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Three Things to Gain From Internships

Find out how internships can be an invaluable work experience

An internship that provides solid career experience offers a golden opportunity for any aspiring young professional. In fact, an internship can be just as important as an education to your career. For some fields, it's even more important as the skill set becomes more specialized, as with engineering and medicine.

Generally, internships are temporary positions with pay that can vary. But even very low-paying, or non-paying, internships can be beneficial in terms of knowledge gained and academic credit earned. Here are three ways to capitalize on your internship experience.

  • Learn by doing. Internships help you find out what it's really like to work in a given profession. So, in that sense, an internship is a tryout — you can switch fields if you don't like it. But if you do like it, you can hone your skills and find out how those abilities will be used in the real world in a real job.
  • Build your professional network. In your internship, you can make contacts, develop skills, and generally make yourself more hirable. The long-range benefit can be huge if your internship sponsor likes your work and wants to hire you after you earn your degree or certificate.
  • Develop a portfolio of work. Internships can give you the opportunity to produce work which you can collect and show to future potential employers. Even better, you can get an opinion of your work from professionals in the field, which can help you develop abilities.

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