5 Reasons Internships are Essential

HPU’s Office of Career and Internship Services (C&IS) connects students with internships that boost resumes, build connections, expand networks, and set potential employees apart from the competition. Below are five reasons every student should pursue an internship opportunity – regardless of whether or not it’s required for their major. The successful outcomes speak for themselves:

  1. Internships provide real-world experience and opportunities to develop essential skills in your desired field.

    Through experiential learning opportunities like internships, HPU students marry classroom content with real-world context. Going behind-the-scenes of an organization not only grants you an insider’s perspective in the industry, but it also lets you practice and hone skills.

    • Erinn Spack gained invaluable television production experience as she worked with correspondents, anchors and producers during an internship with CBS News in Washington, D.C.
    • Nick Stigler, an athletic training major, spent his summer on the sidelines of the New Orleans Saints as an athletic training intern. He performed rehab treatments, transported players to doctor’s appointments, taped ankles and completed other duties in the training room and at practice.
    • Theatre major Cara Kramer learned the ins and outs of the New York theatre industry during her internship with Carolyn Rossi Productions in Times Square.
  2. Internships frequently lead to full-time job opportunities.

    As HPU President Dr. Nido Qubein frequently says, “Results Rule.” Thousands of HPU graduates are pursuing prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Many of those successful outcomes stemmed from internships they pursued during their undergraduate career.

  3. Internships allow you to build your network and gain professional references.

    Students who attend HPU’s Career Expos each semester can have face-to-face conversations with many organizations about opportunities that can impact their future. These organizations that attend actively recruit HPU students for summer jobs and internships, so the expos are a great way to network and learn first-hand what your options may be.

    • Spencer Warren, Alex Oberlander and Garrett Swaim, all 2014 graduates, might be the most tangible proof that attending and networking at HPU’s Career Expo produces results. Each graduate first connected with Insight Global at the Expo during their senior year, and each was hired by the IT staffing firm shortly thereafter. Warren now attends the campus Expos as an employer to meet and recruit students.
    • Last fall, senior Cassie Williams job shadowed Lauren McGraw, an HPU alumna who currently works at Krispy Kreme headquarters in Winston-Salem. Williams then created an internship proposal that ultimately got approved by the company as a pilot position. She is now Krispy Kreme’s first-ever intern and is being mentored by McGraw.
    • Senior Bryan Di Iorio landed his summer 2014 internship through an introduction made by his summer 2013 internship supervisor.
  4. Internships add meaningful, career-related content to a resume.

    Additionally, through mock interviews, HPU’s career advisors can help translate those standout bullet points on your resume into rich “stories” that can help you answer future interview questions. Career advisors are on standby to guide you through the interview process and provide feedback on how to make a positive, lasting impression with potential employers.

    • Melissa Sweredoski, who graduated in December with a degree in strategic communication, completed two internships while she was a student. Her “Campaigns for Strategic Communications” class – during which she worked with a local nonprofit to create a PR strategy plan, from start to finish – granted her practical skills which she further honed during internships at The Mach 1 Group in Austin, Texas, and at Trone Brand Energy in High Point. Multiple internships on her resume helped her stand out and land a job at Kip Hunter Marketing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
    • With the help of Career & Internship Services, Eric Sommerman was able to secure employment with KPMG, a financial services firm in Charlotte. Before graduating, Sommerman received coaching on answering tough interview questions. During his interview with KPMG, he was able to talk about previous experiences as important, relevant stories and examples.
  5. Internships enable you to “test-drive” your career plan to see if it’s a good fit for you. 

    One-on-one career advising sessions through C&IS can help build a solid foundation on which to develop an action plan for your career. You will be able to explore related career fields, uncover new areas of interest, and seek out relevant opportunities for internships and campus involvement. Learning about a variety of occupations and participating in “hands-on” activities such as internships or volunteer work can clarify your choices.

    • Anne Davey completed internships with both the North Carolina Republican Party and U.S. Rep. Howard Coble’s office. After Davey graduates in 2016, she plans to move to Washington, D.C., where she can put her political interests and skills to use on Capitol Hill or at the State Department.
    • Kelly Schwab’s dream job is to work with a television network. Now that she has an internship with Animal Planet under her belt, she can go confidently into the real world, knowing has the practical experience to tackle whatever comes her way.
    • Garrett Gaudioso learned what it takes to plan for a steady financial future during a summer internship with Money at Work LLC, a private wealth management firm. He says the internship experience changed his career aspirations, and that he is inspired to potentially open his own business one day based on the wealth management skills he learned at the firm.
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