The Value Proposition of Internships

Categories: News

By Christine Olsen, MBA, Career Coach and Internship Program Manager, JVS Career Services

Student: How do I get job experience if no one is willing to hire me?
Answer: Get an internship!

Employer: How do I get the right new talent that fits the culture and will fulfill the needs of my organization?
Answer: Provide an internship!

An internship is a structured work experience related to a student’s major and/or career goal that should enhance the academic, career, and personal development of the student. There are a variety of internship models: paid and unpaid, part time and full time, seasonal and year long.  Offering an internship helps employers manage work flow economically and find new team members to help join and grow their business. At JVS Career Services, we work with students seeking internships and organizations seeking interns. We prepare students for their internship experience and match them to employers with fitting opportunities. Done well, the internship is mutually beneficial for the student and participating employer.


How does the employer benefit from offering an internship?
It is a means of finding future employees and possibly improving retention. Because of the familiarity with the student, the employer has the advantage of evaluating the intern as a potential employee. Trying out candidates helps a company reduce mistakes when it comes to full time staffing. There is a higher retention rate of entry-level hires who have interned. The happy intern also spreads the good word about the company, creating positive PR and exposure.

It is a way to give back to the community by hiring into the local workforce and facilitating a positive future for the student.

It allows the employer to take advantage of short term productivity needs that come up during the year, including special projects.

New people bring fresh ideas and specialized strengths and skills, which can augment the abilities of the workforce.

The modest wages of an intern provide a cost savings. Meanwhile, interns are frequently the most highly motivated members of the workforce.


So, what are the benefits to the student intern?
It allows the student to network and establish mentors and references. Working with professionals in the desired field or industry is a major advantage of an internship. This circle of contacts can be useful for anything from career advice and mentoring to job recommendations.

Internships allow students to explore potential careers and gain knowledge of the field or industry from a real-world perspective. They afford valuable insight and help determine if the industry is the right choice for a college student.

They provide important leadership and soft skills development. The National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) Internships as a Pedagogical Approach to Soft-Skill Development identifies the five most important soft skills cited by employers as being valued in the workplace:

  • Communicate
  • Work in a team structure
  • Make decisions and solve problems
  • Plan, organize, and prioritize work
  • Obtain and process information

Internships will help enhance a college student’s resume. Internships add valuable work experience to the resume. The internship experience allows the student or new graduate more opportunities to say, “I can do that!”

For the college student or new graduate, internships offer real world experience and the opportunity to try on a job for proper fit. For the employer, who prefers to hire people they are familiar with, internships provide a try-out of potential employees. The value proposition is that internships can be a win-win for both!

Christine Olsen, MBA, is a Career Coach with JVS Career Services who is passionate about helping people and organizations to achieve their true potential. She has done this throughout her 25 year career in Business and Education in the areas of Finance, Leadership, Training and Development, Recruitment and Career Consulting.

Prior to joining JVS Career Services, Christine served as Career Services Director in higher education managing advisors and coaching students and alumni through their career preparation and transition.  She facilitated writing marketable resumes, teaching job search strategies, coaching on interviewing, networking strategies, personal branding, business etiquette, and employer hiring trends and culture fit, so that clients would enjoy a significant increase in job offers.

Christine received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Business Education from SUNY Buffalo, NY and her Masters of Business Administration in Finance from Hofstra University, NY.  A native New Yorker, she has embraced Cincinnati as home for the past 24 years as proven by her commitment to quality education for all serving 10 years in Ohio PTA officer roles, as Event Planner for Educator Job Fairs, and as a 12 year elected Board of Education member.

Christine’s goal at JVS is to contribute to positive collaboration with all stakeholders to build trusting relationships that motivate and empower clients to successfully achieve their ideal careers.

To contact Christine Olsen by phone, please call (513) 745-2913, or email her at

Article References:

National Association of Colleges and Employers 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey

National Association of Colleges and Employers Internships as A Pedagogical Approach to Soft Skill Development