"Is it worth it? Not being able to have fun on Thursday nights," asked a friend.
Yes, it is -- and I'll explain why it's a good idea to have a part-time internship with a full courseload in college:
- You don't need to party three days a week to have a fulfilling social life. Well, perhaps I enjoy curling up in my bed with a novel a little too much, but for the weekend, I make an effort to go out and have a jolly good time for one night and then study hard the other night. 'Tis better to have one fantastic night that you'll never forget (or remember, if you prefer) than to have two mediocre nights. Besides, I make sure to meet up with friends for meals and study breaks.
- You'll learn how to manage your time -- and that looks great to employers. If you're getting good grades on a full courseload and pursuing an internship, it'll show employers that you know how to work efficiently and effectively. You could get good grades if you studied all the time, but balancing work, play, and study is when you show your true abilities.
- The connections that you make while you're in school will place you ahead of the competition. Many college students that I know don't want to pursue an internship during the school year because it takes up more time, but you're going to graduate in four years with plenty of references and experience under your belt -- and that's going to save you time when you're looking for a job.
- Work experience is especially important when you're pursuing a liberal arts degree. I'm studying Art History and Anthropology, with additional classes in French, film, women's studies, and economics. People always ask me, "What are you doing to do with your degree?" Well, I'm going to know how to think critically with my degree, and I'm going to know how to kick derrière with my work experience. Being culturally intelligent and skilled at work is a deadly weapon.
- An internship is an escape from clubs and academia. Let me tell you, I love going to work at a magazine because it is a completely different world from college. And really, I need that to stay
- It's usually easier to get an internship during the school year than it is to get one during the summer. And with the experience you have during the school year, you can get an internship during the summer. Fewer people are able to and are willing to intern during the school year, so you might as well seize the opportunity.