6 month summer Internship - Freshman year

My daughter, who is a freshman in college is likely to get a 6 month internship for summer 2022, which starts sometime in June and ends November/December of 2022. That means if she accepts this opportunity, she will have to miss one semester of college (Fall 2022). Is it worth missing out on college for a semester and doing internship ? This internship is related to the field, she is doing her major in.

My daughter missed two semesters to do an industry co-op. It’s been a phenomenal experience.

That said, her school has a well established co-op program so it’s seamless for students to alternate between school and work in terms of maintaining housing, course sequencing, registration, etc…

I’d have your child reach out to their advisor to discuss the logistics.

It really depends on the college and her major. Will missing a semester this early on in her college career create barriers in her course sequencing? This usually depends on the major and the course frequency offerings of her school. I missed a semester due to a study/research abroad opportunity but it was in my last year and I just graduated a semester late.

This is the biggest question, will missing a term put her behind a term or a ehole year.

In general though, longer is better. because of the inertia in getting started, you can get exponentially more meaningful experience by being there longer.

Because the internship is related to her field, it is probably worth missing out on a regular semester of school. Of course, specifics matter.

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Why a six month internship? I’ve recently read some articles that companies are “offering” longer internships as a way to get get cheap, temporary workers due to labor shortages.

I’d want to know if the company has offered this internship before and what duties will be performed.

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My daughter is looking at a major where interships/experience during the college years will be very important (almost crucial) to getting a job in the field after graduation, so she would definitely choose the internship even if it meant putting her behind on her classes a bit and possibly graduating a later. It probably really depends on your student’s major and how important having experience is before graduating.

Thanks everyone with your feedbacks. We are very confused. If this would have been in 3rd or final year …it was a no brainer to take this internship. We tried reaching out to the company too, just in case if they can shorten the time period and awaiting their reply.
Will have to talk to the advisor on how it’s going to impact her coursework, if we go forward.

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I don’t know what your student’s major is, but for engineering, getting an internship this early is VERY rare, although al little more common for females. It will lead to other opportunities. I would strongly encourage your student not to take this lightly. If it throws off their graduation a full year, they can fill the space with other internships like @momofboiler1’s student did.

I hope you didn’t actually reach out to the company and your student did.

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haha…yes she did.

What’s her major?

Why doesn’t your D ask the company for contact information for other, former interns? If the consensus is that the internship was filled with meaningful work, great exposure to people in the industry, good feedback, etc. than it’s worth considering. If the former interns agree that they were cheap labor, were stuck substituting for receptionists who called in sick, or ended up being the person to distribute the snacks in the various break rooms, it’s likely not worth missing a semester of actual intellectual engagement just to have something on the resume. And if the entire experience is virtual (Covid or related) to me it would be an easy “no”. My colleagues in Talent and Recruiting are mostly in agreement that virtual internships are significantly less valuable to the students than the actual internships. 6 months is a long time to be a little box on a zoom call when you are still a college student.

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My DD’s favorite internship was virtual (she did 4). She worked for an entertainment company, did meaningful work, and got great exposure to the company and industry. Don’t over-generalize.

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Depending on major, it’s hard to do meaningful work as a freshman. They just don’t have much of an armamentarium yet. The networking can be priceless though.

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Data Science

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Freshman year internships are harder to get but not impossible. That said I have not heard of a 6 month internship (not coop). At a minimum I would encourage the student to ask about a duration that would not impact school schedule. Our son’s experience was that flexibility was achievable - if you ask. Don’t ask - don’t get.

Yes definitely, objective is that they learn something and worth missing their studies.

A thousand years ago, I did a 7 month internship. It was a non-recurring position that started in the Summer and went through the Fall semester. It was well worth the missed term. I was further along in school though.

There are fields where internships are essential, and where there are enough people who want to get ahead in that field that they will take on internships like the one below. 6 months, (very) full-time, unpaid. If you don’t have a family who can support you for 6 months (in DC!) you are out of luck. That office knows that there are plenty of students who can afford to do it- and there are plenty of students who know that the experience will almost certainly pay off. It’s a great opportunity (and the office is equal opportunity)- if you have money.