Dressed in my most professional clothing approved by my mom, I got into my car ready to drive to my internship location. After arriving early, just to spend 10 minutes on the elevator going up and down to find the right floor, I finally arrived at the correct office space. It was time to get immersed in the “real world.”

As college students, we expect our education to carry us into our chosen career path. However, our education alone does not provide us with the proper skill set to flourish in an office job. By participating in internships, we can develop the skills we need to propel us in our careers.

“My internships equipped me with the skills, confidence and relationships to channel my potential into a rewarding career,” according to Darren Walker from the New York Times. This sentiment has resonated with me as well. Although I am not far in my internship experience, I already feel the benefits.

The college atmosphere helps us become independent, but internships provide us with work experience that further develops our independence. The experience of being an intern allows us to develop professional relationships and show a work ethic that will hopefully prove to be efficient and worthwhile. Internships help us grow as workers by inspiring more confidence in our skills and our ability to speak up to fellow employees. Not only do work-related skills develop, but our people skills can take on a more professional approach in order to prepare us for future interactions with coworkers and employers.

When applying to internships, many of them required me to have previous internship experience or work in an office environment. This standard proved to me that internships prove more than a GPA ever could. Employers wanted to see that I could handle the “real world.”

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