Benefits of Having an Internship

By Maruixi Mansfield

Designer & Staff Writer

Internships programs have been on the “hot seat” because they are considered overworked and under paid. Several class-action lawsuits were filed against Fox Pictures, Condé Nast and NBC Universal with the result of multimillion-dollar settlements. Numerous interns complained they worked as full timers with little or not pay and most of them won their court case.

“Internships have become key in today’s economy,” said Melissa Benca, director at career services at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City.

Benca stated on a CNN interview that graduates have a higher chance to obtain a full time position upon graduation if they do internships because it will help their resumes to look better.

“Students are doing internships as undergraduates, and it is now not unusual for recent grads to take an unpaid internship with hopes of turning it into a permanent position or at least making some contacts and building their résumé.” Benca said.

Several career resources like, has gave important reasons to apply for an internship before to get out of school:

1.Gain valuable work experience

Full time students will find difficult to land in a position right away because of the lack of experience. Internship will give you real-world experience while still at school and it will generate portfolio samples for your resume.

2.Decide if that field is right for you

Working for a company in a particular field will give a valuable insight into whether or not that industry is the right choice, and allows you to make changes if necessary.

3.Develop and build upon skills

During an internship, you will develop new skills that will help you for your future employment opportunities giving you a competitive edge versus your competition.

4.Gain networking contacts

It has been said many times: ‘it’s not about what you know; it’s about who you know’. While it is vital to know how to perform the required tasks for a particular job, having a good set of industry contacts behind you can be just as vital in helping you find and secure a job after you graduate.

5.Obtain references

During your internship, your supervisor or manager will have a closer look of your performance and you will be able to request recommendation letters. Those references will have a huge impact in your job search as they represent your abilities for the next position.

6.Get a foot in the door

If your idea is to land a job offer, internship is the best chance you will have to show a prospective employer your skills before the hiring process. In addition, according to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), new graduates who took part in an internship are more likely to obtain a job offer than the regular applicants.

7. Learn about the world of work.

You won’t know what it feels to have a job with the day-to-day experience until your first internship: interact with supervisors, co-workers, manage difficult situations, and probably handle customers.

Even famous people in the entertainment industry started their careers as an intern.

One example is Steven Spielberg, a Motion Picture Director and Producer, who did an unofficial internship at Universal Studios when he was 17 years old. He snuck onto the studio all the time, even though he wasn’t granted, and networked with directors. After Spielberg showed a short film to one of them, he was offered a seven-year contract. The rest is history.

Another example is Oprah Winfrey, an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist, who started as an intern in a local black radio station in Tennessee when she was in her senior year in High school and continued during her college until she was hired as a part-timer news host. Then, Winfrey moved to Chicago to host of a low-rated half-hour morning show called AM Chicago. A year later, the show became the highest rated show and it was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Even previous FDU students have benefited from taking on internships. Nidia Rodriguez, an FDU alumni who graduated last May, had several internships at places such as Nova Nordisk and JBK Associates International.

Because of her internships, Rodriguez learned how to build a resume and how to interact in an interview. She used the College Central Network website to find her second internship and finally, she joined another non-profit, focused on Latino empowerment, before she started her full time job at Workforce Solutions.

“Every internship opportunity taught me a different lesson. The most valuable thing that I learned is that in order to succeed, you must work hard and love what you do. All you need is one person to give you the opportunity, but once you are in the role, you must be hardworking, resilient and open to growth and development.” said Rodriguez.