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No Gas in the Tank: The Importance of Interning

WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – Imagine this. You’ve just entered your senior year and have absolutely no idea what to do with yourself. You’re a washed up 20-something-year-old with absolutely no gas left in the tank–and by no gas, I mean the exasperation that comes with enduring 18 years of schooling. Quite honestly, you may as well be running on coffee fumes.

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In developing your final schedule, you’ve carefully milled through the easiest classes the school provides. You’re confident you’ve developed a schedule so easy that your elementary schooled self would excel. As the year progresses and graduation begins to rear its ugly head, you’re immediately hit with a quarter-life crisis, the classic “what am I supposed to do now?!” moment that strikes like a freight train.
In reviewing the “many” lessons you’ve learned inside the classroom, you can’t seem to remember any that have stuck with you—let alone any that will help you find a job. So, naturally, you enter a panic as the date of your interview approaches; Ballroom Dance II didn’t teach you how to speak with a human resource associate before a big interview, now, did it? As you enter the room of your interviewer, your nerves get the best of you and you lose the ability to formulate a cohesive sentence. You are talking in fragmented sentences and very likely getting a little sweaty.
I get this scenario. Believe me, I do. So how do you prepare yourself for this? What did you do wrong?
Well, it’s very simple. Instead of taking that hybrid Pilates class that meets online every other class, you should have taken an internship.
Interning at Monmouth University is a bit confusing. The school does everything it can to really promote its worth and tell the student that he or she should intern, but never forces them to. Instead, it provides career preparation classes that teach its students how to develop a resume and cover letter. Don’t get me wrong, these are incredibly important in acquiring a job, but never really teach you how to function in a work environment—a concept no curriculum could accurately teach.
Interning is a wonderful way to bring the student up to speed with life outside of college. It provides them with interpersonal skills that assigned group work can’t instill. It teaches them how to actually manage their time—and let me tell you, you don’t learn time management cramming in a 15 page paper the night before it’s due. You instead learn it when you squeeze that paper into your busy schedule riddled with a two hour commute, eight hours of work, and three hours of classwork afterwards.
Taking the time to intern, regardless of whether you are a freshman or a senior, is a great decision that will develop exceptionally important skills both inside and outside of school. And it will leave you with a little more than no gas in the tank.