Internships giving job seekers a leg up on competition

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Internships are becoming almost a requirement to land a job in your desired field.

Interns who score gigs at top US companies can make thousands of dollars every month. According to the jobs website ‘Glassdoor,’ the median monthly pay at Facebook is $8,000, Microsoft is $7,100, ExxonMobil is about $6,500 and Salesforce is about $6,400

Internships can give job seekers a leg up on the competition.

Gone are the days of interns fetching coffee. Today, interns are an integral part of many companies like Click Rain.

“They come on with great skills and they’re contributing to our team and our work every day from the very beginning,” said Natalie Eisenberg, Click Rain VP of Sales and Marketing.

“They’re having me dive right in. I’m a direct part of the business,” said Nathan Merriman.

Merriman is interning at Click Rain this summer. He’s a business student at Augustana University.

“An internship is an easy segway into figuring out what you can be passionate about. And being a part of an organization like Click Rain has really provided me a lot of great insights into what I could see as a career down the road,” said Merriman.

Mary Toso is the director of internships at Augustana. She gives students the tools they need to find an internship and the ability to test-drive a career.

“We have something that we call ‘Augie Opportunities.’ It’s an online database of internship opportunities, as well as job opportunities. And so everything that we hear about from our alumni network, in addition to our great contacts we have in Sioux Falls -- they let us know about positions and we post them on ‘Augie Opportunities,’” said Toso.

Eisenberg says internships are something employers look for.

“When I look at a resume and I see that someone has had an active internship in true work environments, I know that they’ve got practical skills, they’ve got exposure to professional settings and they know how professional work environments work,” said Eisenberg.

Tanner Sifferath is a former intern and now marketing engineer at Click Rain.

“From day one, that was my mindset to treat this as a 90-day job interview because at the end of the summer, I wanted to be hired on full time,” said Sifferath.

Sifferath has this advice for interns:

“Just really take this in as a learning experience and when you have the capability, jump in where you can really serve a purpose,” said Sifferath.

“They treat me like an equal. They treat me with a great amount of respect, and I’m busy all the time and that’s the way I like it,” said Merriman.

Internships vary per company – some are paid, some are unpaid and some are for college credit.