Internships Are the New First Job

Martin Yate By Martin Yate October 19, 2021
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Internships Are the New First Job

​Most of the students who are hired directly out of college have worked as interns. With internships, employers get time to evaluate your potential while you develop professional skills and learn about workplace expectations and how your chosen profession functions and makes money.

Increasingly, employers expect to see one or two internships on applicants' resumes—they make you competitive and give your career the fuel it needs for a fast start.

The Money Question

While you obviously want to be paid well for your work, if ever there is a time in your life when you can work for a small paycheck and still come out ahead, it is at an internship while you are in college. Most internships pay, but few pay well, and with the some of the glamor professions, like entertainment or fashion, you can expect to be paid less. You're building the credibility and skills you need to grow your career; being frugal now will pay off in the future.

But that's not to say all internships reap low wages. Good-paying internships can be found. Over half of the 25 companies paying their interns the most this year are in technology (16 companies), with six other companies in finance and two in the energy industry, according to Glassdoor.

How to Work for Google

If you want an internship with a large, well-known company like Google, and hope for a full-time job to follow, you can prepare by first getting intern experience with other respected employers. Internships give you experience, which can lead to better internships with better companies. But remember, Google was launched around a kitchen table; while everyone wants to work for a blue-chip company, there are plenty of valuable internship opportunities at lesser-known companies where you'll work on real-world projects and gain legitimate professional experience.

​Best-selling author Martin Yate, a career coach and former HR professional, takes your questions each week about how to further your career in HR. Visit Your Career Q&A to see more.

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