College Students and Internships
Recently, I’ve come into contact with a few college graduates who are having difficulty locating jobs in their field. Many of them feel that employers don’t want to hire them because they don’t have experience–and their likely right. As a result, many have wound up working in fields vastly different from what they majored in and feel disillusioned about their professional future.
..But guess what?
This is nothing new.
For decades, college students have complained about employers not wanting to hire graduates without experience. The age old argument is that one cannot gain experience without being provided with an initial opportunity: a fair contention. The unfortunate aspect of the situation is that there still has not been much progress in terms of solving this issue.
One well known way for students to gain experience is to participate in an internship or externship. Studies show that a larger number of companies are offering internships–albeit unpaid–however, this presents an opportunity for students to gain much needed experience. Students must be taught how to be proactive and aggressively seek these opportunities. If not, it will be that much more difficult to land entry-level positions in fields such as marketing, for example. If an internship cannot be obtained, then college students should be encouraged to participate in an applied project. Ideally, students should be encouraged to complete both (I’m very tempted to say required), but at a minimum at least one.
College students cannot wait on the private sector to budge, they have to take matters into their own hands.