Internships Provide Learning Opportunities, Employment

An internship is a great way for college students to get hands-on experience in their chosen field before they graduate.

“Internships serve a lot of different purposes for both the participant and the employer,” said Ricia Lasso, regional business specialist for the Idaho Department of Labor. “It gives them real-life, on-the-job experience so they can see if they’re interested in that type of work. It gives them an introduction to that particular company, and it introduces the company to potential people they can hire in the future.”

It’s also good for the student’s resume.

According to a 2012 Forbes article, those who participate in an internship had a seven out of 10 chance of being hired by the company where they interned.

 

When an intern starts looking for full-time employment, the newly acquired skills really enhances his or her ability to land the job because it shows the intern actually has work experience, according to Lasso.

One company Lasso works with is xCraft, a commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicle manufacturer, which employs anywhere from five to seven interns at a time.

JD Claridge, hiring manager for xCraft, said four of the past five interns were hired from the internship pool.

“We prefer hiring from our internships,” Claridge said. “We do it quite a bit. We hire mostly engineering interns and provide them with real-world design experience, working on new products and improvements to existing products. We also try to get them hands-on experience building drones.”

While internships provide an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of a company and the potential for hire, they also provide the intern with “soft skills” or employable traits that can transfer to future jobs.

Soft skills can be anything from customer services skills to punctuality, speaking in public and looking the employer in the eye.

— Sean Bunce,
Idaho Department of Labor