The importance of internships
After interning with Huntington Bank, senior Annie Kirchstein discusses how internships can shape students' lives.
Throughout my time here at Ohio State, countless experiences have shaped my future professional endeavors. My experiences inside the classroom helped me decide what degree would best fit my interests, but the real exploration into my future came with the internships I have had with multiple Columbus organizations.
As a freshman, Ohio State was overwhelming to me with all the vast opportunities at my fingertips. During the early weeks of my first year on campus, the importance of having an internship was mentioned in my survey class. I remember thinking to myself that an internship was not something I needed to think about yet—I had no idea what I wanted to do or what career would be right for me.
Since then, I have used many different resources at Ohio State to discover what I’m passionate about. Resources like the Buckeye Careers program, the Office of Student Life’s Career Counseling and Support Services, job fairs and your college’s career office can help you develop your career interests, beginning from the time you select your major until you start looking for your first job after graduation.
My only regret is not using their services sooner! It’s never too early—or too late, in my case—to start making connections to potential internships or job opportunities.
Like many of my fellow students, I waited and started the hunt for a summer internship during the spring semester of my junior year. After using FutureLink—the College of Arts and Sciences’ Career Services system—to find internship postings, I then took advantage of having my resume reviewed and even scheduled a mock interview to ensure I felt prepared for any internship interviews that came my way.
The help I received from Buckeye Careers and other campus-networking opportunities led me to a dream internship this summer with Huntington National Bank.
The 10 weeks that I interned for Huntington Bank gave me an experience I will never forget. With only nonprofit experience under my belt, the financial services industry was a new opportunity for me to learn how my communications degree could apply to their business.
During my internship, I utilized the skills I had learned inside the classroom, but I also got the chance to meet incredible people who helped me develop my talents and pushed me outside of my comfort zone. No two days were ever the same. It was always fresh and exciting. I could not wait to go back to work every morning and see what new things I would learn that day.
Without my internship at Huntington, I would never have known that financial services could be an industry I would like to work in post-graduation. It allowed me to explore new options that were not originally on my radar.
No matter where you are in your college career, there is no better time than now to find an internship in an area that interests you. Professionals are always looking to help students find their niche. Plus, it makes you more marketable! By completing at least one internship during your time at Ohio State, you’re investing in your future. Nearly 60 percent of students who complete a paid internship receive at least one full-time job opportunity upon graduation.
I strongly encourage all students to take advantage of the tremendous resources that Ohio State and the Buckeye community offer for you to explore possibilities beyond the classroom, through internships or co-ops. I suggest starting with the university-wide Career and Internship Fair. It’s open to all students, and some of the nation’s top employers will be on hand recruiting Buckeyes. You will never regret taking a chance and discovering that that decision was the one that shaped your future.