ST. JOSEPH -- College is a time that many students discover who they are, what they stand for and what type of life they will lead after graduation. For many students it's what they learn outside of the classroom that is most impactful.

Internships during college can give a student a real world perspective on just about any career or subject. Assistant Director of Experiential Learning & Community Engagement at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University, Laura Hammond says internships help keep talent within the community.

"Students are a phenomenal resource, especially in the St. Cloud area [because] we have many higher education institutions. I think internships are often a pipeline for keeping talent local. Employers or organizations are able to test run, is this person, this student, the right fit for what we need long term."

Hammond says area businesses do benefit from the help of interns.

"Students have energy, a fresh perspective, they have opportunity to build capacity at organizations and they can dedicate time to projects."

Organizations aren't the only ones who benefit from interns, students also benefit from taking on an internship.

College of St. Benedict senior, Kenea Andrews is a biology major and gender studies minor. Andrews recently did an internship with the St. Cloud area non-profit organization, YES Network. Andrews worked with low-income families, providing meals, engaging with parents and playing with kids during the internship.  She says she learned a new perspective on life while doing her internship.

"I learned how compassionate I really think I can be, how much progress and advancing really moves me and that's what really makes me happy," says Andrews.

Andrews goal is to become a gynecologist, she says regardless of your career field choice there are a few qualities you will learn in most internships.

"Any type of interaction with people you have to understand and learn patience, acceptance and respect."

For Andrews her internship tested her patience, she worked with kids frequently, she says kids don't always listen and it was challenging at times. She also worked with low-income families, and being accepting and respectful towards each family helped her learn more about each of their unique situations.

Andrews says, " When you can do those things you will definitely have the skills to work with people, anybody in the future, any organization, these are just the basic skills I would always take with me."

Many internship opportunities are available in the St. Cloud area. If you are a student looking to intern talk with an adviser at your college.