Internships (Part 2): One or Many?

By Posted in - Professional Development & Public Relations on May 6th, 2014 Stack of resumes

Internship Hopping: should interns pursue one long internship or several shorter gigs?
Part two of a two-part blog on internships from Clairemont’s own fantastic intern, Carly Griffin.

It’s clear: one of the most important benefits of an internship outside the classroom is the opportunity to develop a long-term relationship with a company.

But what is more important: interning for one agency for an extended period of time or dipping into a variety of agencies throughout multiple internships?

Revisit the Reason

In a world where students have taken up sports, joined clubs and racked up volunteer hours solely for the purpose of building up their resumes, we have forgotten the reasons behind the actions. Sports weren’t created to be a point on a resume; they are created for exercise and learning teamwork. Volunteerism isn’t for cushioning a cover letter; it’s for nurturing and giving back to a community.

Concurrently, don’t approach an internship as just another item on your graduation checklist. It’s not worth it.

What are you investing?

Whether you intern at one place for an extended period of time or hop from one internship to another, it’s vital that you fully commit yourself to that experience. You get out of it what you put in. One quality internship can be just as beneficial as a resume stacked with a multitude of positions. If you are getting great experience and learning a lot at one place, there is no need to stress about finding a litany of internships just to fill your resume.

However, there is something to be said for interning at a variety of companies. According to Statista.com, twenty-nine percent of college graduates wish they had interned more during their college careers. If you are still unsure of the kind of job you want, quantity can help. Like sampling ice cream flavors (and with the same gusto, of course), it can be beneficial to intern at several companies that provide a different environment and experience. You don’t want to end up signing a work contract and then having the job equivalent of buyer’s remorse.

The Final Word

So, after my internal debate that fateful night at the dinner table with my dad, I am happy to say that I have gained so much more than just PR experience from my internships. I’ve gained insight into a professional world, I’ve learned the importance of building professional relationships, and I’ve discovered what interests me and what does not. I believe that the time I have spent interning (not the number of internships I have had) will help me compete with other, more experienced, professionals when I enter the job market after graduation.

Sound off: what advice do you have for college interns? Invest in one internship or pursue several?

 

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