The Power of Experience

Seventeen years of education and here I stand, a senior in college and a young adult embarking on my journey into the world of business.

Where do I start? How do I get where I want to be? As I continue my work for the Whittington Group, I have come to the realization that this is exactly where I need to be. At the start of my internship, I had three goals in mind: To complete my 150 hours, learn a few things here and there on the way, and be able to have content on my resume.

Along the way, I have realized that my time here is more valuable than I had imagined. Being exposed to the business world has opened my eyes to the value and importance of having real hands on experience. Experience that is not possible sitting in a lecture hall taking notes.

Now I am not saying all these years of school has been a waste, it has provided me with a variety of tools that will better prepare me for the real world. But the truth is that companies are not interested in hearing about how I aced my history exam or how many sports I played in high school, but rather the skills I can contribute to my field and the achievements I have accomplished that support those skills. Prestigious companies are built through the success of its employees and that is achieved through the dedication and hard work obtained through my internship.

Yes, it is an attention getter to see a potential candidate who has graduated top of their class and who has an outstanding amount of volunteer hours, but what good does that do you if it does not show employers how well you perform in your related field? As I begin my search for a job upon graduation, all I see are job openings with requirements that state, “Minimum five years related work experience.” Even entry-level positions these days require having previous experience. How is that possible if I have only been an intern for a few months?

As I panic at the thought of having to complete five years of experience at an internship before I can qualify for the position I may want, I recognized that maybe it is not the quantity of work I have, but the quality of my work that will matter in the end. So maybe I have only had a few months of experience, but if I have a career portfolio of my achievements during my short period of interning, I may impress my future employer enough to give me a chance.

Nothing is more fulfilling than having evidence to back up the claims you’ve made in your resume. After seeing my first successfully published op-ed, it was then that I realized that this is my proof that will determine the fate of my future job. Building a career takes time, and it all begins with an internship.

As The Whittington Group motto says, “results are what matter” and the result of my achievements during my time as an intern are what’s going to kick start the career of a lifetime. Never underestimate the power of experience.

- Caitlyn Taylor