Research consistently demonstrates the positive impact internships—paid and unpaid— can have launching a college student’s career.

While many students focus on the income, it turns out that the more important value of this experience is learning more about yourself and discovering the work that will maximize your professional self and make you happy. Of course, it may also lead to a job offer with the organization your interning with.

For this reason, if you’re about to graduate and are having difficulty finding the full time position you want, taking a 3-6 month internship can be a compelling alternative to find your career direction and gain some real professional experience. And if you can afford it, be open to non-paid internships in an area of real interest, as long as your supervisor will provide clear direction, support and also some degree of autonomy.

If you would benefit from guidance to find the right internship, let’s have a conversation.