Student talks about value of internships for people planning to enter workforce

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – In many professions, an internship is a rite of passage… the start that can kick off a career.

Today is National Intern Day, and we explore the value internships add for those coming out of college and entering the workforce.

“It was just a great experience, just learning how to work and learning marketing,” said Elizabeth Newsom, who is a graduate student at UT Tyler. “It really helped build not only my skill set but also my resume.”

Newsom described how important it is for students to expand their knowledge beyond formal education with on-the-job experience. She got an internship with Sodexo her sophomore year of college, where she worked for a year and a half. She said having that extra year or two of relevant work experience coming out of college makes a big difference.

“In interviews you are going to be asked like, ‘hey, when’s the time that you had to deal with this or that, you had to work on a team or you had to work with social media,’ and you’re asked for measurable examples of your results, so I was able to do that because I’d had internships before,” Newsom said.

dr. Kerri Camp, Professor of Marketing at UT Tyler, said the data shows about 85% of students who do an internship with a company get an employment offer at the conclusion of the internship.

She explained how an internship builds upon what is learned in the classroom.

“As much as we try to do in academics to give them real world solutions, it’s nothing like being on the job and being able to apply what they’ve learned, and understand organizational culture, and the dynamics within an organization,” said Camp . “So, it really gives them that real world experience that is so important today.”

Camp said employers reach out to the university on a regular basis looking for students to do internships.

During the height of Covid-19, internship opportunities were limited. However, Camp said, there are currently more opportunities than there are students to fill them.

She said most internships are paid, and they encourage employers to pay students because there should be value that the intern is bringing to the employer.

“Getting that practical experience within their field is more important than anything they can have as far as adding to their resume,” said Camp.

At UT Tyler, students can earn school credit for internships for working a minimum of 15 hours a week.

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