Picking what to major in as an undergraduate student when a career choice is still undecided can be stressful. Some students select a major while still shooting in the dark about what they want to dedicate their time and effort to career-wise. Utilizing internships to explore career options is why Bryn Carden, TCU Neeley School of Business student and entrepreneur, says that internships can lift the curtain for someone trying to discover their ideal career path and even pick the right major the first time. She explains below how internships can make these tough life choices more manageable.
Understand Daily Tasks
When choosing a career, many students get blindsided by a snapshot or image of a specific professional without genuinely grasping the day-to-day requirements of a desired occupation. Metaphorically speaking, a student might like the way a car looks, but the only way to know how it drives it is to test it. Internships are like test-driving careers. They are for a short period, but it allows a student to see what it is like to live out the daily life a career path requires before committing long-term time and money to an ideal career.
Experience Career Options Outside of the Classroom
An internship is seen as an extension of the classroom, but the reality is that there are a lot of differences between textbook knowledge and real-world experience-based knowledge. Working on a team project with other students in a class is much different than working on a professional project with other professionals. The learning environment a classroom embraces brings a different taste to the air compared to the standards of a workplace. Mistakes in the classroom result in lower letter grades, while errors in the workplace could affect professional income, promotional opportunities, and more. Gaining experience in an ideal career outside of the classroom gives students a better perspective of the pressures of a career choice.
Get to Know a Work Environment
A work environment plays a prominent role in career experience. Some occupations call for fast-paced work days while others embrace more laid-back environments. A job description and an organization’s culture go hand-in-hand in today’s modern business because companies look higher for talent and skill, and cultural fit. Internships allow students to test an organization’s culture to see if the culture is the right fit for the individual. If a student cannot connect with or learn from others, the cultural fit is probably not ideal.
Become Familiar with the Starting Line
After graduating, students typically enter the professional world or continue their academic careers into graduate school. Regardless of where an internship takes place, the opportunity allows students to become familiar with the starting line when taking that first step into the professional world fresh from college. Students may find it difficult to get a job without the right experience for the role and without gaining skills from an internship.
About Bryn Carden
Bryn Carden is a young entrepreneur and philanthropist passionate about real estate and design. She is currently studying at Neeley School of Business, pursuing a major in Finance with a Real Estate Concentration. Besides working towards her degree, she has already begun her entrepreneurial journey as a co-founder of BF Hats and a creator of Styles for Smiles – a company selling bracelets to help fund cleft palate operations for children in developing countries.