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College Internships: Providing Job Experience For Students

Sep 11, 2008
A common complaint from students is they don't feel they are gaining enough experience to prepare them for careers after college. Sometimes gaining this experience takes initiative and a drive to learn as much as you can before graduation rolls around.

One way to gain job experience is by taking on a college internship. A college internship can be a great way to learn what things will be like in a career setting and what type of work you can expect to be doing after college. No all internship college opportunities are the same however. Some internship opportunities provide students with amazing learning experiences and plenty of projects to keep them occupied during the length of their internship. Other internship experiences don't live up to this level and leave students bored, without the chance to gain much needed job experience. When students are stuck in an internship college of this type, they are face with a tough choice, wondering whether to request more projects or suffer through the boredom until the internship is over.

Students that don't speak up, however, could be doing themselves a disservice because they aren't maximizing their college internship experience. The employer may fear overloading the intern with projects and therefore has accidentally not given enough work to keep the student occupied. Once the student speaks up, the employer will then realize that the intern has a high workload capacity and will likely come up with more projects. Speaking up can also benefit the student because the employer could then recognize the student's work ethic, which could lead to a higher rating on the intern's evaluation.

When requesting more work, it is important to address the college internship employer in a courteous manner. A good way to approach your employer is to ask if they have any more projects that need completed because you have finished your current workload quicker than you anticipated. You could even come up with project ideas on your own and then present them to your employer if you feel they are relevant and would be beneficial to the company if you were to complete them. This could also show the internship college employer that you take the job seriously and care enough to come up with ideas on your own. On the other side of this, if you are constantly bothering your employer and whining for more projects, they will likely become agitated, so you must keep a fine balance between politely asking for more projects and whining to your boss about not having enough to do.

In most situations, it can't hurt to ask your employer for more work to do. Normally they will be pleasantly surprised by the request and will eagerly find more work for you to complete. This is especially true if the alternative for you is to sit at a desk all summer staring at your blank computer screen because you don't have anything to do. A college internship is supposed to be a learning experience and sometimes it takes initiative on your part to get opportunities in gaining that experience.
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