Students who have experience in their chosen career field prior to graduation will be a lot more competitive than their peers will be. What kind of experience can you expect to get?
- Internship – This is the most common form of experience. Typically an internship involves a summer working in an organization where you can use what you have learned in college. Internships can be paid or unpaid. In some cases, internships can be done while you are going to school.
- Co-Op – In these experiences, you work for an organization during a semester and possibly a summer. You don’t take classes during this time. You’ll need to clear the co-op arrangement with your college. Co-ops are the most valuable form of experience since you are treated like a regular employee. In many cases, you might do 2-3 rotations of a co-op. Obviously this will extend your stay in college, but it’s worth it financially and developmentally.
- Shadowing – This experience involves a period of time when you follow a person in your career field as he/she works. You don’t actually have a task to perform, but you do get a sense of the work you can be expected to do.
Prior to graduation, you should have at least one experience where you apply what you have learned in college. The longer the experience the better..