Most students feel pressured to have an internship experience before applying for jobs after graduation.
Having an internship gives students the opportunity to experience their career choice before graduating and learn what it is like to be in a professional work environment. In addition, many employers use internships to recruit future employees.
In many degree programs, by having an internship and doing well at that internship, the business will offer a full-time job after graduation. This is often the case for engineering students.
Logan Stockemer is a chemical engineering sophomore. He is currently working as a research intern in chemistry for Oklahoma State. While this does not directly apply to his future career, Stockemer said it is hard for freshman or sophomores to receive internship positions. Companies often look to hire juniors or seniors as interns so that those students can then work as full-time employees after graduation.
“It is pretty obvious why the businesses do it this way, but it puts a lot of pressure on the way a student at an earlier time in their life approaches internships than what it previously was,” Stockemer said. “You won’t get as good of a job, or one at all, if you don’t already have two years of experience.”
In a lot of cases, the pressure to have an internship can come from a student’s choice in degree program.
Kiernin Lewis is a junior majoring in applied exercise science. Lewis is studying a pre-medical route and plans on doing occupational therapy after graduation. She does not currently have an internship, but she does not feel pressured to have one either.
“I think there is a lot of pressure for students with certain majors to get an internship,” Lewis said. “I think business majors, engineering majors and the like feel like they need internships whereas pre-med students maybe don’t.”
At OSU, some majors require internship credit for the completion of the degree. Many colleges also offer academic credit to students who receive internship experience.
Lewis is not required to get an internship as an applied exercise major, but she does need shadowing hours. Her shadowing hours can count towards the 200 hours that are required for her degree.
Scottlynn Silva is a sophomore majoring in sports media. She does not currently have an internship, however, she does feel a lot of pressure to get one. In sports media, an internship is not required.
“I think having an internship will help me in the future because I have a sports type degree that I am pursuing, and it is a way to get more exposure and experience,” Silva said.
Throughout the school year, the different colleges host many different preparation services to help students become prepared to receive an internship offer. There are programs to help students prepare resumes, practice interviews, and more.
Each college also hosts career fairs, which help facilitate contact between students and employers. Many students meet companies at this time that they later work for as an intern.
Through utilizing the resources provided by OSU, many students receive and excel in their intern positions. However, many students, such as Stockemer, feel their future careers depend on this experience.