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Attaining an Education Outside the Classroom

Cpl. Jun Lin, a Marine in a wood working shop.

Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort -- Marines looking to build upon their education without having to sit through classes, apply for tuition assistance, scholarships and grants or take out loans can do so by applying for internships. Internships can provide Marines with the opportunity to learn marketable skills and network with people in their desired job field.

Internships provide work experience opportunities to service members, college graduates and students, considering entering or attaining further knowledge in certain careers. Employers are willing to hire interns with little to no experience, especially if the intern is willing to accept little or no monetary compensation. However, the benefits of doing an internship go far beyond a paycheck.

"An internship can give Marines the opportunity to gain hands on work experience that you just can't get in the classroom," said David Thompson, the owner of Fidelis Aviation in Beaufort and Hilton Head Island, S.C. "Employers are usually more concerned with work experience than qualifications and internships are often the only way to get the work experience needed to secure a job. Many employers prefer or require applicants who have done an internship or relevant work in many of the more competitive job markets. They are a vital part of a resume, and it is essential to set you apart from the others."

An internship can be seen as the pinnacle of someone's education. They can provide Marines with the opportunity to apply their Military Occupational Specialty or desired job skills in a work environment outside of the military.

Employers see interns as prospective employees. Many finish their internships and continue working with the company full time.

"Internships are a great way to meet people in the industry," Thompson said. "Even if you have experience, knowing people never hurts. An internship allows you to meet people who might help you land a job later on, and give you the contacts in the field you're trying to break into."

Getting experience is a great way to build a resume and confidence when entering the career field. With an impressive resume, Marines can be confident in securing a job when they finish their military service.

 
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill
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