Internships are widely recognized as a highly effective bridge from college to professional employment. In a recent study by Hart Research Associates, 94% of over 400 employers surveyed indicate that they are more likely to hire a recent college graduate if they have had a successful internship; fully 80% say it is important that recent college grads demonstrate their ability to apply learning in real-world settings.
“[The] whole point of an internship from colleges' point of view is to provide students with experiences that are not like what students get in the classroom. Rather, internships should provide opportunities to confirm or [to] confound what is found in textbooks and set forth in lectures ...”
That process of “confirming” and “confounding” is what drives insight and innovation—precisely what employers are looking for in college graduates of every stripe.
 Hart Research Associates, “Falling Short? College Learning and Career Success.” January 20, 2015
 Charles Westerberg and Carol Wickersham, “Internships Have Value, Whether or Not Students Are Paid.” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 24, 2011