Parenting Tip: Internships to Provide a Competitive Edge

Parenting Tip: Internships to Provide a Competitive Edge

Posted on Posted in Blog, College Bound Tips, Parenting's Not Easy

Parenting Tip: Internships to Provide a Competitive Edge

There was a time, not long ago, when you could obtain a high school diploma and still be able to purchase a nice house with a yard and maybe a car or two to park in it.  But, the ante had been upped since the time that I graduated high school.  Career advice during my era included knowing that a Bachelor’s degree could provide a competitive edge over the job market.  When my children enter college they will need to definitely consider graduate school or some type of Master’s degree in order to have a competitive edge.  No one person is guaranteed a successful career just because they have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.  However, statistics strongly support that even a Bachelor’s degree can make a difference in one’s lifetime income.  In The College Payoff, a 2011 report by Georgetown University, researchers found that overall a college degree has a positive effect on income.  Race, however, did not have the same effect. The report found that:
  • African-Americans and Latinos earn less than their White counter-parts, even among the most highly-educated workers.
  • African-Americans and Latinos with master’s degrees don’t exceed the median lifetime earnings of Whites with Bachelor’s degrees.
We want to encourage any competitive edge that we can.  But a college degree is not enough.  Nor is a host of good grades, high GPA’s or AP and honors classes.  Children of color need more in order to be competitive. 
So what else can we do? In our house we feel that the competitive age of our children’s day will not only be a Master’s degree and good grades but also internships.  An internship can give our college bound children added momentum.  Internships are helpful in that they can:
  • Develop relationships with future employers
  • Develop a social networking system in their field
  • Testing out a career before you make a financial college investment
  • Gain work experience/build resume
  • Possible earn course credit
  • Earn extra money
 We’ve got a few more years but I’ve got my eyes and ears open for upcoming internships that might suit our children’s interest and hopefully contribute to making a competitive difference.

Planning on Applying for Internships? Keep these tips in Mind:

  • Look for programs in a variety of areas: Dance, Science, Technology, Art, Math, Medicine you name it, it’s out there!
  • Start thinking about teachers and others in your community/church your child can ask for a letter of recommendation. Word to the wise: be mindful of folks’ time and of those who are timely
  • Make sure pictures not ‘becoming’ of a future scholar are removed from Facebook or Twitter and any other social media outlet BEFORE you send off applications or ask for a letter of recommendation.
  • Check and double check required materials and deadlines.
  • Check and double check required materials and deadlines. (I can’t say this enough!)

A Word on Paid vs. Non-paid Internships:

Paid internships are always preferred.  A 2013 survey revealed that those who took part in paid internships, 63.1%, received at least one job offer.  Only 37% of unpaid intern’s received an offer, not much better than results for those with no internship—35.2 percent received at least one job offer.
  • Those with paid internships who landed jobs got starting salaries averaging $51,900,
  • Those with unpaid internships averaged salaries of $35,700

Check out LinkedIn’s list of the top industries and companies that convert the most internships into full-time positions for professionals.



Does your child have an internship this summer?

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