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Should internships be taken into consideration more than grades?

Photo courtesy of huffpost.com

Alexandra Carmon | Opinions Editor

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always learned more by doing. Sure, visuals help and oral communication. However, what really helped the material sink in was by writing or through in-class activities. I feel the same way when it comes to my internships and journalism classes. I can honestly say that I have learned way more about the journalism industry from my internship in a newsroom than I have throughout my last three years in Scripps. “In a classroom environment, most people are absorbing tons of information, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they know what to do with that information,” says Whitney Nelson, a junior computer science major from Kansas City, Missouri. This is the main reason why I believe internships should be taken more into consideration than grades.

For example, if we have a 4.0 senior biology major, who has never done any research internship and then we take a 3.2 senior biology major that has had several medical-based internships, which one do you think would be more successful in the medical field? Although answers may vary depending on the person and their situations, in my opinion the 3.2 student with internships looks more marketable. Even though they aren’t a straight A student, their internships show that they are well-rounded and can do more than just school work. Also, how does anyone expect a medical school to take them without any prior medical-based experiences. “Internships give you real experience versus the theories we learn in class,” says Ty Champion, a 3rd year architect major from Norfolk, Virginia. Your internships are what give you a chance to experience working under pressure and gives you more insight on whether or not you really want to pursue your chosen field of study.

Also, another reason why I think internships should be taken more into consideration over grades is because sometimes there may be a case of a bad professor, not necessarily a bad student. Have you ever been in the situation where you failed a class, but then retook it under a different professor and aced it? That is the case for most students who end up stuck with a professor who teaches poorly. Also, I think professors sometimes take pride in the fact that their class is considered “hard.” So, instead of trying to make the material easier to grasp they continue to fail students left and right, while giving little to none extra credit. Students in this situation should not be judged for the grade they managed to crawl out of a class with. If a student received a C in political science, but has experience interning at a law firm and shadowing experience of political figures, they should not be taken out of consideration when it comes to jobs and other things.

A person who is against this argument may agree that grades matter more than internships because it shows that you are knowledgeable in your courses, which means you will be knowledgeable in your field of study. However, that’s not necessarily true because some students’ high grades in a class are due from cheating. Also, people have to take into consideration that some schools are harder than others. A 3.0 student at Harvard looks better than a 3.7 student at Texas Southern University.

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