‘WHAT I DID THIS SUMMER …’
Survey Suggests Internships Impart More Workplace Wisdom Than Technical Skills
MENLO PARK, CA -- Although many students expect to gain new skills via summer internships, a new survey by The Creative Group shows that much of the value may stem from less tangible aspects of these programs. Thirty-one percent of marketing and advertising executives polled said experiencing different work environments is the greatest advantage of participating in internships, aside from pay. Nearly another quarter (24 percent) cited improving soft skills as the chief benefit.
The national study was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service providing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on 250 telephone interviews -- 125 with advertising executives randomly selected from the nation’s 2,000 largest advertising agencies and 125 with senior marketing executives randomly selected from the nation’s 2,000 largest companies.
Advertising and marketing executives were asked, “Aside from pay, what do you think is the greatest benefit to students or graduates who participate in an internship program?”
“Internships often involve learning about yourself, including the type of environment that’s best suited to your personality,” said Megan Slabinski, executive director of The Creative Group. “Many programs also serve as a crash course in how to get along with various personality types -- an ability that can benefit people throughout their careers.”
Slabinski warned, however, that not all internships are created equal. “The best internships are structured and provide plenty of opportunity to learn and observe,” she said. “While a certain amount of grunt work can be expected, applicants should target programs that provide exposure to a range of projects, people and experiences.”
The Creative Group offers the following tips for landing beneficial internships:
Added Slabinski, “Companies that may not be hiring full-time employees due to the economy may still offer summer internships, providing recent graduates a foot in the door with prospective employers. Internships that go well can transition into full-time jobs.”
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