Legendary Green Bay Packers coach, and five-time Superbowl winner, Vince Lombardi once said “There is no room for second place – there is only one place in my game and that is first place.” While that sentiment may hold true on the football field, second place can still be considered a winner in the academic world. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), internships are considered the #2 way to launch a career. In fact, 60% of 15,715 college seniors in a 2012 NACE survey reported that their internship positions turned into real job offers. Even though networking may take the seven pound, 22-inch Vince Lombardi Super Bowl first-place trophy, when it comes to launching a career, completing an internship is a close second.
The findings of this report reflect the statistics of this campus as well. This month, a report launched by the School of Business Administration at The University of Montana found that 42% of December 2012 business school graduates obtained a job offer through networking referrals through friends and/or family members. Twenty-one percent of graduates used their internship experiences to land full-time job placements.
Why are internships so valuable in launching careers you may ask? Well, internships offer hands-on experience in the field working on professional-level assignments and building relationships with professionals on the job and in the field. Because the majority of job vacancies are never advertised but sourced and filled by referrals, internships and relationship building (aka, “networking”) are complementary career promoters.
Keeping our eye on the ball is important in football and in career development too. Super Bowls come and go, but most of us only get one chance to compete for our dream careers and internships are definitely a game winning play!