Internship Fair: Why are internships valuable?

Bellevue College’s Internship Fair featured a variety of booths representing multiple companies, institutions and programs from Costco and UPS, to Symetra and the King County Community Services Division.  Wesley Jones, Bellevue College’s veterans’ career program manager, strongly believes in internships. “The one thing I always think about is why wouldn’t anyone want to do an internship? Internships are one of the smartest things students can do while in college because they are one of the best ways for students to test out various careers and pursue them.”

The representatives at each booth were very passionate about internships and encouraged students to check them out. Shane Lunak, recruiter for Lighthouse eDiscovery, is excited about the benefits and advantages that internships provide. “Internships are a great way for students to get exposed to the real world, especially for those who don’t know what they want to do or what career field they want to go into. Benefits include getting in with a good company and potentially landing a satisfying career after they graduate, or they could just get exposed to the workforce, try new things and get good job experience.” Lunak understands the value that internships offer, particularly with the limited liability involved when exploring various careers. “The first internship I tried offered great work experience, but wasn’t something I particularly wanted to go into. The second internship I tried was totally something I wasn’t expecting, and I absolutely love it and am now in my career path because of it.”

Many people have argued that students who choose internships are not the only ones who benefit from them. Melissa Pilling, one of the representatives from the UPS, believes that internships can be a huge asset for the both the student and the employer. “Internships can provide good job experience all around. I believe they are a benefit for both the employer and the students because it is like a trial period where they can both check each other out and get experience working with each other. The employee can get experience with the whole working environment and culture of the company. In addition, the employer can get more experience as a manager and role model to the intern.”

Students were not the only main target of the Internship Fair. Wesley Jones, the veterans’ career program manager, believes in offering internships specifically to veterans who are currently living without a job. “In the internship fair, we are also targeting for veterans, to help veterans find internship opportunities, job opportunities, leads, and make connections with employers.” Jones has been well pleased with the results that internships have provided for both students and veterans alike. “Overall, there are just a ton of people who have gotten full time positions after internships.”