The importance of completing an internship prior to graduating from college cannot be stressed enough. Recent statistics repeatedly show that employers prefer new hires that have gained relevant work experience through internship or co-op experiences and make full—time job offers based on these experiences. Many organizations have set up internship programs within their organization for the purpose of training and hiring interns as full time employees. It has also been proven that retention rates of new employees are considerably higher for those who have completed an internship with the organization.
As a result of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) 2008 Experiential Education Survey, Marilyn Mackes NACE’S Executive Director said, “Employers say they extended job offers to nearly 70 percent of their interns; in 2001, they offered jobs to 57 percent.” “Nearly 90 percent of employers who use their programs to hire say they are very or extremely satisfied with their interns, and employers consistently name the internship program as one of the most effective tools they have for hiring new college graduates.” “Employers see results with these programs”, says Mackes.
“Survey findings also indicate that interns who become full-time hires are more likely to stick with the organization than their co-workers who didn’t go through the program: More than one-third of employers (37.3 percent) reported higher retention among those converted from intern to employee within the first year of hire, and nearly half (48.8 percent) said former interns had higher retention five years after hire.”
According to Mackes, “Employers expect to add to their intern numbers this year: respondents project a 3.7 percent increase in the number of interns they bring on in 2007-08, building their pool of potential full-time hires for next year.”
Internships are no longer thought of as a nice thing to have but have become a necessity for those interested in finding employment in a particular industry or organization. Although many students wait until their junior or senior year to look for internships, doing several internships throughout your college years provides the best way to try out a number of different career fields as well as organizations.