Students always ask me if they should try to intern after college. My response is that it always depends on the student’s circumstance and previous experience. One of our campus ambassadors from UCF just graduated and is interning at Universal Music Group this summer. I asked Kailee why she decided to intern after graduation and this is her list of the top 3 reasons. I thought it would be interesting to our readers who might find themselves in similar situations. Enjoy!
1. Pursuit or Elimination. I always talk about using internships as an opportunity to figure out which industries you love and which you don’t. Kailee said that she has three major interests when it comes to her career - radio, TV, and record labels. She had already interned at a radio station and a television company, but she hadn’t yet interned with a record label and was curious. She wanted to try an internship in that area to help her determine which direction to pursue for her career and which field was right for her.
2. Testing Out a New Location. Kailee has always dreamed of living in New York City but had never stayed for more than a week. She wanted to intern in the summer in the city to test it out and see if she wanted to live there. (You can also check out her NYC summer to-do list here!)
3. Potential for Full-Time Hire. When you are a college junior interning at a company in the entertainment industry, the odds of them offering you a job are slim. The entertainment industry doesn’t normally pass out job offers a year before graduation like some Fortune 500 companies do. The benefit of interning after graduation is that if a position pops up, you are available for hire immediately.
I do want to mention that participating in an “after-graduation” internship wasn’t easy for Kailee. She said, “It's difficult to find an internship when you are graduating because most companies, especially in NYC, only want interns who can get credit for their internship.” The company would only take Kailee on as an intern if she was in college so she had to get creative. She had already finished all of her credits towards her degree, so she participated in a 'walk-only' graduation. She’s technically done with her degree but taking a 1-credit internship course over the summer so that this could all work out. She’s already walked across the stage with her graduating class but will receive her diploma in August.
For more internship tips, whether you're an undergrad or have just graduated, check out my book All Work, No Pay!