The Westfield Voice

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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

Internships: How Westfield State University Students Can Prepare for the Future

Marvin Meyer
People at work around several laptops and devices.

Westfield State University students across campus are grappling with important questions regarding their future and their ability to get a job, as of 2023.

Many students are uncertain about their future because the unemployment rate for individuals aged 16 to 19 is 9.6 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“I’m 21 years old so I’m more expected to have a job and figure out my career, but for my younger siblings and younger friends, I worry that they can’t find a job and can’t find anything that they want to do,” said Chivonne Keane, a student at Westfield State University working as a preschool teacher.

One avenue that some students take advantage of to both explore what they enjoy doing and increase their chance of securing employment after graduation is through work internships while still in college.

“They provide practical, hands-on experience that allows individuals to apply theoretical knowledge and technical skills gained in academic settings. This real-world experience exposure helps bridge the gap between education and the professional environment,” said Sinuk Kang, an adjunct professor at Westfield State University, who assists students with obtaining internships.

“Internships provide a chance to network and build professional relationships within the industry, potentially opening doors to future job opportunities,” Kang said.

Many students who have pursued internships report that it has been helpful in finding a job and furthering their career.

“It shows future employers that you are taking your career seriously. Your willingness to work while in school is a considerable edge, primarily if you work multiple internships. The more internships you take, the more diverse your skill set, (making) you more qualified,” said Rory Regan, a Westfield graduate who now works at 22 News in sports broadcasting.

Employment is like building a wall with a person’s education, internships, and the employment that they gain, with each of these aspects cumulatively working to make a wall out of all these occupational bricks.

Internships are important because they can help young adults gain valuable skills and expertise in their area of study. They are also important because they can help potential employees make connections and help them make progress in achieving their goals.

Education is important because it not only teaches potential employees knowledge and its application for narrowly defined fields, but it also substantially teaches potential employees communication and other globally useful skills for any job.

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