No matter what grade you’re in when you’re attending college, it’s never too late to start getting career related experience that relates to your degree. Besides getting an internship before you graduate, there are many ways you can get hands-on experience, so that you look better to the employer when you apply for future jobs.
Externship – An externship is similar to an internship but instead of working, you simply shadow someone else while they work. Most companies will allow you to come in and simply watch how others perform their work. For instance, if you wanted to become a teacher, you could come into a classroom and watch how the teacher teaches his/her class for the day. Externships usually are short-term and only last for a few hours a day.
Internship – An internship, as I mentioned above is the opposite of externship and this way is generally the most common way college students get career related experience. An internship is where you’ll go and work with a company and get hands-on experience at no cost. Sometimes, you may find that internships will lead into a paid positions, this is why it’s popular among college students.
Co-Op Program – A co-op program is a multi-term work schedule that usually is signed with one company. Here’s how it works. A student will sign on with a company and promise that company that they will work one summer and come back after college is done the next summer. The nice thing about co-ops are that they are usually paid positions and are also full-time, so it’s as if you’re working your college career already while attending college at the same time.
Volunteer work – Volunteering reminds me of an internship but more companies are willing to take on volunteers because they don’t have to commit to your work schedule. Employers always love to see volunteer work on your resume because it shows that you’re dedicated to your career and you’re willing to learn all about it. A great example of volunteer work would be if you were going to become a teacher and you volunteered your time to help tutor third graders with their homework.
A job – Some students just pass right over this option and don’t think that this will help with their future work endevours. No matter what kind of job you have in life, they are all similar in someway, you have to be there at a certain time and you have to follow orders. This alone can be golden to an employer. When you’re looking to get a job as a college student, see if you can find a job that relates to your career. I’ll use the teacher example once again and say you wanted to find a job that relates to your teaching career. You could find a part-time job at a teacher store or you could assist at a day care. The thing I like most about a job is that there’s no time table and you get paid for your efforts while learning about the work force.
Getting career related experience before college is important and remember it’s never too late to work. My word of advice is that you take some action because you don’t want to graduate and have no experience under your belt. College is supposed to be a challenge and you should put 100% into your career, you’ll thank yourself in the long run!