So let’s talk internships.
How do we define an internship?
It’s where education meets employment. It’s an opportunity to be trained by some of the best in their field and a chance for you to attain an invaluable insight into the working world.
If you’ve read my bio on The Red Republic website or my previous blog post you’ll know that I come from a legal background, an industry where practical experience is considered indispensable and a must for entry into the job market. For almost the entire duration of my degree I incorporated internships with my academic program, working in various clerking or office runabout roles where I could gain insight into what I needed to fully prepare myself for the future in the WWW (wide world of work).
Whether you want a job in law, sales, PR or any other industry for that matter, having an internship or some other practical experience on your resume can be what makes you stand out from the pack to a prospective employer.
What can you get out of an internship?
1. Industry Experience
An internship is so much more than just a way to earn that credit to pass your subject at Uni. You’re putting lessons learnt into practice in a workplace situation and positioning yourself to learn from the professionals around you. Just inhabiting their professional environment will open your eyes to how theoretical principles should be applied to real situations and common practices put in place to help you get the job done, get it done right and to a timetable.
2. Transferrable Skills
The job market can be incredibly competitive in all industries. You can walk away from an internship with the transferrable skills your prospective employer is looking for.
With successful internships on your resume, recruiters will see you have the core skills every workplace requires – commitment, experience, respsonibility and the ability to work independantly. A huge benefit when competing against other applicants.
3. Develop new skills and gain confidence
Working in a professional setting will open you up to experiences that you can’t always gain through a degree. You’re faced with real situations. You’ll be surprised at the new skills you have acquired at the end of your internship just by watching and listening to what’s going on around you.
In an internship you’ll work under the guidance of a mentor. Use this person to your advantage! They will be worth their weight in gold when it comes to your personal and professional development. They have the ability to empower you and help to build the confidence you need to tackle a task head on. So don’t be afraid to pick their brains and draw on their experience
4. Experience a prospective job path
An internship is an important part of the academic process. There’s no better way to acquaint yourself with a field in which you have an interest. It’s OK if you try something and you find it’s not quite the right fit for you.
Don’t just leave an internship until the last year of your degree. Participating in a number of internships throughout your degree will not only give you invaluable practical skills but you can use it to excel in your studies.
Ever heard the expression ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’? Good, because it’s true. Networking is fundamental! In an internship you’ll have the chance to start building your network.
Have I motivated you to seek an internship?
If we’re not hiring, why not try job search sites like Pedestrian TV, it could be the vital advantage for you over those ‘other applicants’ vying for your dream job!