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April 18, 2017
A Student’s Dilemma: Internship or Travel?
By: Megan O'Brien

In most college courses students avail of three or four summers of free time. There are plenty of possible activities out there to fill that free time but what it mostly comes down to is travel or an internship. Unfortunately, free summers like this stop after you leave college so it is important to make the most out of the opportunity while you have it!

I used my earlier college summers to go travelling. At that point, I felt that I had not built up enough experience and knowledge to apply for most internships. And at an early stage in my college career, I thought an internship may not be as beneficial for my own learning and development. So, I suggest taking at least one of your college summers to go on a long trip away. I went to Rhode Island in the USA to do a J1 summer with four friends. The experience of living in another country is very different to visiting on a holiday, it allows you to engage more with the people and the culture. I loved the experience I had, I know that it challenged me to be independent and outgoing.

For the summer before my final year of college I decided it would be a good idea to do an internship. At this stage, I am thinking about what career path I want to take after college and this is a perfect opportunity to try out an option and see if I like it. I am doing an engineering degree but I always considered going into consulting. I wanted to do my internship with Accenture because it is a global management consultancy firm and it would be the best place to gain the experience in consultancy that I wanted. Luckily, I earned a place on the internship programme. I am two months into my internship, which will finish in August, and already I have gained extensive insight into the world of corporate consultancy and developed important professional skills.

The project I am on in Accenture is a large healthcare project which is exciting and innovative. The social life for interns at Accenture is fantastic with fun events happening all the time such as Accenture’s International Women’s Day event, the monthly intern mixers, the opportunities to go on the Accenture ski trip and surf trip, and we still have the Intern’s London trip to look forward to in August.

Internships are a great way to make yourself more valuable to future employers while also enjoying and challenging yourself in a new environment. It gives you the opportunity to meet loads of new interesting people and have a taste of paid working life before you leave college. I would recommend doing an internship in your final years of college as I think it is the most beneficial and productive way to spend your final summer.

Accenture Ski trip and Surf trip
Accenture Ski trip and Surf trip.

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