If you're considering the option of completing an internship the likelihood is, you're nearing the completion of your degree or freshly graduated and you're weighing up the pros and cons to the entire process. See, an internship is a commitment that some of us may think is too big, especially if your internship is unpaid or has little compensation. Yes, the idea of giving up your time for free and committing to an internship whilst still having study commitments can be daunting, but more times than not the opportunities and experience that you are exposed to within an internship can go a long way in setting up your career.
I completed an internship in my final semester of university, as well as being exposed to a multitude of experiences, it also accounted for a unit towards my coursework. Everyone's experience will be different from the next, however, I’ve discussed the top five reasons I'd encourage you to take up the opportunity of undertaking an internship.
Work Experience in Specific Industry
Every graduate knows that without work experience, particularly relevant experience, it can be extremely difficult to land a job following completion of your course. An internship gives you exposure to an organisational setting that you may never have had before, it also allows you to gain the valuable knowledge that is specific to your desired industry and roles. A degree can only go so far in proving you suit a role; organisational experience is now paramount to employers to ensure they know you can work in an organisational environment.
Develop Your CV
When graduating and stepping into the workforce employers are looking for graduates with as much experience as possible and an internship allows you to stand out amongst your peers. Internship experience on your CV shows potential employers that you have the right exposure to work effectively in their business setting. An internship on your CV makes your application more competitive when applying for graduate positions and trying to get your foot in the door within your desired industry.
Building Your Network
As you should already know, the professional connections and network you have significantly impacts you throughout your career. Your network can open doors to opportunities, support you, and be a wealth of knowledge you may draw from. An internship will offer you the chance to build your network before even stepping into your industry fulltime. Plus, the references and referrals you may earn from an internship may also see you get that one step ahead of your peers.
Learn What You Like & Don’t Like
An internship is a perfect opportunity for you to test the waters and determine job roles and occupations that you may or may not enjoy. You will also learn the tasks and duties you have a particular strength in; knowing your own strengths can be of great value in both the recruitment process and in the workforce. The opportunity to experience job roles and tasks within an internship without long term commitment is a great way to figure out if that’s what you want to do within your career.
Getting a Job Offer
Whilst it isn’t an expectation of an internship, and you shouldn’t go into a workplace as an intern expecting a fulltime role, sometimes employers hire current and former interns for fulltime positions. The chance to step into a business and prove yourself as a worker cannot be underappreciated, both in the eyes of an intern and an employer. Some employers now prefer to run an internship program rather than graduate programs due to the chance of capturing the best graduate talent before they’re thrown into their job search.
Initially, an internship may not be appealing to you due to the little (or zero) financial compensation, however, the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term loss. Internship programs are mutually beneficial for both employers and students/graduates, the experience and knowledge may be the standout reason an employer will hire you.