Boston — In the Middle Ages, they were apprentices. Today's academics refers to them as "interns." It seems that the era of the internship has arrived. All college students no longer spend four straight years reclining at desks and idly absorbing knowledge from their waiting professors. More and more students are accepting the challenge of experiential education, combining their classroom knowledge with practical experience.
There are many reasons for taking an internship --everything from practical job experience to boredom with schol. As field work replaces bookwork, real people and events reinforce concepts. Interms encounter different cultures and ideas. Time away from school often brings an opportunity to think about new ideas in new ways.
The benefits of an internship are as varied as the reasons for taking one in the first place.
Everyday tasks -- either mundane or challenging --help to sharpen, reshape, or shatter career goals. Creative thinking and ingenuity are stimulated in dealing with completely different situations; different talents develop. New friendships, new attitudes, and addition to the proverbial resume -- the reasons are endless.
"My internship gave me the opportunity to apply all I've learned in my academic training and was an excellent experience within the field of work I've chosen," one recent intern commented.
Many colleges now give academic credit for internships and help students to arrange places to work. Businesses and institutions regularly offer internships to qualified and interested students. Sponsors benefit from the often innovative approaches and the dedication of student interns.
In 13 Western states, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) coordinates internships in various areas of economic development, multicultural education, energy, and health. WICHE recruits college and graduate students, contacts potential sponsors, matches the talent with the need , mediates any problems that may arise, and often pays at least part of the interm's salary.
In many cases, though, interns work as volunteers ans some, unlike their Middle Ages counterparts, aren't even provided room and board (in or out of a castle ).