Mar 18

Internships in D.C.

Why Are Internships So Important?

It’s no secret the unemployment rate has been high in recent years. As a result, the job market has been tough. College students and recent graduates have found the job search especially hard. In fact, over half of recent grads are either unemployed or underemployed.

An Alternative Approach

Sending out a steady stream of resumes clearly isn’t working. It can be frustrating to put yourself out there again and again and hear nothing back. What other approaches are open to these recent grads?

The best option may be to do an internship. That’s according to a survey by Internships.com. The survey found that among companies with at least 100 employees, 69% offered their interns full-time positions in 2012. Among smaller companies, the number dropped to a still healthy 39%. It’s a trend that will most likely continue to grow, too. In 2012, for instance, 36% more companies offered internships than in 2011.

Internships Are Win-Win

Internships can be a winning situation for both of the parties involved. The intern gets to try out the company. He or she can explore a possible career path to see whether it might be a good fit. There’s also the potential to get a foot in the door that may lead to a full-time position down the road. The company gets to find and groom talent over a period of time. That’s far preferable to making crucial hiring decisions based on nothing but a brief interview.

We’re also seeing an interesting trend emerging. More and more companies are trying out virtual interns. This approach can make location barriers irrelevant for job seekers and companies alike. It means students who haven’t graduated yet can do internships while they finish their degrees. With the virtual internship option, students are no longer limited to doing internships only during school breaks. They can choose to balance an internship with their course work during the school year.

What About Pay?

Out of all the programs surveyed, one third offered financial compensation. The remaining unpaid internships still had things to offer. They provided things like college credit, company perks, and food or travel stipends. Those are on top of the experience and connections an internship offers, of course. It’s up to each job seeker to decide whether the benefits outweigh the possible lack of a paycheck.

Are you a recent graduate who is struggling to find a job? Looking for relevant internships in your area of expertise might be the way to go.

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