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Does college experience matter or no?

Some companies I’ve interacted with seem to discount any and all internships as experience. If that internship was actual work and not getting coffee, shouldn’t that count towards years of experience? Thoughts?

During college, the foremost reason people take internships is to gain experience in a field they want to pursue. Even after college, I’ve known many friends who took internships before starting full-time jobs. I think they’re an excellent tool to learn, network, and maybe even inspire some soul searching – is this what you really want to do with your life?

Therefore, I think the time spent at an internship should count on your resume and when applying to jobs. Personally, I worked my booty off for no pay – just for the experience – so that time better count towards my cumulative experience! If an employer you’re engaging with doesn’t recognize that experience, I would question what their internship tracks are like internally, if they are even taken seriously, and if you want to be a part of an organization like that.

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So glad to hear someone else feels the same! I’ve absolutely second-guessed working for a company who didn’t value that experience. Thanks for the response :slight_smile:

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Internships matter absolutely. They matter to the interns and the employers.

I loved my first internship on a live morning TV show and pursued TV production coming out of that internship. Following that I stumbled into the digital space soon after and career took a different turn but I always think back to that internship with fondness. It was an amazing experience and I loved being a part of a dynamic and fun team for the first time.

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Agreed. Internships are very important. But do many people really take non paying internships? Can college people afford that? is it fair?

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Unfortunately, depending on the industry, there are more unpaid than paid. I majored in journalism and communication and took internships in marketing and advertising and was never once presented with a paid internship. I had to also have a part-time job on top of school, orgs, and internships. Not fair, but it’s kind of understood that that’s really paying your dues (at least for that entry-level job) - especially since all of the internships I had required me to actually learn and work on projects instead of be the coffee girl.

Absolutely college can be a great advantage. It shows that you can complete a project, study hard enough to pass, and acquire skills throughout your education. Do people get jobs without a college education? Sure, if you can sell yourself well enough, you can almost do anything!

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I agree that if a company isn’t willing to see the value in an internship, you should question that organization. I suspect that the ones who aren’t willing to count internships as part of your work experience are the types of companies that expect an awful lot from their employees while giving them very little in return.

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