Internships are a crucial step in building a prosperous and fulfilling life. Not only do they provide a link between the learning in college and the lifelong learning that goes into building a career, they allow students to obtain a grasp on their desired career path. Internships can be a major stressor for students. Applying, researching, and interviewing all while engaged in classes, extracurricular activities, and other jobs can seem daunting to many. Despite the anxiety and demand created by the internship search, internships are a pivotal building block for any student aspiring to a successful career. Finding the right internship can seem like a herculean task, however if you pair your natural abilities and passions with the resources provided by Daniels and DU you can likely find a fulfilling match.
The crossroads of your passion and desired career field can point you to an internship that’s right for you. Although you may not find one that aligns perfectly, it can provide a springboard so you can jump right into that path to your dream role. No one likes the idea of working without compensation. Although many internships are unpaid, the compensation takes place in the form of experience. No, although you cannot eat experience your mind will gobble it up. Even if the internship that speaks to you the loudest is unpaid, don’t discredit it. It may require a summer of Ramen Noodles and potatoes, but it can change your perspective on your path and set you up to land a stellar career later on. Even if you were to accept an internship and dislike it, you’ve still gained valuable work experience and an even more valuable understanding of what you don’t want to do.
Many departments in Daniels have internship coordinators, so if your beginning to consider embarking on an internship, meeting with them can provide valuable information and contacts. Additionally, the recently revamped Pioneer Careers Online is brimming with internships and full time positions. If you prefer in person contact to feel out your prospective internships, there are a variety of career fairs on campus. In addition to the schoolwide internship fair held on February 8th, there are Daniels and Daniels Corporate Partner specific career fairs. If the idea of wading through a sea of suits and tables doesn’t suit you, many of Daniels Corporate Partners table regularly just outside of Marcus Commons. Any and all official career related events can be found on Pioneer Careers Online. The resources provided by the school offer fantastic opportunities to find a fitting internship. Don’t discount online searches and resources. If your dream company or internship is not on PCO, don’t be afraid to look into their website and reach out to their contact person. If that dream company does not have an internship program, consider reaching out and offering yourself as the pioneering intern.
Internships are learning experiences that can be just as, if not more valuable that some classes. The knowledge built through your hard work at DU is often not only used, but enhanced by an internship experience. Building on and contributing what you’ve learned in the classroom to a real-world role creates startling implications on your perspective. Many internships give as much to your classroom education as they take from it. By embarking on an internship, you are able to not only put into practice the skills and abilities you have honed in the classroom but can often be rewarded with valuable real world examples to use for classes and projects.
Internships should not be viewed as an intimidating requirement that must be fulfilled before a career can begin. Internships are an opportunity to test the waters and build a deeper understanding of yourself and your career goals. If you can find an alignment between your passions and career path, the value created through interning can be life changing. The pride and accomplishment felt when you are able to act in a real-world role is overwhelming. It may not feel life changing as your sifting through excel sheets in a cube farm or tediously calling company contacts as you sip your third coffee but it can be. Internships are what you make of them, so be sure to choose one that you want to make great and it will return the favor.