You’ve probably heard your peers discuss their internship plans, and you may have wondered whether this is a path you should take too.
If you’re unfamiliar with how internships work, read on for more information about what they are, how they could benefit your academic career, and how you can secure one for yourself!
What is an internship?
An internship isn’t the same as a job, although it may provide a salary. By definition, it’s a short-term working arrangement. As an intern, you’ll be given some limited responsibilities as an introduction to the field. This is an opportunity to experience in a work environment that interests you.
Businesses run intern programs for many reasons. One is that they can benefit from the fresh perspectives of young people who participate. Another is that they can build connections with rising talent. If an intern is particularly impressive during the program, they may be offered a permanent position.
Benefits of an internship:
Now we know about the benefits for businesses, but what about the advantages for interns? There are many reasons that a student might participate in an internship. Here are some of them:
1. It allows them to put learning into practice.
Reading about a particular business strategy is one thing, but making a real-life contribution to that strategy is another! In the workplace, you can take everything you’ve learned in the classroom and put it into action.
You’ll be able to see how the theories in your textbook apply in the business world, which will demonstrate the value and relevance of your education. This can be a huge source of inspiration and motivation.
2. It’s an opportunity to develop and refine skills.
Equipping yourself with knowledge is extremely important. However, employers look for more than formal education when they hire new talent. Soft skills are also extremely important.
An internship is an opportunity to develop and demonstrate these skills. You’ll learn how to work more effectively as part of a team, how to communicate with confidence, and how to relate to people from diverse backgrounds.
Soft skills will be extremely useful in your future career, as well as in every other aspect of your life!
3. In the workplace, they can build their network.
Networking is an important aspect of the business world. If you make connections with the right people, you might be headhunted for particular positions or made aware of opportunities before anyone else.
An internship provides the opportunity to start building your professional network. You can form relationships with people in your field of interest that may be beneficial at a later date. It’s a way to ensure that your name is known in your industry.
4. It can provide a confidence boost.
Let’s be honest; studying can be an exhausting experience! Although it’s rewarding and enjoyable, it’s undeniably a lot of hard work. During the toughest times, you may start to forget why you’re even doing it. An internship will remind you of what initially attracted you to your field.
If you’ve been having doubts about whether you have what it takes to succeed in your industry post-graduation, then a successful internship can be a reassuring, inspiring experience.
5. A successful internship could improve job prospects.
If you do well during your internship, the powers that be may sit up and take notice. That means when it comes to hiring new talent, your name could be at the top of their list. After all, you’ve already shown that you can thrive in their work culture!
Even if you choose not to pursue a career with the company you interned with, a successful internship placement still adds strength to your resume. Employers will be impressed that you don’t just have academic qualifications; you also have experience in the business world.
6. It’s a chance to get a send of the field.
As a student, you’re on the brink of making important decisions about your future career. An internship placement can help inform your choices. If you loved your placement, you’ll feel more certain than ever that this is the route you want to take in your career.
What about if you didn’t love it? That’s okay! You still have time to reimagine your career path and consider alternative work environments.
Often, when students plan for their futures, they’re doing so without experiential knowledge of the workplace. An internship can ensure that you’re making decisions rooted in reality.
How could an internship help me achieve academically?
Right now, you may be so focused on your studies that you haven’t even considered the possibility of entering the workplace. However, an internship can also enhance your academic performance.
Think about it: when you’ve applied theory in practice, you have a deeper, richer understanding of it. You might make contacts that are happy to be interviewed for your essays, and you’ll have strengthened skills that can be used to complete coursework as well as in your future career.
The confidence boost that a successful internship placement provides can also motivate you through the more difficult moments of your studies.
Where can I find an internship?
There are a few different ways you can secure an internship:
- Look online
Many businesses advertise their internship opportunities just as they would a regular job. By searching the most popular recruitment platforms, you can find and apply for a range of intern programs.
- Reach out
If you have pinpointed a particular organization you’d love to intern with, why not contact them directly? Social media platforms like LinkedIn make it easy to do so.
Even if they don’t have an internship program established, they might consider taking you on in some capacity. Alternatively, they may be able to direct you to a similar organization offering internship placements.
- Check with your university
If you attend a high-powered institution like EU Business School, your school has probably established relationships with certain businesses.
That means your teachers may be able to connect you with alumni that can offer you an internship placement.