Is an Internship Right For You?
by Sydney Tindell
It was that time for me. My Junior year at the University of Tennessee was coming to an end and I was excited to find an internship within my Human Resources major. I had applied for a couple of positions and even did a panel interview for one but hand't had much luck. I was working every weekend as a server and although the money was good, I knew when I graduated employers would want to see more than just my experience in the food service and retail industries.
I was in constant communication with Dr. Debbie Mackey, who is the intern coordinator and HR professor at UT (and is also awesome, I might add). Knowing that I was seeking an opportunity, she emailed me one day and asked if I could attend an interview with Andy Moss of M Force Staffing, a company I had not heard of previously. I said yes and interviewed with Andy at UT that week. I was then invited to come and see the office and meet the employees at M Force. I instantly liked the people working there. About a day later, Andy emailed me that he wanted me to come work for them as a part of my internship, and I excitedly accepted.
Are internships really that important? I believe the answer is a unanimous yes! Internships prepare students for the future and many companies are now offering paid internships. Most importantly, internships give students valuable experience in their chosen field. Having internship experience is what sets you apart from other candidates seeking a full-time job, especially when 95 % of employers say they want to see experience in college grads they hire. Who knows? You might make a lasting impression at your internship and even be offered a full-time position after graduation.
According to Forbes, 51% of students say that an opportunity for employment is the most important thing they want out of an internship. On the flip side, an internship can teach a student that maybe this career path is not what they want. Another added benefit of my internship as well as many others is that I receive school credit. Who wouldn’t want to get a grade just for going to work? This experience has been wonderful for me and I am forever grateful to M Force for giving me this opportunity.
Nearly 8 months after my internship started I am still working with M Force. I have learned more about recruiting than I ever thought I would. Throughout this internship experience, I have learned how to spot a good resume, how to talk to candidates, how to set up interviews, and have had the chance to visit with clients at their locations. I have also explored the Human Resources (paperwork, benefits and administration) side of this business, which also interests me.
Best of all, I will be starting full time with M Force after graduation. So take it from me, internships pave the way for college students to gain experience in their field, a work ethic, and possibly a full-time job. It’s a win-win for the company and the student!