Internships are becoming required at many colleges, and in some cases, high schools (in order to have more competitive credentials to attend colleges that require internships).
Why is this? Simple: employers want students who have a little bit of real-world experience in a workplace, to complement their education.
When it comes to deciding where to intern, the world is truly yours, because you’re offering free (or cheap) labor in exchange for experience. So which type of industries and companies are great for interns? Here are our three favorites, in the current economy.
Sports are great industries to get involved with because they’re fun, and attract fun people. You’ll learn the business of sports, and you’ll feel good about the organization and your work.
It’s great to have some enjoyable experiences, especially if you’re going to be doing it for free or cheap. The added bonus is that you’ll have a leg up in an industry that is normally hard to break into.
Sales experience or any other work experience in the world of automobiles will show you a comprehensive cross-section of big business. You’ll see the manufacturers’ national advertising, the regional supply chain, the local store level dynamics, and how it all affects the customer.
That’s valuable in many different types of business, especially anything that has a centralized headquarters and heavily distributed retail presence (cellular phones, restaurants, coffee shops, groceries, etc).
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The great experiences you can have in financial services range from in-office analytical work to more sales-focused experiences. If you can, get a least a taste of the sales side, because that’s the type of experience that no classroom can simulate, and sales experience translates almost universally across the board to other industries and fields (especially when coupled with your academic training).
A great example of this: you could intern with a company or a web-based firm that helps consumers compare mortgage rates in Canada. In that setting, you could get sales and customer service experience in a variety of ways, whether it’s interaction via email inquiries, or making phone calls to customers who expressed interest or had questions.
After you’ve done that, you’ll be able to say that you studied financial services (in college or high school, or independently), and you also gained experience in sales and customer service.