Why you Need an Internship Before Leaving COD

The benefits of having an internship as a student.


The Green Sheet

Photo of Internship Program at COD

Johnny Chirayil, Social Media Editor

Editor’s Note: The story was updated to reflect the correct spelling of Datatelligent.


So you want to get a job, but you don’t know what job you want? Look no further! Getting an internship is a great way for students to understand what job they want to pursue. According to COD’s Student Internship Information page, internships express “experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting.”

Students who aren’t sure about what career they want will greatly benefit from enrolling in an internship. For example, if you want to apply for a future job, an internship will strengthen your resume. You can learn about the work environment and how each coworker cooperates with one another. Additionally, if a program requires an internship, a student can receive academic credit for enrolling in an internship. Students should understand that having an internship is different from having a job. After all, interns do not have the same amount of experience as a professional does. They are developing skills rather than fulfilling certain responsibilities.

Some students may wonder if interns get paid. That depends on what program you’ve enrolled in. A newcomer student, named Amirah Ahmed, is planning to transfer to Illinois Institute of Technology to study chemical engineering. Ahmed is serving an internship with Datatelligent to study data, analytics, and artificial intelligence solutions. Ahmed told COD’s marketing newsletter that the internship helps her “figure out the dynamics and expectations in a work environment… and what to look for in a career.” She also discovered that “working with a small company is more along the lines of what she wants to do.” 

Ahmed talked about her perspective on internships and how it was beneficial for her in a personal interview for the Courier. 

She first heard about the internships when she was passing by a classroom in the BIC. From the hallway, she saw the professor projecting a flier for internships on the board. She took down the URL and applied. From that point on, she would have to fill out an application and get interviewed. Getting this internship was no easy process for her. There were 80 applicants, and she was one of the eight selected. Plus, this wasn’t the first internship she applied for, so she knew that she had to get “really creative on where and how she searched for a position.”

After applying, she finally got her first paid internship and this was her first experience in a work environment. “I am learning how to work with coworkers, the expectations of an employer and employee, appropriate level of professionalism,” Ahmed said. “As a data analyst, I work a back-end job, with little to no customer interaction, unlike others my age who commonly work in retail or food service. While I lack the skills for customer service, I gained greater technical skills on the job.”  

Although, “An internship is not required for her program” Ahmed said. “ As a chemical engineer, my current internship is unrelated to my major and future career.” “ I do not get any credit for my internship. However, it looks great on my resume. This internship is proof, that I can apply what I learned in school, learn on the job, and work with others. I made some money, met new people. Learned how to work with people across a generation gap, stand my ground and prove my worth. The greatest benefit I gained from this internship was discovering my own preferences in a work environment. At the end of my internship, I can re-apply and be hired as a part-time worker.”

COD strives to connect with local and regional businesses when it comes to providing students with internships. Ahmed was connected to Datatelligent through InternPlus: a program that connects students to local start-ups and small businesses for paid positions. Moreover, students can participate in workshops. These workshops collaborate with the departments throughout the College: Counseling presentations, Advising and Transfer Services, Career Services, and members of the Benedictine University 3+1 program. 

Having an internship at COD surely sounds like an opportunity many students shouldn’t miss out on, especially if their program requires an internship. Internships can provide students a hands-on experience on what career they’re pursuing and they can have a better understanding of the circumstances. If you would like to learn more about COD internships, visit the Student Internship Information on the COD website.