Common misconception: Internships are only for those college seniors who are trying to get a leg up into a full-time job post-graduation, or even for those looking for a starter job after they graduate. FALSE.
Anyone in college can get an internship in almost any field and, in fact, I would most definitely recommend it. Internships allow you to try out the skills that you are learning in school and give you experience in the field that you are aiming to work in for a large portion of the rest of your life. On the other hand, an internship may show you that you actually can’t stand the field that you are studying and allow you to change your major before it’s too late.
You can actually hear a testimonial on that in this clip from Joe Palumbo, who was an intern at the Quincy Herald-Whig for sports writing.
It is possible to bounce around with your internships- that’s what’s so great about them. You are basically just trying out different angles of your course of study. I’ve had 2 internships already and it’s possible that I might get a third this coming year in graphic design just to give that a try.
The good thing about QU is that it’s such a major city for the southern Illinois/eastern Missouri area. Companies in Quincy are looking for interns all the time and they come to QU first because, well, it’s easiest. Why force a student to travel all the way from Western Illinois University in Macomb when you can have a QU student travel 15 minutes down Broadway, or wherever the office is located. Not to mention the grant that QU has that gives employers back half of what they pay their interns, which is also always nice for them.
I’m so glad I’ve been able to have the 2 internships that I’ve had. They’re both so different though so they were good experiences in their own way.
My first internship was with the Quincy Society of Fine Arts and they had me doing a lot of office work mixed in with various marketing and public relations things (I wrote more press releases than I knew anyone was capable of there).
At QuincyNet, where I work now, I do a lot of different things. They kind of just give me opportunities more so I’ll learn new skills and not as much just so I benefit them.
Basically, while QSFA was more like the real deal business type place, QuincyNet is like a learning experience outside the classroom. Both have their positives and negatives but I would never regret either one in a million years. And if QuincyNet ever starts to be less then what I’m looking for in a job there’s always the possibility of getting yet another internship somewhere else. They’re always available at QU.