About the Benefits of Internship Programs
In an era where the search for employment is becoming more and more competitive, enrolling for an internship program is the best way to introduce yourself to the job market or to any specific career path which you may want to take. In this article, we discuss 10 top benefits of internship programs.
What is an Internship Program?
An internship is a structured program for a student or trainee who works in an organisation to gain work experience or satisfy requirements for a qualification. Because internships are work experience driven, they may either be paid or not. Internships are often applied for during undergraduate programs and can be for a month or more.
Internships may also be either full-time or part-time, meaning that one may even intern with more than one company at the same time depending on the nature or demands of the program.
When is it best to intern?
- You might work as an intern during a semester vacation to gain some work experience in relation to what you are studying. This would increase your level of understanding as well. Some internships allow you to receive course or college credit upon completion.
- When you have completed one level of eduction and waiting to graduate or move to the next level, it is an awesome time to get into an internship program.
- During a job search or change in jobs, it is a good time to to get into an internship program since it often leads to getting a job or being exposed to job opportunities in the workplace.
Benefits of Internship
Let’s be honest, it’s difficult to land a job nowadays without any working experience. What! Yah, that’s the hard truth. After spending so many years in college and getting all those academic qualifications, you find yourself faced with a wall. Some companies require a minimum of 5 years working experience even for junior level executives and though that may sound unbelievable, you cannot really blame them. With the current system choked with college graduates searching for jobs, what more could one expect.
Enrolling in an internship program is your best bet to get ahead of the competition. Working experience is the principal of the benefits of internship; you intern basically to learn or get some real life experience as opposed to just having book knowledge or a certificate. Current jobs are skill-driven where it is most about what you can do and not what you know, so it is time to take internships serious.
Many people try to strike mentor-mentee relationships because they may have heard that it is a major door to career success. However many also fail to realise that the best environment in which mentoring can be successful is in the working environment.
Enrolling in an internship program offers you a great and rare opportunity of meeting with a mentor who will guide you through your career path either directly or indirectly. The workplace is an ideal and safe place to naturally develop and mentor-mentee relationship. One reason being that it is general knowledge that an intern is there to learn, so good mentors tend to pay closer attention to the work of interns to be able to find out potential mentees of proteges.
3) Access to Skill Development
One of the benefits of internship is that it gives you access to experimenting or learning in practical real-life situations. This great opportunity gives you access to building important skills which may be technical, non-technical and other soft skills.
From time management, corporate dressing, report writing and presentations to using online tools such as clockify and clickup, accounting softwares, graphic design, video tools etc. Internships give you access to building skills and learning the use of tools which you wouldn’t normally use outside the working environment. How else would you be able to do this without enrolling as an intern.
4) Get recommendations and references
Who would you use as your reference if applying for a job? Certainly not your sister back home cos it may not count at all. An executive your have worked may also rank higher than a lecturer back in school when it comes to referencing. This is because the company where you have applied to work, wants to know how you function in a real work environment. They would not risk you becoming a liability to them.
You can make it even better adding more weight to your applications through getting a recommendation letter from places you have previously interned. Sometimes companies provide recommendation in lieu of cash payments to interns.
5) Build a Good Resume
One of the benefits of internships is that, it adds value to your resume. Apart from showing proof of what you are able to do, it also gives a certain impression about you: that money is not the only motivation for working. Many companies thrive on loyalty and may better consider someone who has a good resume which is not solely money-driven. Add some weight to your resume by enrolling in an internship today.
6) Deciding on a Career
A lot of people are unsure about what career path to take because of the many “exciting” options available. These options also tend to vary from time to time with evolving trends. One of the benefits of internships is that, it gives your the opportunity to experience what a future career would be like, which informs you on the best decisions to take. It is best to intern on certain jobs before actually taking them in order to save time and resources required to invest into fully qualifying for them.
E.g. what would you do as an undergraduate medical student interning in a hospital, if you realised that the sight of blood always has a bad effect on you? You would most definitely change your course after that experience.
7) Create a Professional Network
At certain stages in life, “who knows you” seems to become more important than “what you know” or “what you are able to do”. Creating a professional network will directly impact your net-worth someday as an individual, professional or entrepreneur, so it is important that you pay attention to that. Serving as an intern is an excellent way to start building professional relationships and establishing your own network.
8) Research and Development Experience
Most organisations often engage interns in their Research and Development departments to serve under more experienced professionals in developing systems required for growth. Interns in this department sometimes do tasks such as searching online for available information on what is being dealt with.
This does not only give interns the opportunity to explore and apply what has been learnt in school, but also the opportunity to be mentored and also to be named as part of the team whenever there are any successes.
9) Access to Permanent Job
When internship goes well both for you and your employer, chances that you will get hired for a permanent position would be quite high. There are countless cases in which human resource personnel and hiring managers have used internships as part of an interview process to determine who would be a good fit for open positions. Even if the company you are interning in does not hire you, the experience becomes a launch pad for career success if you are able to leverage on it.
10) A Better Personal Outlook
One of the key benefits of internships is that, it modifies your personal outlook to a professional way. It increases your boldness and self-esteem and helps your build confidence. It trains you on becoming a good team player, learning how to tolerate, collaborate and cooperate with others and also how to inspire and motivate others.
Maximising an internship opportunity would give you lasting results which you cannot get otherwise. Get competitive by adding value to your resume today through accessing the benefits of internship.
Remember to share your experiences in the comments section below.