Internships for college freshmen are a great way to jump-start your career search. Contrary to the impression you might have gotten when choosing a school, you don’t have to have a solid career path as soon as you get to college.
I, for example, know that I want to write for a living, but I didn’t come to school knowing the sort of writing I wanted to do. In my experience, most college students have some idea of what they want to do, even if it’s as general as, say, the sciences. They use their time in college to zero in on a more specific field.
Luckily, there are tons of opportunities for career exploration in college. And it’s never too early to start; internships for college freshman are a great way to try out a few opportunities. Choose one in an area you might be interested in, even if it’s not at your dream company. You may discover that you like a certain aspect of the job that you never thought you would. You may learn which aspects you don’t like, as well, which is just as valuable.
My freshman year, I tried out an internship opportunity at a local newspaper. I loved being a part of the small, open newsroom, but I realized that I didn’t really like the fast pace of a newspaper. That experience helped me realize that I liked working as part of an open, friendly office, but that I might like magazine journalism better.
So, try a few things out. The earlier you get started, the more chances you’ll have to fine-tune your career goals. Internships for college freshmen will help you get a jump on those goals.
You don’t have to limit your search to internships; you can try a temp job in an office, or experiment with extracurriculars at your school. I’ve been able to find some part-time work writing online and take part in my school’s magazine. Working at the magazine has been my favorite experience. I like to be able to work with a small, friendly group on in-depth stories. I plan to take on a magazine internship later this school year, and I think I can say that that’s what I want to do with my life.
Just remember, even though you might realize that the internship or job you end up with is not your perfect fit, you still owe it to your employer to try hard and learn from the experience. There are lessons to be learned from any job, even if that lesson is learning to make the best of a tough situation. Experience in any field can teach you valuable lessons. And hopefully, with all the experience and knowledge you’ve gained, you’ll be prepared for when you finally land your dream job.