Tips & advice

Why Student Internships are Important for Career Development

Boost your career with internships! 1Mentor app offers personalized upskilling, progress tracking, and diverse career pathways. Gain real-world experience!

May 15, 2023

Attention college students: internships are the keys to unlocking real-world experience and developing skills to get a head start on your career after graduation. With technology, it's never been easier for students to build their own ladder toward success. The difference comes through meaningful internships that align with your career aspirations. 

Stairs leading up to the roof of a building seen against a bright blue sky.

So, let’s talk about all things internships: the value, the possible outcomes, and how technology helps us find ideal internships and jobs for recent graduates.

Put your knowledge and skills into practice!

Want to turn your knowledge into real-world experiences? An internship is a great way to do just that!


Not only will an internship give you the chance to apply your knowledge in a real work setting, but it also helps you build new skills and increase your aptitude for future jobs. You can test out a career you’re interested in to better understand the specific roles involved. 

For example, if your goal is to become a cloud consultant, it’s unlikely you will land that job in your first year. However, you can begin working as a front-end developer intern! Using the knowledge and skills that you get from this internship can help you explore relative skills. So you can work towards becoming a cloud consultant down the road.

By applying these real-world skills, you can work towards your career goals with confidence. With the help of the 1Mentor app, you receive personalized upskilling recommendations so that you can make informed career decisions.

What can you expect in your first internship?

Applying your academic learning in a real-world setting is a great way to build your skills, grow your network, and set yourself up for success!


An internship role helps you explore your field of interest and gain a deeper understanding of how you can actually qualify for a specific career role. Plus, you can gain a better understanding of the human skills you need for success at work!


In addition to developing specialized skills, you work on skills like decision-making, self-confidence, ethics, and teamwork. You can measure your skills progress during your internship, and easily track them with the 1Mentor app too.  

Internships give you a competitive edge.

Sure, you get to showcase skills and abilities on your resume that you’ve already used in a real-world setting. But you also gain the confidence to communicate your skills and handle specific duties at work with less headache.

And who better to get feedback and guidance from than the people working in the industry you're interested in? 

An internship helps you build a network of professionals who can give you advice or help you out when a career opportunity comes up. Pair that network with 1Mentor to find upskilling opportunities for that career to make their advice immediately actionable.

Group of smiling people working in a bright office with computers and post its on the walls

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers survey, 56% of employers want to hire students with practical experience (like a co-op or an internship). But you also learn about workplace norms and cultures, allowing you to see how co-workers and supervisors behave and learn what it's like to work in your desired industry. 

And you get the opportunity to solve real-world issues and contribute to the growth of the industry!  

How do you pivot if an internship doesn’t go the way you hoped?

It’s very common to change your mind about what you want to study or what career you want to pursue. That's why internships are a great way to test a professional experience and understand what a specific field is really like before you graduate!

Young student in graduation clothes looking towards the horizon

If you find that a certain internship isn't for you, that's okay too! It's all about figuring out what you do and don't like, and what you want to gain from your professional experiences. 

Keeping track of these factors during your internship can help you get ready for what comes after (especially if you use 1Mentor to help track and get recommendations on skills):

  • Identify what knowledge, skill, or experience you want to gain from an internship 
  • Clarify what your expectations were going in, and how the internship is meeting/not meeting these expectations
  • What you learning, and not learning that you would like to 

Once you’ve identified these factors, think about how things can be changed. For example, if you’re not enjoying the project you’re working on, meet with your supervisor to see if you can take on other projects, or if there are projects you can sit in on.

Moving forward, you can intern for companies in a different field where you can use your current skill set.

If you're looking to jump-start your career, an internship is the best way to gain real-life experience and understand if your chosen field is the right fit for you.

With an internship, you'll get to see firsthand what it's like to work in a real-life work environment, apply the knowledge you’ve learned and make professional connections. 

Take advantage of 1Mentor's resources for exploring career pathways, learning, and tracking new skills, and upskilling opportunities that align with your career goals to help you reach your full potential!