A college internship is not just a requirement you have to finish to graduate. It also provides substance to your graduate school application. This is because admissions committees of different graduate schools (especially the top-ranked ones) like to see candidates who have previously shown interest in the field they are applying for.
An internship gives you a glimpse of the future.
When still in college, you must already display a healthy interest in a particular field for further studies. Through your college internship, the admissions committee is able to see that your interest is not triggered by an impulse or by a whim; you prove that you have been genuinely interested in the field for years and you are willing to do go beyond the confines of the school to get information and exposure to your chosen field. Having internship experience means that you are goal-oriented. It proves that you have thought of your future and have chosen to act on it.
An internship shows that you are a responsible candidate for admission.
Preparing early on for your graduate school degree shows a level of responsibility. With your college internship, admissions committees will judge you as a person who knows what he or she is doing and you appear to them as someone who sets priorities. When you are able to complete requirements of the internship, this communicates a message to the admissions committees that you also have what it takes to finish the requirements of a graduate degree. These include research papers, investigative work, and field work.
An internship makes your resume stand out.
A college internship also strengthens your resume, by providing a related working experience from when you were still in school. If you are looking for a part-time job to support your schooling, the college internship will prove to be even more helpful. Indirectly, your college internship supports the financial aspect of graduate school.
An internship provides you with invaluable work experience.
Work experience given by college internship does not only translate to the details in your resume but also prepares you for the more practical side of your academic discipline. While theory makes you understand concepts, an internship will show you how to work in the real world — how the theory is put in practice.
So, if you are still in college, take advantage of that college internship. If you're still not sure if an internship will be worth your while, then just think about how the internship will help you land a slot in top-ranked graduate schools. If you do decide to intern, perform your best and get all the learnings that you can absorb, for it will be a worthwhile experience.
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