An internship is the key to landing a job

internship is the key

If you’re trying to land a job on Wall Street, there are few things more helpful than an internship.

That’s right, researchers from various colleges across the country found that in many cases not even a high GPA will help you out more than an internship will when searching for work, according to the Wall Street Journal. Nicholas Romero of the University of Pennsylvania, Richard Seals of Auburn University and John Nunley and Adam Pugh of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, all economics professors, found that the best guarantor of finding work after school isn’t your major or your GPA, but whether or not you previously held an internship.

“An internship is extremely valuable.”

Researchers find internships more valuable than high GPAs
The researchers sent out over 9,000 fake resumes for more than 2,000 job openings across the country listing various majors including business, biology and English. The sort of jobs varied as well, some in finance, others in insurance and still more in management among other industries. The professors found that individuals who had work experience prior to graduating were 14% more likely to land work, such as investment banking jobs, than those who didn’t. For example, an English major with a simply OK GPA and internship experience was more likely to land an interview with a bank than a finance major with a great GPA who spent the summer touring Europe.

Spencer Rascoff explains making the most of an internship 
Yes, an internship is extremely valuable. If you want to land a job at a bank, just about nothing matters more than your pregraduation work experience. Still, just holding an internship isn’t always enough. Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow Group, explained to Fortune how he turned his internship into a job. His first full-time job was with Goldman Sachs, but before that held various internships with media outlets, as well as with investment banking firms Bear Stearns and Allen & Company.

He was able to turn those internships into a job with Goldman Sachs in part due to how he made the most of his time at his various internships. He told Fortune that at his internships he was a “sponge.” He sat in on meetings and read people’s notes and PowerPoint presentations, no matter how relevant they were to his own positions. And just as much as he let his surroundings make an impression on him, he made an impression on his surroundings.

Rascoff made sure the people he worked with knew who he was. Even after he left, he remained connected with every former colleague at his internships, making sure to maintain a network that would assist him with getting hired later on. Persistence will pay off. Companies are more likely to hire someone who is familiar with their internal practices and policies.

A proactive and hard-working intern who maintains his or her connections is a golden hire in the eyes of a recruiter. So, if you get the chance, take advantage of an internship. It will help you out more than just about anything else when you’re searching for a job post-graduation.