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This paper studies the causal effect of student internship experience in firms on earnings later in life. We use mandatory firm internships at German universities as an instrument for doing a firm internship while attending university. Employing longitudinal data from graduate surveys, we find positive and significant earnings returns of about 6% in both OLS and IV regressions. The positive returns are particularly pronounced for individuals and areas of study that are characterized by a weak labor market orientation. The empirical findings show that graduates who completed a firm internship face a lower risk of unemployment during the first year of their careers, suggesting a smoother transition to the labor market.