Written by: Catalina Lizarralde
I know a lot of people that take their Major classes before senior year, I really don’t have a strong opinion of what I think would be better since I see multiple pros and cons to each way one can choose to follow. In my case it worked out that I was able to get all my core business classes and GECs out of the way in my first two years at OSU, and I will have my senior year solely devoted to my Major. I will be starting my third year in the university (and the USA.. WOOO) this September but this will be my last year in OSU.
Anyways, at some times during my internship I felt it would have been easier and gone much faster if I was more familiar with the subject. It was a little frustrating to have a small idea of what people are talking about or what they are asking you to do (from the introduction classes) but not enough to get going. I felt sometimes that people forget that you are an intern and they talk to you about details and specific processes as if you have learned that already your whole life! On the other hand, if you are one of those students that is not working in an area 100% about your Major, having an internship will really help as a way of discovering if you can see yourself doing that type of job in the future. On another note, internships are supposed to give you a test of what the real world is like and you are there to learn. I think I will go back to school with an advantage. I will take with me many learning’s and experiences that will help me understand my Major classes better and actually have a real world perspective to the material being studied. Having some familiarity with the class work will really make it easier (at least in my opinion). For my Majors in Logistics and Operations specifically, it was key having a foundation of material through Introduction to Operations Management. Each day it became more relevant when working with inventory targets, understanding Value Stream Mapping, Six Sigma, etc.
I would advise other students to think of these different options and try to plan their schedules so they can make their internships the most beneficial for their own situation. Having an internship that applies to your major is a great way of seeing the opportunities that would open if you follow that path. Also, it can help you understand if that path is the one where you see yourself in the future and if it’s the right fit for you. You can learn how a company works and what type of company is the right for you (big corporation, location, culture, benefits and values that are important for you, etc). Another great advantage of an internship is that it can also open your eyes to other areas you might want to explore.
Above anything, no matter where you are in the career decision you make, or the plans you have for your internship, or even the current economy that makes it harder to have an internship you really wanted, having real work experience is key for your personal development. Besides all the people you meet, the experience, the opportunity, the exposure, the salary, etc, I think is an enrichining experience that you will always carry. Also, from the perspective of a college student giving advice to other college students, never underestimate the importance of the work experience field on your resume.