I did six internships in college and one post-grad fellowship. My internship experience helped me immensely and the knowledge I learned during them was more helpful than anything I could have been taught in a classroom. Some of my internships included NBC and CNN. I think it’s extremely important for college students to complete internships but I’m actually against doing too many internships, especially post-grad.
During my last two years I was a campus ambassador for the Intern Queen. Lauren Berger completed 15 internships while she was in college and encourages students to go out there and get their dream internships. It was an awesome opportunity to encourage career development. People ask me all the time how many internships they should get and I tell them there’s no magic number. I believe internships are wonderful stepping-stones but shouldn’t be the highlight of your career.
Here are a few reasons why I think having too many internships can be a bad thing.
EMPLOYERS MAY WONDER WHY YOU WEREN’T HIRED
I know a lot of people who boast about having 8+ internships but they were never offered a full-time job by any employer. Having too many internships in the same field may worry some employers because they may wonder why you weren’t hired. There’s a handful of people I know who graduated in 2013 or earlier who are still accepting fellowship positions. At some point you need to seek a full-time job. Accepting a job that may not be exactly what you want to do (but is in your field) is definitely something graduates should seriously consider.
IS HAVING ANOTHER INTERNSHIP ADVANTAGEOUS?
After my sixth internship I had a pretty clear idea that I wanted to be a journalist. I worked in multiple newsrooms, saw people work in different positions and made great connections. I honestly didn’t think having a seventh would help me out that much. I didn’t want to get stuck taking internships when I knew I was ready for a full-time higher paying position.
YOUR FIELD MAY NOT REQUIRE MORE INTERNSHIPS
I think everyone no matter what field they hope to be in will benefit from internships. But everyone’s industry differs and some have more intense career paths than others. If you aren’t in a competitive field and jobs are plenty, than having multiple post-grad internships may not be beneficial to you. Sometimes an apprenticeship program may be more appropriate. I suggest you really evaluate your goals, vision and path for your career.
I hope this advice helps you and feel free to ask me your career questions on my Ask.fm page.