This summer, I had the great pleasure to intern with Allovus. During my time here, I learned many valuable skills and important lessons (like when riding a hippity hop, make sure it’s not on sand). But above all else, it has opened my eyes to the value of an internship, even beyond the paycheck. My experience got me thinking, what do other students think of internships? Are there any statistics about the effects of having an internship?
As it turns out, there is a lot of data on how internships affect students after college. And lucky for me, I had quite a few friends who had internships this summer. Talking to them gave me insight on their experience as well.
Did you know participation in multiple internships helps college students secure employment or enter graduate school within six months of graduation? And that, according to forbes.com, 60% of the time, a paid internship leads to a job offer? I for sure did not know this. As students, we are told by career counselors, professors, and even former students that internships are valuable. And it’s, true. Right off the bat, it is apparent that paid internships bring increased job opportunities after graduation. Internships can also lead to increased networking opportunities, access to job references, and provide work samples to build your portfolio.
It was reported by forbes.com that paid interns spend 42% of their time doing tasks like analysis and project management and just 25% on clerical work. In contrast, unpaid interns spend about 30% of their time on professional tasks. Along with this, unpaid interns see less job offers after graduation (only about 37%). But, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, in the hiring process, the majority of employers did not favor candidates who had completed paid internships over those who’d held unpaid internship positions. But, both paid and unpaid internships come with a host of opportunities and benefits.
Beyond all these stats, internships are immensely valuable in ways that may not be measurable on paper. This summer, Allovus was lucky enough to have another intern, Hannah Marquardt. I was curious about what she found to be valuable in her internship experience. Was it the money, the increased opportunity of post-college job placement, or something else? When asked about what she valued the most about her internship she didn’t mention the stats or the money. She spoke about the wonderful people she’d met and the incredible things she’d learned. “I was extremely fortunate to be brought into the company right out of high school. I’ve been able to get firsthand experience of how the industry works and got a taste for some of the work I hope to be doing in the future. It’s been very validating to be able to use my talents for creative projects as well as get constructive feedback from a friendly team of professionals.”
The input I received about internships from my peers all had a similar message: it’s an opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in the classroom and “test-drive” a future career.
“Internships give you the opportunity to use what you’ve learned and actually see what you’ve done go toward something other than a grade”, says Jessica Brewster, a Project Management intern at Tote. “You also get a sneak peek into what a career in your field would look like.”
Kayla Gleza, an intern at PricewaterhouseCoopers, feels the same way. “My experience at PwC really helped me gain insight into the field that I’m actually going into. I’ve been able to use the knowledge I’ve learned in class outside of the classroom and see more of the big picture. I’ve made lasting connections with both the firm’s staff and fellow interns, which has been the most rewarding part of it all.”
Personally, I can attest to this. Allovus has given me a glimpse into the professional world and how I can apply my education in real circumstances. Yes, my two years as an intern at Allovus has taught me valuable, practical, and applicable skills (ranging from Photoshop to yes, grabbing the occasional coffee). I am grateful for all the learning opportunities and chances to grow professionally. But the thing I will remember most is the unwavering support and encouragement I have felt here. Everyone at Allovus took me in and truly made me feel a part of a team. They were always willing to answer my questions and give me constructive feedback and advice. Allovus has been an extraordinary place to learn and grow these past two years, and I can’t thank everyone enough. I will miss you all!