JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Williams Baptist student Tricia Driver is hoping an accounting internship will set her apart when the time comes for a more permanent position.
"From what I saw, they're basically going to teach me their job, said Driver.
"It's a chance to test drive the company or even the industry," said Chair of the Business Department at Williams Baptist, Summer DeProw.
Researchers from Michigan State University's Collegiate Employment Research Institute say evidence suggests internships, rather than entry-level jobs, may be the new norm after graduation at least for now--due to a lack of those entry positions.
"They need the job experience so an internship is a perfect way to do that so I would almost never tell them to turn it down," said DeProw.
DeProw says many internships these days are paid--and so those working are likely in the trenches of their field of interest.
"Companies now as they start to re hire, they're looking for students and employees that can walk the walk and talk the talk," said DeProw.
DeProw says businesses can use internships to screen who they want to hire permanently--and undoubtedly those top performers often fair well in the end.
"Many times if a student has done a great job, they get a full time job when they're done," said DeProw.
For student Tricia Driver, she hopes an internship now will lead to something permanent later.
"If I were to get that internship and I had the experience along with my business administration major, I would have a better opportunity," said Driver.
DeProw says of course paid internships are an advantage, but unpaid ones can offer knowledge and experience too. She says if offered an unpaid position that would fit what you want to do, consider working part time where you do get paid, so there's still money coming in, and you can accept that unpaid internship.