Internships allow students to gain formal work experience

By Max Peña
Pulse Staff Reporter

A Palo Alto College student searches for opportunities on the Job Board in the Student Center. Photo by Max Peña

Internships allow students to gain both knowledge and experience that they can use for their entire professional career.

By definition, an intern is a student or trainee who works in an organization with or without pay to gain work experience. Many students here at Palo Alto College turn to internships to build their résumé, find job opportunities, gain work experience, or fulfill requirements for their college major.

Felix Perez, a sophomore Psychology major here at PAC, has a keen interest in internships.

“If you’re an intern, you’ll grow as an individual. From my perspective, it’s a test; whether you pass or fail that test depends on how much hard work you give back,” said Perez. “Having hands-on job experience with your career of interest can help you grow as an individual.”

Kiana Piña, a former intern with Our Lady of the Lake University and a senior advisor here at PAC, detailed some of the benefits of participating in an internship as opposed to a part-time or full-time job.

“It really depends on the person. A job mostly doesn’t affect your degree. You can learn more about a career that pertains to your degree with an internship,” said Piña.

One way a student could obtain more exposure to internships is by volunteering for non-profit organizations, like the San Antonio Food Bank.

Piña herself volunteered for the Daughters of Charity Services as a part of the 450 volunteering hours she needed for her Social Work degree.

“Volunteering will open doors for internships; you will be rewarded for your hard work and dedication,” said Piña.

Rafael Sayago, a certified advisor in the BOLD Advising Center, frequently refers students to internship opportunities because of academic requirements needed for a student’s major; these internships prepare students for their professional futures.

“It gives them a true perspective of what ‘work’ is going to be like. Students think of their desired profession as to what they want to do for a career. They’ll certainly get the skills that they need for their position,” said Sayago.

“They need to fully apply themselves and commit to their job. Ultimately, it’s up to the student to be successful. It might not be what you expect, but you’ll enjoy it; it’ll help get you out of your comfort zone,” said Sayago.

Paid internships include the City of San Antonio’s Ambassadors Intern Program, Texas State Parks and Wildlife Department, U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service and more.

For more information about internships, visit the BOLD/SEED Advising Center in the Palomino Center Annex, Room 200.

All PAC students, staff and faculty are welcome to attend the Job Fair in the Ozuna Legacy Room on Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.


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