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    What is the importance of doing internships before graduating in the eyes of the companies who are looking to hire you? Is a lack of an internship an added booster, or do they automatically not consider applicants lacking internship experience?

    Recordo Thomas

    An internship on your Resume as a recent graduate with no experience is just letting the employer know that you have some Industrial experience to go with the educational background that they are looking for. in this competitive job market, I believe it is important to gain some industrial experience before graduation, otherwise its going to sometimes be a game of chance or luck to land a good job.


    I fully agree with Recordo’s comments and while undoubtedly some recruiters may see it differently, when hiring a new graduate, I am a big proponent of hiring students with at least one internship. The biggest benefits of internship is to offer the students an opportunity to see the bigger picture and how their work is integrated into overall office structure, to work and experience a truly multi-disciplinary environment, experience the office politics (hopefully in a healthy-low dose) and figure out what they DON’T like about their jobs (very important!).

    Just like in professional sport, any working professional’s capability to effectively contribute to his/her company is not solely based on their talent/skills but also on their social and emotional intelligence and ability to work with others and function within the corporate machine (the team).  Students with internship experience tend to be more “refined” from this perspective although admittedly there are always exceptions.


    Just to piggy back a bit, I had also wondered why my mom was pushing me so much to get an internship until I actually go in one. We learn a lot in school but actually getting in the field and applying your work is so much different. You should honestly WANT to get an internship. Not just because it looks good on a resume, but because it’s such great experience.

    Ellie Schlaefer

    In my opinion, internships are very important not only for the experience on a resume, but simply to learn more about how a business functions and what a company looks for when hiring. Like Colin said above, I think it is important that you are doing an internship because you think it will add to your toolbox, not just for the sake of writing it on a resume.

    That being said, there are other jobs you can have that don’t have the “internship” title that are very valuable and can boost your resume. Some jobs on campus are great if you can find the right one.


    In my opinion, being a student is very different than being an intern. For example, from my experiences as an intern, I had to be able to work with various types of people. It is one thing to do a group project for a class, but it is another thing to intern at UW Health and work within a team of nurses, social workers, surgeons, dietitians, etc., which is what I did one summer. Additionally, internships give you the opportunity to connect what you have learned in school to a work setting. Thus, it puts theory into practice. However, I do think various group projects I’ve done in college have helped with this too, which is great! For this reason, someone who has not yet had internship experience could highlight these experiences in their interviews.



    I think there is a lot of value in having internship experience prior to graduating. Companies care about your educational background and your degree but they also want to see that you have applied the knowledge you have learned in college to the real world. In addition, internship experiences allow you to work in a specific department or area in a company that is more focused rather than trying to juggle between different courses like how you do in school. I have loved my internship experiences because it has also allowed me to work with engineers and get their advice on classes to take or different career paths I could go into. Overall, my internships have provided me with knowledge that I wouldn’t have learned in a classroom setting.

    Nick Lawrence

    I think that internships are important both professionally and personally. In an internship, you will complete projects and overcome challenges in an industry setting, so if you do a good job in an internship in a related field, it is very convincing to a hiring manager that you are prepared to handle the position you are applying for. However, there are other ways of proving you’re prepared. You could talk about group projects, volunteer experiences, etc to the same effect.

    Having an internship also helps you discover your own interests. I have had two internships so far, and in each of them I have discovered things I liked about the work and things I didn’t like. This has helped me form a better idea of what I’d like to do after college.

    John Silva

    I once read that the most common regrets of recent graduates was not gaining enough internship experience in college. Internships give students to work for 16-weeks at a time and learn what they do and do not like. Anyone who does that after graduation would be labeled a job hopper.

    As for the students who are avoiding internships because they want to focus on academics, they are likely overvaluing their GPA. I have had managers who will not hire someone with a 4.0 GPA. I’ve even read of a hiring manager who asks applicants with a 4.0 GPA what experiences they missed out on while focusing on gaining straight A’s. The thought process was that students can learn outside of the classroom in student organizations as well as internships. The students that focus on GPA may be sacrificing some real world learning for an internship.

    So are internships valuable? I say yes!

    This is anecdotal evidence, but it is worth sharing. Every year I hire multiple interns to work at my factory. Last year I hired an intern who had recently graduated with an industrial engineering degree. She was bright, personable, and had a solid GPA. Unfortunately, no one would hire her, and the feedback she received was the lack of internship experience was hindering her. I hired her, a degreed engineer, for a typical intern hourly rate. After working with us for 6 months, we were satisfied with her contributions and hired her for a full time role. Things worked out for her in the long run, but her lack of an internship ultimately delayed her starting her career a full year.

    Jack Grahek

    After advancing through upper level IE coursework and completing multiple internships, I see the my academics in a completely different light than before. What isn’t taught in our classes is that hiring managers look for real world problem solving skills. This is a skill that comes with time, and no textbook can teach it. IE classes are incredibly helpful in creating a strong base for critical thinking, but when it comes down to interviewing for a full time job, GPA may get you in the door, but real world work experiences seal the deal and earn you that job offer.


    I think that internships allow you to experience the workforce before graduating college. I think that the experience you receive while on an internship is much different that in school. In school you learn the skills and having an internship allows you to apply this knowledge. I think that if you have an internship you have a higher chance of receiving a job just because the company sees that you have had experience applying your knowledge and skill set. However, just because you received an internship does not mean it guarantees you the position over someone who has not has an internship. Overall, I think an internship helps with gaining experience and in the eyes of most employers experience is a positive influencing factor.

    Kalley Anderson

    I think internships are great opportunities to show companies that you have experience. Internships are also important for your own professional growth. With internships you learn what you like to do, what you don’t like to do. This will help you in finding a company and job that is a good fit for you.


    I think the most important aspect of an internship is to find what you are looking for in a job, in a company, and in yourself. As an intern, you will be exposed to a wide range of opportunities in a short period of time. In that time, you will decide whether or not you end up liking the field you are currently in. During that summer, you will find out if you like the If you do not, the internship at most is a 12-week program.

    As a recruiter, it is important to show that you have experience in the workforce. It is not as important as what you did, but what you learned at your internship and how you can apply it going forward.

    Jake Bever

    Unless you know someone in a company, it will be very hard for your resume to stand out to an employer without any related work experience, ie internship. If I were to give an incoming freshman or sophomore any advice regarding internships, it would be to go the career fair the first your into your major. This will give you experience talking to recruiters about yourself, even if you don’t feel qualified for the internship yet.

    Graham Dalsing

    Internships are a great way to get your leg in the door. Many companies offer development programs which hire exclusively people who have done their internship program. These can be a great way to start a career in engineering.

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