Welcome to this introduction to my STRAIGHT TALK GUIDE titled, DOMINATING YOUR INTERNSHIP: 7.5 Secrets to Creating an Awesome and Invaluable Experience as an Engineering or STEM Intern.
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably headed to an internship in the near future.
If this is true, let me offer my sincere congratulations. You’ve made one of the best decisions you’ll make in your entire career.
Hat’s Off To You
I know from my experience as a corporate engineering recruiter that companies don’t hire just anyone to come on board for an internship. Clearly, you’ve already accomplished some things, and you displayed some characteristics in your interviews that your internship employer found appealing.
So again, kudos to you for snagging an internship and having the excellent sense to gain some hands-on experience before you graduate from college.
You’re taking a step that in today’s marketplace is critical if you want to create a wide selection of attractive, full-time job offers before you graduate.
Benefits of Interning
Even more than in the past when I was in college, I believe most companies today are expecting their new full-time hires to have some true hands-on, technical experience before they graduate.
Employers know that students with internship experience typically ramp up more quickly in a full-time role. And for a company, that’s what it’s all about. They want, and need, new STEM employees who can produce value as quickly as possible.
While I’m sure that getting a great job, and a nice salary as a student, are two of your internship drivers, they are lots of other important reasons to intern as a student.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of interning (which I didn’t fully realize until after I interned for the first time):
Interning helps you…Get a strong sense for the type of STEM work you might prefer.
Honestly, this is might be most important benefit of interning. Why? Because it’s no fun finding yourself in a job or a career later on that you don’t like.
Given the hours you’ll spend working during your lifetime, it pays to do work that you enjoy getting out of bed for.
Internships are an ideal way to test drive different kinds of engineering and other STEM work.
Interning helps you…Understand a company’s values, culture and people.
Let’s face it, the interviewing and hiring process is mostly a show. It’s not a good way to get a handle on what a company is truly like to work for, and how they treat their people.
Although today’s online review sites such as glassdoor.com are helpful, the only way to get the straight scoop on a company is to work inside of it.
You need to work and talk with coworkers. You need to see if the leaders and managers walk their talk. And you need to listen to the water cooler conversations to really understand what goes at a company.
In a sense, internships let you test drive the company, while they’re test driving you.
Interning helps you…Build the soft skills that are needed to excel in the workplace, at home, and in life.
These “soft skills” include the range of communications skills, people skills, and other real world skills that are often not taught, and are not as easily learned, in a college classroom environment.
Interning helps you…Build practical “hands-on” skills and knowledge.
Getting your hands dirty by doing is a great way to learn. It let’s you begin building a strong base of problem solving skills and “in-the-trenches”experience to draw from later.
Interning helps you…Meet new friends and add to your network of supportive relationships.
It took me years to fully understand the importance of this one, but today I’m a firm believer in the need to constantly be building and managing your personal and professional relationships.
Research has shown that relationships with others are a key element of how work gets done.
Being able to begin learning and developing relationship-building skills as an intern is a real advantage.
WOW…This is a List of Powerful Benefits
To be honest, I didn’t intend to go this deep into the benefits of interning, but my experience with internships is so positive that it gets me jazzed every time I start talking or writing about them.
It’s that same excitement that prompted me to write this GUIDE for students like you. I want to help make sure you have the very best internship experience possible.
I invite you to join me on my journey (here in the blog) through all the chapters of DOMINATING YOUR INTERNSHIP!
If desired, you can view this entire post in the video below:
Question: What type of experience do you have as a STEM intern? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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DOMINATING YOUR INTERNSHIP: 7.5 Secrets to Creating an Awesome and Invaluable Internship Experience as an Engineering or STEM Intern.