Summer internships provide valuable experience

By Kristen Frohlich

For many college students, the arrival of summer brings one word to mind: relaxation. All of their anxiety brought on by exams, essays and late night studying is put on hold as their spring semester ends and a warm, sunny break begins. However, these three blissful months of summer do not always mean relaxation. Summer can be quite hectic, particularly for students who take on internships in their desired job field.

Many students apply for internships with the hopes of learning more about their area of study and gaining valuable experience. Still, many students do not apply for internships due to the fear of being forced to do grunt work, like going on coffee runs or making paper copies for their managers. Fortunately, the two internships I had this summer were everything I had hoped they would be.

Relaxation was a word far from my mind these past three months when I worked for a local podiatrist, New Jersey Foot and Ankle Center, and for an international skin care company, Olivella, as a public relations intern. While many students spent their summer taking fun city trips, lying on the beach and enjoying family excursions, I spent my summer working my two internships simultaneously.

Students seek opportunities outside of the classroom. (Twitter)

Although the industry and work culture at these two companies were completely different, they both required me to do similar tasks: control their social media websites and write informative articles pertaining to their area of business. My two responsibilities at these jobs taught me many lessons about communication.

My internships taught me how big the health and beauty industry is in our society, and how essential it is to have prevalent social media in order to compete in such a large market. Everywhere you turn, you can see advertisements for various types of businesses and their products. Have you ever thought about how much it costs or how much planning goes into getting ads in front of your faces? Keeping a business’ social media platforms updated is crucial because more consumers will be aware of its products and offerings, and the business will be more suited to compete with top industry performers.

At both offices, I collaborated with many different employees for various assigned projects. While the employees I worked with helped me develop my career and grow as a professional, they also pushed me to pursue my dreams. Their dedication to their jobs inspired me to not only work harder, but also to love what I’m working towards: a future in public relations.

What really set me up for success at my two internships were skills that I learned my freshman year, specifically time management and responsibility. Each day when I arrived at the office, I was given a list of tasks to have finished by the end of the day. The two different people I worked for at these companies both trusted me to complete important public relations work to help drive the business. I had to manage my time responsibly in order to make sure I was not only doing what was required of me for the day, but contributing to the company’s overall success.

Summer internships might not bring the word “relaxation” to mind, but they provide opportunities for students to get hands-on experience in their area of study outside of college. Summer internships are not just a way for students to knock off a course requirement or get paid. The work experience that internships provide is essential for students to build their careers and exceed beyond the classroom.