How An Internship *Really* Helps You
Stepping out into the world of work can be an exciting time. There are so many possibilities and different avenues you can venture down – but have you considered an internship?
After all the years of studying at university, most students are raring to get into the world of work and earn their pennies – and that’s understanding. Still, an internship with a reputable company is something worth considering.
Internships vary from unpaid work experience to well-compensated jobs. They can vary in timescale, from under a month to several, and even lead on to full-time jobs. Consider these factors before deciding your next move.
Adding value to your CV
Let’s face it: as a student, you probably don’t have an outstanding CV just yet, which is fair enough. You’ve been studying for years so why would you?
When jumping into the world of work, many employers will not expect you, as a student, to have relevant experience. However, doing an internship will really flesh out your CV and add some of that juicy relevant experience that they are looking for. Who do you think a potential employer is going to pick: someone with a limited CV, or someone with the added experience of an internship?
Gradual step into the working world
Internships aim to put you into the working world as a junior. You’ll be enjoying hands-on-experience in a industry relevant to your ambitions.
Unlike stepping into a first time job with goals and expectations, internships are very much like work experience. You’re just trying things out, getting an insight into the company while establishing yourself. This means the pressure’s off you! You can enjoy your new responsibilities while deciding if the chosen industry is right for you.
The best thing about an internship that, if you decide the industry isn’t right for you, you haven’t committed to anything long term. If you switch directions, you won’t be frowned upon as a job hopper continually stepping into new fields of work.
As previously mentioned, internships take the pressure off jumping into a full time job. You can gradually get to know what an industry is really like while having fun at the same time. Employers will expect you to step in gently and won’t overwhelm you with too many tasks and jobs all at once, so your time with the company should be great fun.
You will make key contacts and friends that may help you later in life, so it’s valuable to impress these people if the role is something you’re interested in on a permanent level. Make a great impression and you could find yourself in more of a permanent role, or at least winning yourself a glowing reference.
Sometimes industries can be smaller than you’d think. If people move around a lot in the same industry, you could find yourself bumping into old work mates later down the line, so make good contacts and keep them. Contacts can be useful in the future if they are working in a company that you’re thinking of applying to; they can help put in a good word for you.
Add contacts to LinkedIn as you go along and build up your professional status. Good contacts can always put you in touch with another hiring company, or someone else who may be able to help you into a role after your internship finishes. Keep it friendly and you never know who might help you out.
Internships provide a great stepping stone when embarking on the new chapter in life. They can be really enjoyable first experiences into the working environment, while also easing you in gently. Internships give you the skills and knowledge to gain a real insight into the industry and see whether it’s right for you or not – plus, they’ll do wonders for your CV! Don’t ignore this option when deciding your next step.