Who benefits the most when students do internships in place of courses: the intern or the company?

Internships expose students to the workings of a real company and let them test the waters of a particular industry without the commitment of long-term employment.

Internships expose students to the workings of a real company and let them test the waters of a particular industry without the commitment of long-term employment. Interns leave the program with a portfolio of real PR work products, including press releases and media placements, that they can then use for their portfolio and a newfound networking platform that can be a stepping stone to a first job.

In turn, companies also reap the benefits of interns - and not solely speaking from the "free labor" perspective. An internship program is a training ground for new employees - a way to check out new talent before committing. An intern program is also a smart recruiting tool, as it can attract top-level college students who are hungry for a challenge. And because the company has the chance to work with the intern/student before either makes an employment commitment, the risk is very low.

Reggie Kouba is VP at SheaHedges Group.

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