Just having a good degree is no longer enough to secure that all-important graduate job offer in the present scenario. Pertinent work experience is now just as valuable as your degree and exam results to witness growth in your career. The importance of an internship can be determined by the fact that more than 85% of companies use internships to recruit for full-time roles. All in all, an internship is a key attribute sought by employers when it comes to recruiting new graduates.
In this post, we will discuss everything you need to know about internships and determine why interning at a company is important to career growth.
Let’s get started.
The concept of internship
You need the experience to get experience – this appears to be the biggest concern for students and young graduates transitioning into the workforce. In today’s labour market, employers heavily rely on resumes that demonstrate a relevant work history, whether it is from an actual job experience, volunteer work, or interning at a company.
An internship is an official programme offered by organisations to the potential workforce. The concept of working as an intern has drastically evolved from the ancient apprenticeship. During the ancient times, a labourer would take on teaching young individuals their art and trade. And in exchange for being taught a skill, the trainee would agree to work for the labourer for a certain time period.
In modern interning, an intern or a trainee can work full time or part-time at an organisation for a specified time. Essentially, interns can work for 1-6 months or even up to a year, depending on the company and the skill the intern is willing to learn. Internships are popular amongst graduate and undergraduate students who need to gain research or valuable work experience. Almost every business sector offers internships from paralegal certificates to healthcare programmes, and digital marketing degrees, among other career choices. Hence, it is critical to understand the importance of an internship when you are undergoing your undergraduate programme or are about to complete your degree and looking for potential job prospects.
How important is job experience?
Getting work experience is an essential aspect of starting your career as a young graduate. The earlier you start gaining experience for your resume, the better. Although it sounds complicated and it will require a lot of work, you can start when you are still a student. Job experience is not just restricted to time spent as an employee at an organisation. You can get it with an interning at a company, working at a small company or freelancing. Job experience is a great addition to your resume. It can help you demonstrate your commitment and capabilities to an employer while highlighting the skills that are both appropriate and transferrable to the post you are applying for. Not only this, a period of job experience can add value in several other ways.
Here are the top reasons why an internship is important to career growth.
#1 Internship provides exposure to the real world, you get to know “how stuff works”
College students who complete an internship have a competitive edge over those who didn’t. It not only provides you with first-hand experience in the real market but also enable you to know how things are carried out in the corporate world. You can learn how to apply the knowledge you have acquired during the programme in the workplace. Passing exams with high scores and getting a degree doesn’t provide with the much-needed work experience you need to implement in a workspace. One great thing about the interning at a company is that it teaches you about the specific industry you are interested in. It is an excellent learning curve for young graduates and students that help them to meet new people and make connections in the professional world.
#2 Internship gives you a platform to establish critical networking connections
An internship is an experiential learning opportunity that offers an invaluable chance to students and graduate aspirants to forge crucial professional connections and networking before they even reach graduation. Networking, in simple terms, is the exchange of information between individuals, with the aim of establishing relationships and acquaintances to further their professional career. You are provided with an opportunity to network and build contacts in your respective field. For some students, an it is a stepping-stone to bonus opportunities within the same organisation, including full-time hire. More people you meet in the professional world having the same interest, the more are your chances to grow as a professional.
#3 Internship gives you the opportunity to learn more about yourself
You may start as an intern in a respective field. But the more you explore it, the more you will be able to know about it. Every industry has it pros and cons. Working in a real-world environment will help you know the depths of your field and will help you determine where do you stand at the moment. This will let you know whether you have any chance of succeeding in this field or do you want to switch it. The experiences you go through are what that shapes you. It will help you learn about your capabilities and ultimately encourage you to have a greater understanding of self. Internship will give you what it takes to get out of your comfort zone.
#4 Internship equips you with more than just skills
When you are working as a professional for an organisation, skill and technical knowledge are not the only things that the industry demands. You need people skill as well. On top of that, you need to know how to work under pressure, and why deadlines matter. As a fresher, you won’t be able to process the hectic workspace schedule that the industry has in for you. And don’t think that no matter how good you are, without collaboration and team skills, you don’t stand a chance to succeed in any profession. Internship gives you exposure to how things work in real life. From proper communication to expressing your views, everything matters in the real world.
#5 Internship allows you to gain a competitive edge
Employers and organisations want to know that you have walked an extra mile to fill in the shoes of the professional role. They look for someone who has the drive and passion for acquiring experiences and skills outside of the classroom. Internship gives you a wide range of skill, all of which appeals to potential recruiters. Most importantly, it will teach you that skill is transferable; attitude is what that matters.
What does the stats say?
There is plenty of research supporting the positive role that interning at an organisation plays in a student’s life. According to State of Millennial Hiring Report, graduates who complete more than three internships are more likely to secure a full-time job.
More and more institutions are putting emphasis on students graduating with internships. According to a report, 81.1% of graduates have reported that working as an intern has helped them in shifting their career prospects significantly.
Summing up, internship plays a crucial role in shaping one’s career. It should be a part of every university’s curriculum. It not only helps undergrads with the real exposure of the working environment but also helps them develop the necessary skills required to stay ahead of the competition and survive the harsh market conditions. Now that you know the importance of an internship, it is time to find an internship in your chosen industry.
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