An internship is a temporary position in an organization for a student or recent graduate to gain work experience. During the summer of 2018, I was lucky to be selected for an internship at tekMountain, a tech-innovation center in Wilmington, NC. tekMountain is a truly unique space that offers unparalleled access to entrepreneurial mentors, venture-capital offerings and professional services. Based on my experiences I have highlighted eight reasons why internships are important to all students.

  1. Real World Professional Experience
    • It is important to be exposed to workplace experiences. As much as school tries to prepare you for the “real world,” it can only do so much. It is important that students know what to expect once they graduate and head into the job market.
  2. Time Management
    • Without time management you will never be able to keep up with your workload or learn to prioritize. If you are not able to perform at the expected rate in the work field, you will fall behind and possibly lose your job.
  3. Discover Your Limitations
    • People have a tendency to thrive when taken out of their comfort zone. When at an internship in a new company, you are given the opportunity to test yourself outside your comfort zone. New experiences can help you grow as both a professional and individual.
  4. Build Your Network
    • Networking is a common theme of advice from all business professionals because of its necessity to success. Entering a new workspace allows you to meet new people and grow your network. Your network is especially important when you graduate school and are first trying to enter the job market.
  5. Build Your Resume
    • Entering into the job market can be hard for new graduates, but it can be made easier with a strong resume. Internships allow you to diversify your experience and show future employers that you are able to mold yourself easily to fit different roles.
  6. Learn Hard Skills
    • Every company uses a different set of tools to increase efficiency and a shared mission throughout the company. For example, most companies have intranets where employers can share important information with their employees through a private channel. Another tool often used is internal chat rooms. Having experience with various tools like these provides interns an advantage when entering the job market.
  7. Experience Different Company Cultures
    • Company culture is a critical factor when choosing a job. In order to strive to your full potential within a corporation, it is important for the fit between you and the company to be right. Internships help you to experience different environments and learn what you like and dislike.
  8. Learn Something New.
    • In order to expand your skill set, it is important to learn as much as possible. Internships are the best way to do so. Some things you cannot learn in the classroom and can only learn in practice.

These eight reasons have helped me prepare for my future and career. I am so grateful for this opportunity especially at tekMountain.

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