Every year students from all over the world, either by their own will or as part of a fulfillment of their respective course, begin their search for an internship placement. This often proves to be a daunting experience for many. It is usually their first time liaising with the working world, something which is enough to discourage even the most diligent scholar. Here we discuss how an internship can help you build your career.
Build your career
Internships play an important role in grooming you to be part of the working world. They serve as an invaluable experience that is often the stepping stone on which careers are built. Through internships, contacts are forged and business skills are honed.
Usually, internships don’t necessarily mean a salary or a fat paycheck. On the contrary, you usually end up working the longest hours out of everyone for very little or no financial remuneration. This is a factor that can often discourage people from doing one.
However, you should not let this deter you. An internship is a rewarding experience that allows you to grow both personally and professionally. When securing your internship, it is important to remember that in business, growth and success are not always defined by financial remuneration. You cannot put a price on contacts you make and experience you gain. These are the things that can usually secure you a job when you are ready to start working full time.
As an undergraduate, your decision on where you plan on doing your internship will more often than not reflect where you intend on working once you graduate. With this in mind, it is important to note that it is never too early to start looking for an internship. In fact, the earlier the better.
Interning while you are still busy with your studies serves as an excellent head start on your peers in the working world and by the time you have completed your studies you would have racked up quite a bit of experience. This, when added to your degree, will stand you in good stead to finally land that job you have been after all this time. It is at this point, you will reap all the rewards of the long hours and hard work.
Let me just clarify that not all internships are bottom scrapping jobs where your only purpose is to carry out the nitty-gritty or other mundane tasks that your employer needs doing. Interns are respected in the working world and their role in a company is very well understood by other employees. This ensures that you should never be afraid to ask for assistance and guidance if you ever get stuck with something. An internship is the perfect place to learn.
If you are lucky, you can even land yourself an internship where you actually get paid. This is obviously a bonus, but it isn’t the be-all and end-all of landing the actual internship. Getting a paid internship is usually for those who have some experience in the field prior to joining the company and are nearer to the completion of their studies.
On the point of experience, even if you don’t have direct experience in the field you are applying for and worked as a waiter or hostess, work experience can never count against you. Be strategic about what you highlight about your previous jobs. This doesn’t mean you need to lie, but rather look at how you contributed to the business and put forward what made you an asset to the company. Employers understand that interns might not have the necessary experience in a particular industry and this is exactly why internships are there, to give you a helping hand.
Concluding thoughts on internships and career
Overall, internships are a great way to break into the industry of your choice. They are also a great addition to your resume as you will be able to add credible and relevant work experience.