Is A Postgraduate Internship for You?

As a graduate student in the final semester of my Master’s program here at UConn, I have begun to think about what my post-graduation plans are. Up to this point, I have been telling myself that I have to pull my life together and start applying for jobs soon if I want to have one in May. However, I read an article for a class recently that may have changed my mind.

I have found that many people generally think that there are two post-grad options: getting a job or pursuing additional education. While those are probably the most common, they are definitely not the only ones. Thanks to an article required by my professor last week about finding a first position that truly resonates with your interests, skills, and values but also provides you with an opportunity to learn, I am now also considering pursuing an internship after graduation.

You may be thinking, “Wait, wouldn’t doing an internship after graduation be taking a step backwards?” Depending on your individual circumstances, it might be, but I’m willing to bet that for most, it’s actually a step forward. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Companies like to hire people they know will perform well on the job. An internship for your dream company can potentially turn into a full-time job offer after you demonstrate your skillset. If not, you can still add the internship to your résumé and use it as a way to show another company what you can do.
  • Accepting an internship rather than a full-time position can allow you to do some more career exploration after you graduate before committing long-term. This may be particularly enticing if you are still unsure what your dream job looks like, considering moving to a new area, or pursuing a future in a field outside your major or area of study.
  • Applying to full-time jobs can be stressful on top of completing all your coursework during your final semester. Applying for internships instead can relieve the stress a bit because you aren’t making as long-term a commitment if as you would be if you were applying for full-time jobs. Then, during the internship when you don’t also have academics to work on, you can focus more time and energy on the job search.

If you decide that searching for internships is a possibility for you, there are two options. You could apply for traditional internships that are geared towards students. Because you will be a graduate, you may be overqualified for some of these positions, but after some searching, there will likely also be some that make sense for you as well. The other option is called a postgraduate internship, which is an internship designed specifically for a college graduate. These internships can be found in many industries and sometimes even include salaries and benefits packages comparable to full-time employees.

No matter what your post-grad plans are, we are here to help! You can schedule an appointment to meet with a career coach here in the Center for Career Development to discuss all aspects of the job/internship search process or applying for graduate school.

By Lisa Famularo
Lisa Famularo Career Consultant, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Lisa Famularo