When you are fresh out of college you are absolutely raw material – lots of theoretical ideas but zero experience of job situations and career options. Those with some real time knowledge of workplace situations will have a head start over you at job interviews.
To get around this type of situation, it is common for those still in school or college to take up internship programmes as a resume enhancing option. Internships can be paid or unpaid but that is a minor matter considering the immense benefits it offers. And if you can prove your worth you might even be offered a full time job at the end of the internship, thereby effectively launching your career.
It is difficult to define internship per se because every company has internship programmes that are unique and specifically customised to be beneficial for both the intern and the organisation. But broadly speaking it is a structured work experience that matches your qualifications and career aspirations. The duration of the internship may be one academic term or multiple ones. You will be supervised by an experienced professional and the work that you will be allotted as part of your training will be mutually agreed upon by both you and the supervisor.
There are multiple benefits of an internship programme. The first is getting around the “lack of experience” point in your resume. It is necessary that you complement your academic preparation with an internship that matches your field of study. Further, you get the chance to learn practically the many facets of a job while being supervised by an experienced professional, all these without the responsibilities usually linked to a full time job. Finally, you can get to meet a person who can become a mentor for you not only during your internship but throughout your career too.
However, the biggest advantage of a job oriented internship is that you get an inside view of your career field. For example if you are completing a course in plastering in Melbourne, Australia you might want to evaluate whether you are suitable for the rigours of the plastering profession. The best way to find out is to take up an internship in solid plastering in Melbourne and learn about the intricacies of the profession. Most importantly you get to work alongside plasterers with years of experience in this field. You will at once know if plastering is the career that you would want to take up and whether it matches your expectations.
You have a lot to gain on the personal front too. You can learn new skills which you can add to the knowledge base gained in classroom lectures. Once you supplement that with hands-on training, you will get the required confidence to meet the challenges of a career and face the interview board with a high degree of self assurance. You also get to develop leadership and communication skills which will stand you in good stead when you launch your career. Further, you get to see the industry you plan to be in future from close quarters and can know whether it will suit your future goals and objectives.
An internship is also a platform for you to lay the foundation of your future career. You will be meeting new people from the same industry and through your networking skills develop a web of professional references, mentors and contacts who can advise you on the steps to take to open up a successful career path.
In a nutshell, you will be impacted positively in your career once you take up an internship along with your studies.