Interning worth lost free time

By Matthew Flores

Sacrificing time from your summer for an internship will benefit you in the long run.

Every year students leave after their final exams to go home, take summer jobs or travel. They should use that time to gain experience that may get them a better career.

“Internships are one of the most important things that someone can do to prepare themselves for the job market in any industry,” said Erin Kersten, director of employee relations, recruitment and human resource compliance for KishHealth System.

Students can seek out internships in their field of study or look for volunteer work. Both will be helpful after graduation.

“If someone is a new grad and they don’t have any relevant work experience, just taking any extra step from an employer’s perspective is a positive,” Kersten said.

As the leader of the human resource department for KishHealth System, Kersten said hundreds of resumes come through her office. It’s a wonder there aren’t thousands.

Internships and volunteer work are great networking opportunities, too, Kersten said.

“Networking is key,” Kersten said.

When it comes to finding work, meeting the right people is the most important thing to do.

“We have between 40 [and] 50 interns in the system, from nursing, to human resources, marketing [and] administrative positions,” Kersten said. “I had an internship in healthcare human resources, and that gave me the advantage in being considered for this job, so I’m a big believer in internships.”

Cathy Doederlein, internship coordinator for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, echoed Kersten on the benefits of internships.

“Internships are a great way for a student to begin to build a strong professional network,” Doederlein said.

Students should network through interning and volunteering in the areas they hope to work, even if it’s not with the industry they want to work in.

“I’ve seen many students be offered full-time employment as a direct result of the hard work they put in at their internship where they either get hired directly by their internship employer or where their employer connects them to another contact in the industry who has hiring needs,” Doederlein said.