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The Benefits of Doing an Internship Before Getting a Job

April 9, 2021

There are benefits beyond the obvious of practical “hands-on” experience when it comes to doing an internship before getting a job.

Here are some key benefits of doing an internship before attaining a full-time job.


  • Exploring career paths while in college.


Finding an internship during college is extremely beneficial as students can utilize the skills that they have learned in class and expose themselves to a practical setting where they are able to gain a clearer sense of a desired career path. It is important that students have the mindset of using their skills and developing these skills in a professional setting. Students may find that the internship is a field that they do not want to go into, and that is also good as it gives them more direction and drive in a their most desirable  career path through a process of elimination. 


  • Networking and getting your foot in the door.


This is not new information for students when deciding on pursuing an internship, but it is so important to start developing professional connections that could potentially affect a future career. Networking and getting a foot in the door creates the opportunity to build positive relationships that is essential once students graduate and pursue a full-time position. Networking with professionals can also provide the opportunity to find a mentor that can guide students around their desired career path, while learning principles for their given internship. 


  • Etiquette in the workplace/developing professional skills.


Very often young graduates are faced with the challenge of not really understanding how to interpret the values and behaviours that are both formally and informally ingrained in an organization's culture.  The intern is given the opportunity to be schooled and guided in the organization's culture or “the way we do things around here”.  This often mirrors the industry that the company finds itself in and is a great opportunity for the intern to become familiar with the culture.

Something as simple as dress-code is often overlooked and getting this wrong especially on a sales call, in front of an important customer, could be embarrassing for the company and the intern alike. Being prepared for this as an intern sets the tone for the company.


  • Basic Discipline.


This might be obvious; however, this can be responsible for the internship ending as quickly as it started. Punctuality might seem “old school” but being late demonstrates disrespect for fellow employees that is never forgotten. Being on time is a great way to demonstrate that you are prepared and serious about getting the job done and this in conjunction with task progress, reporting and monitoring will raise the interns credibility.

Time management also falls into this category and “procrastination really is the thief of time”. In a factory/manufacturing setting fFirst time right” is also an ethos that the intern could learn and take with them throughout their working career.


  • Learning additional augmented skills.


Here advanced ERP, Microsoft Office skills or unique IT packages that may be specific to the company or industry will be invaluable experience for the intern.

In conclusion, most of us will be thrust into environments where our education provides us with a foot in the door.  It is in the practical application of the theory learned at university and the nuance encountered in a complex organization that makes being an intern an invaluable learning experience to prepare for the job and life. Idaho State University offers students the option to pursue a Career Path Internship (CPI), which is a paid internship program that allows students to gain hands-on, real world experience in their chosen course of study or an internship which aligns with the student’s career goals. If you are a student in search of an internship, Idaho State offers resources such as the Career Center to provide job search assistance. Email the Career Center at to set up an appointment to find an internship related to your career goals. 



  1. (n.d.). Retrieved April 08, 2021, from