/ Asked by Reed
I am a photojournalist intern for a local media organization. As part of a college class, and my internship, I am doing research about what employers are looking for in an intern or a new-hire fresh out of college. 1. What skills would be most important for an intern to have? 2. What skills would you aim at developing? 3. How important is it to be majoring in or have a degree related to the job?
Answered by Eddie, Hiring Expert at Quest Diagnostics, on Sunday, October 1, 2017
1. I love this question! There are three basic skills that a majority of employers find valuable from any candidate:  communication, organization, and team work. I've worked with over 200 hiring managers in various industries and those three always come up. It's not really different for an intern. However, the indicators of how you have built these skills are found in how you have performed outside of the classroom in student organizations, part-time jobs, work study jobs, community service, and even other internships. Show employers how you have used your communication skills to excel as a leader, your organizational skills to execute tasks of the group or your team work skills to enhance to operations of the group.

2. See above--communication, organization, and team work! :-)

3. This depends on the field. For professions such as law, the sciences, finances, and medicine, employers will always look at candidates with those degrees. For other areas, employers may not be as rigid. That can be the magic of liberal arts. Majors such as psychology, mass communication, English, philosophy and sociology offer lots of flexibility because they sharpen candidates' people skills (what others may call soft skills). Emotional intelligence, which those kinds of majors enhance, is becoming a more precious commodity in the workplace because it heightens productivity.
Answered by Rachel, Hiring Expert at ADP, on Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Hello!  I would say the skill set depends on the role in consideration, but there are definitely certain "soft" skills that are important for an intern to possess in order to be successful. At ADP, these include skills such as positive attitude, strong work ethic, willingness to learn, effective communication, and more.  I would suggest working on developing professionalism skills because they will benefit you as a working professional. This includes things such as writing clear and concise emails, public speaking , and being able to work collaboratively with others.  In my opinion, major/degree is not always a determining factor. If you can showcase your strengths and how they can be applied to the role at hand I believe that's most important.
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