internship, work experience, build relationships, learn skills, hands-on experience
SKILLS DEVELOPMENT / 14 December 2016
What I Learned From Getting an Internship Earlier Than Later
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Tim Elkana

If doing nothing but watching Youtube prank videos and eating cheese puffs in my room all weekend is a sign of being a loser, I would’ve worn a bright neon L on my forehead every day in the first half of high school. I was the cherished mayor of Loserville; population 1. 

Did I care about my career? Nope. Did I ever get a summer job? Nah. Did I even think about where I was going to work after I graduated? Not even. So why am I sitting here as a college freshman, interning in ProSky’s office and writing a blog post on a beautiful summer day? 

Because gaining work experience is important. Not just for personal goals, but for overall success in careers. Most people see an internship as a gateway to working at a company, and that’s true, but internships aren’t just tools to get a job.

They’re avenues to learn skills, build relationships, and gain hands-on experience.

And that’s why it’s so crucial to get internships early. To get a job, recruiters want you to have skill, insight, and experience. You can definitely gain skill from a lot of places, whether it’s online courses to learn new skills (like SEO!), summer classes, or books. You can probably get insight from talking to company executives or networking with professionals. But you won’t get experience if you don’t get an internship. 

In my junior year of high school, I realized the importance of getting an early lead in my professional life. I crawled out of my comfort zone and looked everywhere to find an internship. I wanted skill, I wanted insight, I wanted experience. Finding an internship was tough, especially since I lacked the advanced business skills Silicon Valley kids learned when they left the womb. But eventually, I found an internship at an insurance firm and got the position. 

There, I learned how a large office functioned and how corporate communications worked. Super boring, I know! But the knowledge and soft skills I picked up there helped me ace my next internship. When I worked there, things got a lot better.

I learned CRM and service skills, built my network, and gained real experience working with customers. Not to mention I got a shiny new job on my resume!

In the end, the internships I pursued early on gave me skills and knowledge that’s helped me find better internships and led me to ProSky. Just like Rule #32 in Zombieland says “Enjoy the Little Things”, Rule #1 in Internships says “Start Early.” 

The days of eating snacks and aimlessly browsing the internet are over. The time to get up is now. Learn all about projectships and how you can intern with companies all from your own living room!