North Texas Daily

Finding internships that accepts people with lack of experience should be more open

Finding internships that accepts people with lack of experience should be more open

Finding internships that accepts people with lack of experience should be more open
March 22
10:00 2020

Who is to say that students — especially undergrads — without experience do not have the tools to be able to be sufficient and successful within their interested career fields? Who is to say that those with experience have the skills to accomplish the job/task correctly? If students are to gain skills and knowledge within their interested career fields, how would they be able to fulfill this if some employers enforce strict and limiting qualifications?

Internships are supposed to be an opportunity for students to learn and gain skills that go into their career path. Internships are also supposed to provide opportunities and open doors for interested undergrads. However, not all employers provide this opportunity, especially within particular fields such as criminal justice, STEM and finances.

Internships, especially unpaid ones, should be an opportunity for students who do not have previous experience to gain knowledge for their interested career. It is not fair to students who are trying to get into their career field of interest, who do not have prior established networks, to endure limitations for finding the appropriate internship.

Therefore, employers should consider having less limitations on internship qualifications, provide shadow positions and create an internship program strictly for applicants who do not have prior experience and/or networks.

For certain jobs, there are strict qualifications that limit the applicant pool. Some strict qualifications include two years of prior experience in customer service, field experience or a year of retail experience. All of these examples have one thing in common: experience.

How will students acquire and build skills if employers solely focus on experience? How will this provide undergrads an opportunity to make efforts toward their career path? If some employers choose not to reduce some of the job qualifications, they can provide shadowing opportunities as an internship.

Job shadowing allows for students to gain first-hand knowledge and understanding of the particular career position and/or field of industry. Also, job shadowing allows for students to gain experience, build networks, and improve or gain skills to open doors to a potential internship. Some employers will help students to gain an opportunity to proceed toward their career goals and possibly encourage them to work at the same company of their internship.

Students will have a better chance of experiencing real-world situations through job shadowing. Moreover, this could also occur if some employers decide to create an internship program within their company. The program could be similar to job shadowing, a replica of particular job positions or consist of both qualities. The internship program will not only further provide students with opportunities into their interested career fields, but also show insight as to whether or not their interested career field is suitable for them.

Some employers may believe that students always have reliable networks and opportunities for them to be able to get on track towards their careers, while others may think that undergrad students will not take their career interests seriously. However, this is not always the case.

There are many undergrads who pursue their career interests from the start. Sometimes, and depending on the industries, students do not necessarily have the access and opportunity to pursue their career goals. Some students will then look for different avenues such as switching career fields or finding any other job they can acquire.

However, this should not occur simply due to lack of experience and/or lack of networks.

UNT has professional development resources, such as networking workshops and the Professional Leadership Program that provides mentoring with professional employees in a variety of career fields. Students can also attend off-campus networking opportunities. Also, during job fairs, students can converse with different employers within their interested career fields.

Yes, students will have to network in some form in order to excel for their career goals. However, the strict and strenuous qualifications for internships hurts undergrad students from pursuing their career goals.

Everyone has to start somewhere and there is not a guarantee for each and every student to have a network or previous experience to acquire an internship. Employers should offer some leeway and opportunities for students, especially in more strenuous industries.

Featured Illustration: Kylie Phillips

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Makayla Vaults

Makayla Vaults

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