of these schooling options typically require internship or “clinical” experience.
With math and science as core subjects, students take dental hygiene classes. This is where they need to work in a dental facility. This internship is under the supervision of licensed dentists and/or hygienists.
One of the most important requirements for earning a license in dental hygiene is clinical experience. You may receive the training by being an intern or as you fill entry-level positions.
Either way, a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene is one of the undergraduate courses that promise great career potential.
Online Bachelor of Science in Accountancy
For years, the number of online courses with a specific focus on Accounting has been on the rise. Almost all of these accounting courses require completing a spring or summer internship.
You will be able to perform duties that will put your financing and business knowledge to the test. Additionally, you will get to observe an accountant so that you can learn from their skills.
Students may also choose the area of accounting they may want to specialize in and focus on during their internship. Among the popular accounting specialties are tax accounting, litigation support, and audit.
For most graduates, accounting internships serve as their first step to landing a job. That the nation’s top accounting firms hire accountants who have internship experience on their resumes doesn’t come as a surprise.
Online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Knowing the basic principles of Business by heart is one thing; being able to apply it to practice is completely another. This is why an internship experience is one of the requirements of most online business administration courses.
Most online schools may help you locate an internship locale. However, you can find a place for an internship through your own research.
Business administration internships mostly involve research, sales, marketing, and social media development for companies.
Business administration is a broad subject in itself, so you may face a few confusions when choosing your internship. There are many internship programs available to business majors, but whichever you choose to participate in, you will gain hands-on practical experience.
Among the most popular business management internships are Sales and Marketing, where you will learn marketable skills in marketing, product placement, and preparing presentations and campaigns.
An internship in Corporate offices is a more traditional internship for business management majors. Interning in a corporate office will give an experiential knowledge in the fields of finance, marketing, product research, and accounting.
Online Bachelor of Science in Psychology
There are many online courses focusing on the different areas of Psychology, but most of these require an internship or practicum. There are several internship opportunities for a psychology major, such as working for a government agency, a school, or a private clinic.
Completion of a supervised internship is a perfect opportunity for Psychology majors, especially when you have plans to pursue graduate studies. Interning as a psych major will highlight your competencies and level of motivation in the field.
A Psychology major may intern in a mental health facility, a school, or a professional sports team, even with a lawyer. It all depends on their chosen major. Psychology students and graduates are among the most versatile professionals. So career opportunities for you are everywhere!
Online Bachelor of Science in Public Relations
Public relations (PR) graduates can work for law firms, private individuals, or large-scale businesses. As demand for public relations graduates rises, so has the option of acquiring a public relations degree online.
Online schools have numerous public relations programs, and all of them require internships.
What better way to train public relations students than immersing them in experiences involving the public? There are online PR schools that help students intern with top companies.
A PR intern usually helps execute a company’s PR strategy. They curate engaging content and help build relationships with prospective clients.
They must possess outstanding written and verbal skills to excel at their job. Most of the time, they are skilled at juggling multiple projects, such as planning events, creating media kits and campaigns, and writing press releases.
A PR internship can last from summer to year, depending on the agreement with the chosen intern’s employer. They can also choose from a range of industries they can work. The opportunities are endless with a degree in Public Relations!
Online Associate Degree in Digital Marketing
As today’s market gears up to transition to e-commerce, demand for digital marketing professionals increased exponentially.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers will increase by 8% between 2018 and 2028.
When you pursue a degree in an online Digital Marketing Associate program, you will ultimately become one of the most valuable people in the workplace.
After all, through your enticing, effective, and smart marketing strategies, you will eventually lead your company to grow and attract more clients.
However, before you can do so, you need to learn the digital marketing landscape. At a minimum, you must be familiar with the most commonly used social media platforms. Digital marketing professionals should be comfortable with using networking tools to keep their target market interested.
Interning in a digital marketing firm is the best way to do so. Internships in the industry will give you the opportunity to develop a strong working foundation in the key aspects of the field. Practical training in these aspects will provide you with the skills you need to pursue a career in digital marketing.
Online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
An online degree in Information Technology is among the top choices for many college students. Aside from the marketability of the course, skills in the field are highly in-demand.
We are on the verge of seeing jobs transition online, and information technology will play a major role in this process.
Online degree programs in information technology focus on core subjects like programming, cybersecurity, networking, and human-computer interaction.
You can choose to pursue a specialization that will require taking elective classes, additional hours, and an internship.
Information technology majors can work towards academic credit in an internship program. Interns in the field are expected to work with a team of tech professionals while directly under the supervision of a mentor.
If you want a unique internship experience that will significantly improve your resume, you can apply for the internship in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) under the United States Department of the Treasury.
Once you qualify, you can secure a meaningful career at the OCC. You will support the office’s technological foundation that will keep American banks safe and secure.
Online Bachelor Degree in Nursing
In the current state of the healthcare industry, healthcare workers are seen as invaluable assets. There is a more urgent need for empathetic and driven individuals to care for the sick.
In response to this demand, online schools have offered online nursing degree programs in both two- and four-year curricula. Most online nursing degree programs require students to complete an internship program, a requisite to graduation.
Nursing internships offer more hands-on training that emphasizes clinical training and exposes nursing students to the actual nursing practice.
The fundamental part of the nursing profession is caring for others, and you can learn that while interning at a hospital. You will be under the direct supervision of a Registered Nurse.
However, you will still have the opportunity to participate in inpatient care in a participative and person-centered approach. By the end of your internship, you will learn the core values of nursing – caring, integrity, diversity, and excellence that will prepare you for the nursing profession.
Things to Look for in an Internship Program
If you are scouting for internship programs, whether paid or unpaid, the real value of this is what you put into your practicum. You can only achieve this by finding the right internship program worth your while in more ways than one.
Below are some important things you should consider when looking for an internship.
Find an internship that helps you figure out the kind of career you want. The main goal of an internship program is to gain experience in a specific industry or role so you can assess whether this is something you want to continue after you graduate.
When choosing a practicum, go for one that allows for hands-on experience. That way, you can make well-informed decisions and look for a career path that you believe will work best for you.
Find an internship that allows you to work with motivated, smart, and goal-oriented people. Thriving off the energy of the people you work with will naturally push you to work harder and have fun with your work.
When you have your internship at a firm where employees are always excited to come to work every day, it’s more likely that you will have a more enjoyable experience. This will push you to choose a positive work culture in your future career.
Find an internship where you can learn from mentors and industry experts. As you’re still looking at what you want to do professionally, it’s crucial to have mentors and experts that can help you go through the work environment you want.
Try to look out for opportunities that provide a support system not only for the employees but also for the interns to gain access to higher-level executives. This will increase your experience in the organization and give you a chance to learn from experts working in the business with an expert-level understanding.
Find an internship that allows you to experience a new city. If this is an option, take advantage of your internship as your chance to discover and explore a new city. This helps you leave your comfort zone at home or on campus for the summer.
Find an internship that adds new tools to your toolbox. Honing what you learn in class and applying it is the answer. Make sure, though, to learn other skills that you never learned from class.
Check tools or programs relevant to your industry and, if possible, be an expert at them. This will make you more marketable after your internship program and set you apart from the others as the “fast learner” who is constantly looking to add value quickly.
Find an internship that tests what you learned in class. How do you validate your interest in your chosen industry? By test-driving what you learned, of course. Ask yourself if you see yourself doing this for the long haul.
Take your internship as your chance to explore the various path within your chosen field. An internship is a great chance to get the exposure you need to a possible career path without choosing it for the long run. This should be your chance to understand what you love most clearly.
Find an internship that allows you to work on projects that matter to you. One goal that should come out of our internship is that you must have the chance to say how you made an impact.
With an internship, you get to work on real-world projects, which is crucial in your next interview. Know the project type interns previously worked on and what you can expect to comply with during your time in the program.
From here, you can already assess the kind of opportunity you should work on other side projects. Go into a program with one goal: make the greatest impact possible.
This helps you leave the internship as the show’s star for the summer and might even leave you with a possible job offer once your internship is over.
Acing Your Internship Interview
If you get the job interview, you’re one step closer to securing a job. However, you must impress the hiring manager during your job interview, even if you lack a bachelor’s degree.
Just like your cover letter, never utter defensive statements such as “I know I lack a bachelor’s degree, but….” Ideally, address only this issue if they ask. Avoid focusing too much on the requirements you lack because the hiring manager won’t see your qualifications.
Focus on your experience and skills. When you answer interview questions, make sure to highlight your experiences and skills that will make you a good asset to their team. They must know how you can add value to their company even with the lack of a bachelor’s degree.
Whether paid or unpaid, internships are very important to help students prepare before joining the workforce. You get a sneak peek of the real world while gaining work experience.
An internship helps build a solid resume and hone your job skills. Internships teach you time management and strong people skills–two of the strongest attributes of a successful person.
With in-class and experiential knowledge as foundations, online bachelor’s degree students with internship experience enjoy a greater advantage over their peers.
With internship experience, you are a step closer to a rewarding career as a bachelor’s degree holder!