If you are currently in school, you may be trying to answer the question, are summer internships worth it?
Internships are short-term positions with companies in your chosen industry. In the case of a summer internship, you’ll work during your break from your academic program.
Because you may not receive financial compensation for your internship, you should weigh the benefits of a summer internship carefully to determine whether the experience is worth it. In many cases, you’ll decide that taking advantage of this opportunity makes sense because it could help you in your future career.
So, what are some summer internship benefits? Here’s what you need to know.
These are the top benefits of a summer internship
Here are some of the biggest benefits of a summer internship that are worth considering.
Gain valuable job experience
Many companies want to hire people who have practical, real-world experience rather than just a degree or educational training in a particular subject. If you do a summer internship, you’ll get exposure to the work you want to do after graduation. You’ll be able to develop skills and knowledge that will make you more valuable to future employers.
Make important connections
You will get to know people in your chosen industry when you do an internship. You can start building your professional network. The people who you connect with may be able to help you find a job later in life or can mentor you as you begin to develop your professional identity.
Determine if you like the industry
While you may be interested in a particular career field, it’s hard to know if you’ll like working within the industry until you see what the job requires daily. By getting some practical experience in your chosen profession, you can make a more informed choice about whether the career you’ve been dreaming of is the right one for you.
Build a strong resume
Most employers determine if they are interested in interviewing you by reviewing your resume. An internship that you can list as part of your career history can help to set you apart from other new grads. You can list the skills you developed in your internship on your resume as well to show potential employers you have the job traits they are looking for.
Secure references and recommendations
If you are applying for a job in the future and you need references or a letter of recommendation, your internship supervisor or coworkers should be able to provide them. This can also be helpful if you’re applying for graduate school or earning an advanced degree and need professional recommendations as part of your application.
Internships could turn into permanent positions
In some cases, an internship is a great way to get your foot in the door with a company you’re interested in. Once you’ve been onboarded for an internship, you can show off your abilities and work ethic. There’s a very good chance that your internship could turn into an offer for a full-time job after you graduate if you impress your boss.
Are summer internships worth it?
So, are summer internships worth it? In most cases, the answer is yes as long as you research opportunities carefully and understand how internships help in future careers. If you find an internship at a company you’d want to work for or one well-known in your industry, your internship could be the ticket to getting hired for a great full-time job.
Of course, you need to make sure you are in a financial position to accept a summer internship — especially if it is unpaid or the pay is low. This can be an especially big sacrifice if you have student loan debt that you’re trying to work on paying off.
The good news is that you can take certain steps to prepare for student loan payments so your outstanding obligations don’t prevent you from getting the internship you want. You can do this by researching all of your options for borrowing for school or refinancing student loan debt.
Refinancing involves getting a new loan and repaying existing student loans with its proceeds. If you qualify for a loan at a lower rate, you can save a considerable amount of money on repaying your educational debt compared with the status quo. You can use ELFI’s Find My Rate Tool to see just how much you could save.*