Why Does an Internship Matter?


If you are in college, chances are that you have heard about internships at least a few times. You will come up with multiple questions: You wonder if they are useful or not, are they worth all the effort you have to put into them?, will they help me get a job after I graduate?… Jocelyn, a MSU-Mankato alumni, was in the same situation not a long time ago and she wrote this blog to help you decide why you should do an internship at least once before you graduate.

Homework assignments, attending class, studying for tests, memorizing vocabulary, service learning hours… all things that seem like busy work just to keep you from spending time with you friends or working for rent money. During my academic journey, I sometimes would ask myself – what is the purpose for all of this busy work? Why do I have to spend hour’s writing papers, studying, and listening to lectures? Sure, sure to get good grades and graduate… but in the long run… will it really matter? The answer is, YES!!!

My name is Jocelyn and I am a recent graduate from MNSU, Mankato with a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services, with an emphasis in Leisure Planning and Management. I minored in Communication Studies and Non-profit Leadership. This past summer I completed my required internship with the City of Lee’s Summit, Missouri Parks and Recreation Department. This experience alone made me realize how thankful I was for all those late nights’ writing papers, dedicating my time to studying for tests, and volunteering my time to complete service learning hours. Developing your skills and experience during your college years is the most rewarding action you can do for yourself in my opinion. The best aspect about learning what we do inthe classroom, is being able to apply that education in the real world and see first-hand the difference we are making in the lives of others.

Each week of my internship this summer I would attend the full-time staff meeting and share what I learned during the week. As time went on, I was surprised at how much of what I learned at school was being used in my everyday work. I felt proud of the hard work and dedication I put into my school work to prepare me for this summer’s experience. I’ll tell you though, it wasn’t easy. Even though I was prepared for the position as an intern, the staff still pushed me to be excellent. I was thankful for their support and also thankful I reached out and explored my field in a different state.

As I am now moving forward into my job search to launch my career, the experience I had this summer is coming up in many conversations during interviews. I also have talked about many different class projects or research papers I worked on at school to attest to my dedication and passion for the field of Recreation. You TOO can have these skills and experiences to bring into the workforce by being involved in the classroom, campus and community.

If you have an internship experience you may want to share, or know of someone that does, let us know! Feel free to get in contact with us through email (cdc@mnsu.edu), phone (507-389-6061), or stopping by our office (209 Wigley Administration).



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