Internships: Why One is Not Enough

By Sherri Sacks

It seems like people are always asking kids what they want to be when they grow up.  While a small percentage may know the answer, for most of us, deciding on a career path takes a little longer.

Almost from the time he could walk, my son, Matt, wanted to be a professional lacrosse player.  My husband and I actually thought he might have a chance when he scored an athletic scholarship to college.  But when a serious injury permanently sidelined him before his freshman season even began, Matt had to change his career path.  Once he decided he wanted to work in the field of commercial real estate, Matt chose to major in metropolitan studies with a minor in business and finance.

The summer before his junior year, a friend suggested Matt apply for an internship at the commercial brokerage where he had been interning. Matt began working there for the next 8 months while attending classes.  Although he learned a lot and enjoyed working there, I encouraged him to look for an additional internship experience.

As a Career Coach, I feel that the more internships you have, the more connections you make, the more knowledge you gain, and the more experience you will have to put on your resume.  Internships help you build confidence, provide you with a sense of responsibility and can sometimes give you a leg up on the competition.

In November 2017, I saw a Facebook post about a lacrosse player from Matt’s college who was being recognized for his work at a large commercial real estate firm in Baltimore.  Putting on my Career Coach hat once again, I explained to Matt that often it is who you know that will help you land a job. Matt called the young man and found out he was leaving his current position and the company was looking for a replacement. Matt applied and started working there a few weeks later as a paid intern. This second internship experience allowed Matt to compare companies and get a better idea of exactly what he might want to do within the field of real estate.

Although he has two positions to put on his resume, Matt’s internship experience is not over. He will be studying abroad this summer and working in a real estate office in Tel Aviv, Israel.  My husband and I are proud of his persistence, determination and willingness to focus on his goals.

I feel lucky that Matt is following the advice of his mother, the career coach, but for those who still need some convincing about the value of internships, log on to Snagajob.com to read about the following 5 great benefits.

  • Real world experience
  • Networking
  • Resume Builder
  • Time management assistance
  • Career foundation

Internships can be your key to getting a job.  With more than 500 employer connections, The JCS Career Center can help you secure an internship that works for you.  Call us today at 410-466-9200 or visit jcsbaltimore.org.

Sherri Sacks is a Career Strategist and Certified Resume Writer.

Whether you are new to the job market or a seasoned professional, the Ignite Career Center, a program of Jewish Community Services, can help you go farther and get there faster.  Our highly experienced Career Coaches provide individuals of all backgrounds and abilities with the customized services and tools they need to stand out from the competition.  For information, call 410-466-9200 or visit ignitecareercenter.com



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