OPINION: Internships are worth applying for

KAY DAVIS, Social Media Manager

Last June, I received an email from Tanya Tillman with Dallas College Internships and Apprenticeships inviting me to apply for an internship. 

I assumed the probability of me being selected to participate in this amazing opportunity was low. I didn’t have a high GPA and didn’t participate in any extracurricular activities. I figured the worst they could do was deny my application if my lack of spectacular achievements was an issue. 

Despite my doubts, I was selected to participate in the internship. That’s when my perspective on the attainability of internships changed. I was still very tense when thinking of how my internship experience would be. Internships are commonly depicted negatively in television shows and movies. I assumed internships were that harsh in reality. 

My internship experience was the complete opposite. My internship consisted of genuine concern for my wellbeing, free breakfast on Saturdays and support. This did not hinder my ability to learn new tasks as a business administrator. 

During my internship I learned to complete tasks like data entry, professional communication via email, phone and in person. Leadership assisted me in my work, checking in frequently to ensure I was comfortable doing these tasks. Once the leadership at the company was comfortable I was able to effectively handle these tasks without feeling micromanaged, we met only twice a day, once at the beginning of my shift to talk about tasks for the day and lastly to review the work I’d completed. 

Something I was so critical of turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. I have found employers hiring for administrative positions become enthusiastic when they see the experience from working my internship, when I previously had trouble getting an interview. I urge Dallas College students to take heed of internship opportunities regardless of doubts.

There are resources offered by Dallas College and other community organizations to help you succeed in finding an internship that prepares you for a successful transition into the workforce. 

Experiential Learning ([email protected]) allows students to gain hands-on experience in their field of study, this could potentially be a paid work opportunity. 

Title V grants (https://www.dallascollege.edu/grants/dhsi/pages/default.aspx) provide Hispanic students with many opportunities including internships and apprenticeships. Title V grants also offer free internship preparation. 

Financial Aid (https://www.dallascollege.edu/paying-for-college/financial-aid/pages/default.aspx) can help students who are looking for work acquire a work-study job on campus. These jobs are designed with the student’s lifestyle in mind, taking into account the amount of time needed to study for courses.

There are also community resources for students seeking internships involving organizations such as the All-Stars Project, Dallas Independent School District and more. The All-Stars Project (https://allstars.org/youth-programs-applications/) is a national nonprofit that offers workshops that progress into paid internships with business leaders in your community. This local program is called the DSY, one of the many professional building tools All-Stars offers. People ages 16 to 21 are eligible for the Development School for Youth program. 

Also, the Dallas Independent School District offers summer internships (https://bit.ly/3ohG4NP) for students ages 16 and up. This is an amazing opportunity for dual-credit students as the guide mentions flexibility and credit that could be earned from this work experience. 

Dallas College also offers workshops and career and internship fairs (https://www.dallascollege.edu/resources/career-transfer/pages/default.aspx) throughout the school year. 

There are internships for students who may not have an excellent achievement status. Even if you are not confident you’ll be chosen, applying for the opportunity can lead to an amazing experience. Don’t miss out on hands-on learning because of doubts.