One of the most rewarding experiences while in college can be an internship. These are intended to help college students obtain the skills and knowledge they need to compete in the job market and later in their career field once they earn their degree. You can learn a lot from the right college internship, but others can be nothing more than resume fillers.
College students often make the mistake of believing that their goal throughout college should be to build a strong-looking resume. While a resume that contains internships, jobs, club affiliations and other impressive aspects will likely catch the attention of an interviewer, showing that there is substance to what you've done in your two, four, etc. years in college is just as important, if not more so.
During an interview, an interviewer will do more than read your resume while you sit idly by. You'll obviously be expected to engage and discuss the different portions of your resume from your education to your work experience. If you have something to discuss from an internship, you'll be in much better shape than if all you can talk about is the proper temperature for making coffee and how to avoid paper cuts while filing papers.
So when you're considering college internships, you should expect the internship to give you the opportunity to develop your skills and procure knowledge of the real world. One of the most important skills to develop is people skills and one of the best way to do so is to interact with customers. If your internship puts you out in the field, interacting with customers and other coworkers, you'll be able to work on your people skills.
You should also expect your college internship to be hands-on. There are exceptions, but for the most part, the most rewarding internship experiences are those in which you are challenged and engaged on a daily basis. This often results in a more enjoyable experience as well, which usually gets better results. Start looking for an internship early so you can take your time in finding and choosing one that you will enjoy and will allow you to develop your skills.