Internships are an amazing opportunity to further your career, and I know they have helped me out tremendously. They give you real-world experience that only increases your chance of finding a job. Nowadays, employers look at more than just grades. They are just one factor in letting the recruiters get to know you and your work ethic, but they also assess you on other factors, such as having demonstrable experience. I’ve had two internships this semester. One is for Young Harris College, and another is for a local business, which I found out about on the College’s job boards. Both of these internships have something to do with copywriting, which is a career I’m considering that entails writing for marketing or advertising.

As a prospective copywriter, I need a portfolio. A couple online job postings I have seen do accept school papers, but most do not. They want to see that I can write copy. Yes, there are similarities between arguing a point in an academic paper and convincing someone in an ad, but there are also differences. Employers want evidence that I know those differences and can adapt my writing style accordingly. For example, professors love it when you outline the position that you are disagreeing with it, but in copywriting it would be confusing and potentially make the ad ineffective. I can demonstrate I know that with my portfolio.

One of the major benefits of my Young Harris internship is having a collection of press releases I’ve written. I’m also going to add the entries from this blog. For the internship with the local company, I’ve written blogs and even a print ad. Both are going into my portfolio. If that’s not a benefit, I don’t know what is.

An advantage that goes along with that benefit is not only learning how to adapt to writing copy, but also writing copy for different clients. My two internships could not be more different. The purpose of this blog is to introduce you to Young Harris, to what the College can do for its students, and what students are doing. It is supposed to be a window into a student’s life. The blog for my other internship is the exact opposite. In that blog, I routinely direct people to links that sell the product. Does this mean my two internships contradict? I don’t think so. It means I have further learned how to adapt my writing skills to fit the voices of different people. This skill is invaluable to copywriters.

If I decide that copywriting is not the path for me, these opportunities were still well worth it. Recruiters want people with work experience, and now I have that. Many of the skills I’ve obtained can be applied to other career fields. I mentioned considering going to into real estate in my last blog. The skills are still applicable. Instead of convincing someone through the written word like a copywriter, I would do so through the spoken word.

These internships have been nothing but an advantage for me, and YHC has plenty of them. I encourage any incoming students to start the process of finding work experience early, and the Office of Mentor and Career Leadership is a great place to start.