28 Nov Bridging the Gap Between School and the Real World
The transition from college to the real world is something for which very few young professionals feel ready. For the last four years, you have been “syllabused” through courses that were supposed to prepare you with the necessary knowledge and tools to perfect your trade. But can any amount of credits or a signed piece of paper really tell you if you’re ready to make it in the real world?
To help ease this anxiety and bridge the gap, most schools now require internship hours. On paper, internships are supposed to allow students to apply what they’ve learned in professional setting, but in reality they are more than that.
There is much more to be learned about becoming a professional than can be taught in a classroom. Internships teach students how to conduct themselves professionally in the work force. From something as small as being taught to bring a notepad to meetings to overarching skills like communicating with supervisors, internships teach things by experience in a way that classroom learning cannot. Nothing can teach you to conduct yourself in a corporate setting quite like being there, and the experience can help you come to conclusions on difficult life decisions: can see yourself in a particular line of work now that you have lived it? Is this the type of place where you’d like your future self to work?
If you’re a student who is still nervous about the real world, there is no better way to prepare than to practice. Take a second – or even a third – internship to explore where you fit best as a professional. College is a great place to come to understand responsibilities, deadlines, and even some of the content you will use in your career, but learning outside your syllabus can be the most effective way to bridge the anxiety-ridden gap between school and the real world.