Advice from a senior

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With all the responsibilities, stress and long nights through the school year, summer has become a time for college students to take a much-needed break. For most, it is a glorious compilation of days when you never have to leave your bed. For others, it is a chance to catch up on more college-related work: internships.

Kaitlyn Bize, a senior at Radford University, had a more productive break than most as a juvenile probation intern for the Fairfax County Courthouse.

“I was reading the law codes, so I knew what my role as a juvenile probation intern was. I was sitting in on court hearings and going to see kids in the juvenile detention center, visiting boys’ and girls’ probation houses, and participating in fundraisers for the programs,” she said.

Internships have the ability to open up many doors. Companies and employers have been known in recent years to hire roughly 60% of interns full-time after their internship is completed. With the job market still in shambles, an internship can be an amazing opportunity to solidify a career after graduation.

Many students apply for internships in organizations that correlate with their personal interests, and Bize was no exception.

“I wanted to do an internship and love working with kids, and there was a counseling aspect to what I was doing,” said Bize.

Anyone interested in an internship can go through many different routes to land one. For Bize, networking with a family friend landed her the internship in Fairfax, Va. over the summer. Other options include talking to Career Services on campus or to your academic adviser for internship opportunities. RU is a college dedicated to the success of its students and your accomplishments reflect positively on the university.

Bize offered some wise advice, suggesting that students “try and find an internship in something you know you’re interested in, and even if you end up not loving it, you still learn something and can use it on your resume. Also, if you end up not enjoying it, you know that it won’t be something you’re interested in doing as a career.”

While an internship can be a time-consuming and frustrating process (just ask anyone who is an unpaid intern), the benefits are often extraordinary and well worth any hardships you might experience during your time as an intern. You never know where the internship may lead you or what doors it may open for you.