Why Are Internships So Important?
“Nothing ever becomes real 'til it is experienced.”
Those are the wise words from one of the greatest English poets, John Keats. The quote rings especially true when it comes to internships. After all, as students you put your best foot forward at Raritan Valley Community College, learn from the best professors and hone your skills for the real world. An internship is critical as it bridges the gap from the classroom to the conference room. Learn more!
What Are the Benefits to You?
According to an annual survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 95% of employers said that prior work experience is a factor in hiring decisions. Other benefits include:
- Earning a higher salary. According to NACE, graduates with internships earn approximately 6.5% more.
- Differentiating yourself from other job candidates without work experience.
- Gaining an understanding of your major field, how your coursework is preparing you for your chosen career, and whether one niche of your field is a better fit than another.
- Growing your skillset, boosting your confidence, and building good work habits.
- Expanding your network of connections, which can lead to a job in the future.
What Are the Different Types of Internships?
The three main categories are:
- Internships: An internship provides the opportunity to explore career choices and gain work experience in your field of interest by applying your classroom learning. Internships are not credit bearing, are flexible in the time commitment, and can take place any time during the school year.
- Cooperative Education Experience: A “co-op” provides academic credit for a structured job experience which is supervised by a Faculty Program Coordinator. College credit can be earned by working a certain amount of hours weekly. Specific requirements depend upon the department and some co-ops are paid while others are not.
- Service Learning: With service learning, you are involved in an organized community service that addresses local needs and develops your academic skills and a sense of civic responsibility. This can be a great first step if you don’t meet the requirements for a co-op or an internship.
RVCC Internship Success Spotlight: Sanofi US Corporate Mentorship
Janet Adeleke, a native of Nigeria, who moved to New Jersey in 2004, wanted help transitioning from a state college into the professional world. Through a competitive application process, Janet was selected to participate in the Sanofi US Corporate Mentorship Program, which connects students with industry professionals to enhance their educational experience. Sanofi, which has its US headquarters in NJ, matches students with mid-level and senior-level employees representing the fields of science and research; technology; marketing and communications; and business and finance.
The benefits from the Sanofi mentoring program are extraordinary:
- Meet monthly with a corporate mentor throughout the year.
- Attend a valuable, all expenses paid training that enhances employability skills.
- Receive a $1,500 scholarship for participating in the program.
- Make connections for future potential internships.
- Receive extensive career-related training.