So, internships are daunting in college. It’s basically impossible to get a job with just a degree anymore (because thousands of dollars of tuition can’t do anything. That’s great.) With that said, internships are a great way to stand out. They can honestly be with many different fields although, obviously, an internship with your chosen field is best. I have had the opportunity to do many different internships during my time in college. I’ve done two telecommute internships, one with a content marketing firm and one with a women’s magazine and then two in-person internships, one with a newspaper and one (that I’m completing now) in a Congressman’s office.
I had the opportunity to work out of state for both of the in-person internships and it was honestly one of the best decisions I have made for myself in college. Here are three reasons why I would recommend and out-of-state internship to anyone who is looking.
- You get to experience your field in a new way. Being born and raised in Texas as well as attending college in Texas, I have learned a whole lot about life (and journalism) in Texas. While that’s amazing that I know a lot about my home state, it makes me feel a little pigeon holed. Everything is different in different states, so I think expanding your horizons and taking an internship in another state makes you more marketable. It shows that not only do you know about journalism in both Georgia and Texas now, (in my case), but you are also adaptable and can learn quickly in order to do the best job possible.
- You get to meet people you would never have met before. I have met some great people through my internships. These are people that attended different schools, have different life experiences and have different hopes and dreams. On top of just meeting friends, you make contacts and connections in the business world that make your web that much bigger. Now instead of reaching out to someone in the Dallas Morning News, I might be able to reach out to someone at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as well. Making those connections will help in the future when you’re looking for a real job.
- Finally, you get the opportunity to see some really cool places. While in Georgia I (obviously) saw Savannah while I was living there, Charleston, South Carolina and Atlanta. I got to have fun, new experiences in these places and add them to the list of places I’ve been in my life. While in Washington, D.C. I’ve (obviously) gotten to see DC, as well as other places like Mount Vernon and Gettysburg, and Pittsburgh in a couple of days. Because you’re transporting yourself to a new epicenter, your opportunity for daycations and places to explore change and you get to see new things!
Obviously I’m an advocate for out-of-state internships, but I understand it can be hard financially and emotionally. It’s hard to take yourself out of a place you’ve always known and go to a place where you know no one. It’s also hard to afford to live in a new place for a couple of months with or without pay. With that said, explore your opportunities. Universities have financial aid for internships just like they do for study abroad. See if you can get class credit for the internship and then your scholarships may apply. See if the state you’re going to or the company awards any stipends for students in your area. Go out of your way to look at every option because I PROMISE, it’s worth is. As far as friends and family are concerned, call them, text them, Skype them, whatever it is. You’re only gone for a couple months. Life it up while you’re gone.
Check out some of my adventures!
Have you taken an out-of-state internship? What advice would you have for someone taking one?