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Written by Bella Richmond, Intern, Met Sacramento High School
Today’s job market is rife with contradicting expectations for applicants. Internships can help potential employees fit more of a job’s requirements. As a junior in high school, I am lucky to already have some experience with internships. My school, the Met Sacramento, has an internship program, which has facilitated my work at City Hall and my current internship, Tower of Youth. As I am closing out my first year with Tower of Youth, I am processing the many advantages of internships. Internships are commonly suggested for students or recent graduates who want to fulfill an educational requirement or just gain experience with a specific organization. Some internships are paid, some are flexible and some are meant to assess an intern’s potential as a hire. It is not uncommon today to hear about people constantly trying to rearrange their qualifications and resumes to fit the standards of employers, and I think internships are a smart step in preparing oneself for the future. The versatility of an internship is becoming more valuable for future hires.
What sets apart applicants from the other throngs of other hopefuls? On paper, it is often education and or experience. Research from the Harvard Business School published in 2017 found, that “job postings requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher rose by more than 10% from 2007 to 2010” (Fuller and Raman). Along with the increased expectation that individuals will have a degree before applying, many entry-level positions are accompanied by the requirement of years of experience. According to an analysis by TalentWorks of over 95,000 listings, 61% of full-time, entry-level jobs, require at least 3 years of experience. An internship can supply those years of job experience in your chosen field, while also serving as a networking opportunity and in some cases counts as credit towards a degree.
Internships are multipurpose and have benefits for mentors and interns. The mentor-intern relationship is the best thing I have taken away from my own experiences. A mentor can provide valuable advice in a field. For someone without many contacts in a job field, either starting out or pivoting a career, a mentor can provide contacts and solid advice. For mentors, mentoring grows critical leadership skills. An intern can provide insight into how an organization runs at that entry-level and bringing an intern on is a more intensive way to vet and train potential hires. An internship on your resume shows that you have hands-on experience. Internships open up opportunities and can even help to narrow one’s interest within a field. I suggest that anyone who has the time and opportunity tries out an internship as it can lead to so many doors opening. My current internship has allowed me to work professionally in the field I want to go into, while still honing my skills and taking time for my education. An internship melds the real world and educational experiences that are so sought after by employers.
Bella Richmond is a junior at the Met Sacramento High School, and she is interning with the Tower of Youth two days a week at Capsity Oak Park. Bella is also a contributing Youth Media Reporter for AccessLocal.TV.