Internships can have a huge impact on your young adult’s career prospects

NDFYA Staff

You want your young adult child to find a “real” job as soon as possible so they have the money to move out on their own. That may not be the best move for long-term success, though. Instead, consider steering your young adult towards an internship.

Taking a few months to complete an internship can have a huge impact on your young adult’s career prospects, much more of an impact than the amount of money they make in that timeframe. Consider this: Amber Shiflett of Snagajob says, “employers often use internships as a recruitment tool to test out future employees and in many cases, companies hire interns after graduation.”

Exploring Careers

Interns gain experience that teaches them about the industry and career paths available. They also add skills that prove useful whether they choose to stay in that field or move into another one. They learn the industry the company is involved in, gain exposure to other careers through the people they work with, and can decide whether or not that industry or type of career works for them.

Application of Skills

It’s not often possible for a student to actually use the skills learned in a classroom outside of school projects. Even if they do, it may not be often enough for the learner to feel confident in their abilities. An internship gives your young adult the opportunity to do just that.

If your child wonders how the lessons they’re being taught in a classroom transfer over to the “real world,” an internship shows them exactly how concepts are used in the day-to-day operation of a company.

Networking

Working as an intern is invaluable for building the network that your child needs to have an independent life; they’ll meet a number of people while completing an internship. These people include other employees, vendors and clients that work with the company, and people your young adult meets while carrying out his or her duties or attending an event with the company.

Some of the people they meet may offer your child a job in the future or be a mentor that helps your adult child move forward in his or her career. If your young adult has difficulty making friends, they’re likely to find others with common interests.

Prepare for a Job Search

Your child may not have any job experience at this time, or has very generic experience working at a fast food restaurant or retail store. By completing an internship, your young adult is able to add experience to his or her resume that makes them more valuable to prospective employers. Heather Huhman adds, “Other individuals you work closely with at your internship can also serve as references or provide recommendation letters for your job search.”

Give Your Young Adult a Chance

The return on investment from an internship goes far beyond dollars and cents. Internships teach young adults about being a professional, no matter what industry or career they choose to work in. Value comes from every new contact your young adult makes and every skill they learn.