Let’s be honest…no one really wants to work for FREEEEEE, right?

If we are going to be generous enough to give up our time away from family, friends, and Facebook, then we definitely want something in return…like a paycheck!

But, as it turns out, sometimes doing something for free reaps huge rewards! As a college student, one of the BEST decisions that you can make is to complete an internship. 

By being hired as an intern, you are learning how to become a professional in the workforce.  And, although it may be a non-paid position, this is an opportunity to let a company or organization know that you are willing to invest your time to learn valuable skills such as customer service, team building, and communication!

Earning a strong GPA is definitely a great goal to strive for…but the best employees aren’t necessarily the ones with perfect grades.  While many employers do look for a competitive GPA, they are also searching for candidates who have had previous experience outside of the classroom.  These are the candidates who not only excel in their academic courses, but have acquired hands-on experience from various internships or volunteer work.

Unfortunately, being an “intern” is often given a bad rap.  Students sometimes think that as an “intern,” they will be forced into buying coffee, picking up clothes from the dry cleaners, or organizing a child’s birthday party for the big boss in the office.  Not true!  An intern is often mentored by an office staff person and is taught the desired and needed skills to succeed in the organization.

Besides gaining on-the-job-training experience, students are able to:

♦ Earn units at Sacramento City College by enrolling in a Work Experience class

Depending on the Work Experience class (course number) and the units that you complete (1 to 4 units), you may be able to use this class to fulfill a general education requirement for your AA/AS degree or as a transferable elective to a CSU.  A counselor can help you identify the difference between a degree-applicable course and a CSU-transferable course.  The Work Experience coordinator can explain the requirements needed to fulfill the units of enrollment.

♦ Be mentored by professionals in the field

Wouldn’t it be great if you could ask questions from someone who is already an expert in the field that you are pursuing?  Many times, your mentor (or supervisor) has experienced the same challenges that you have and can relate to your experiences as a student.  This person can also give you insight on how to become more competitive as a candidate when it’s time for you to apply for employment.

♦ Build their resumes for future career opportunities

Employers want to see that you have a strong educational background, but they also want to know what kinds of experiences you’ve had in the workplace.  Even volunteering for a few hours a week or completing a summer internship shows that you’ve made an effort to gain hands-on experience outside of the classroom.