What They Are and Why They Matter
Summer internships matter and every year young people from all over the world search and apply for their dream internships. Exactly who is applying for those coveted internship spots has changed over the years, with high school seniors, college freshman, and college sophomores all vying for positions historically reserved for college juniors and seniors. With all of these new candidates in the mix, employers are having to rethink recruitment strategies.
What Is a Summer Internship?
Summer internships are usually eight to twelve weeks long and follow the school semesters. Depending on when the student gets out of school, a summer internship usually starts in May or June and continues through August. The most common timeframe for summer internships is to begin right after Memorial Day and to run through the end of the first week of August.
Other Than Experience, What's in It for You?
These opportunities can be full-time or part-time and they can be paid or unpaid. All unpaid internships should follow the guidelines set out by the US Department of Labor in the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act). Typically, students are able to receive college credit for their internships. To find out more about this, visit your school’s career center. Each school has different policies in regards to receiving internship credit.
Why Are Summer Internships the Most Popular Internships?
Summer internships are the most popular of all internships as more students have time to take on an internship over the summer.
These internships provide students with a look into the real world. Students get a front row seat to a potential career choice. An internship provides a hands-on learning experience for young people. They go into the internship thinking they want to work at a specific company or in a specific industry and they come out of the internship either having confirmed those thoughts or having decided to pursue something completely different.
The idea is that they get to know now rather than when they graduate. So many people go into jobs they dislike after graduation because they didn't know any better and internships are a good way to prevent that situation.
Not only do students who participate in summer internships get a hands-on learning experience, but they’re also building their resumes. The number one question asked at job interviews after college is "where did you intern?" Students must have a specific answer to that question if they want to stand out from the pool of other applicants. Internships also provide a networking opportunity. If you ask most college students about their professional network, they'll admit it doesn’t exist. Internships change that. Students leave internships with a Rolodex of professional contacts who can help them gain future employment, whether by serving as a reference or by alerting them to job opportunities.
A summer internship will stand out on a student’s resume and is the best thing a young person can do to prepare for the real world and college graduation. To find summer internship opportunities visit the career center, and websites such as Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, Internships.com, WayUp.com, and InternQueen.com.