The Benefits Of An Internship
My previous blog posts have been a mini series consisting of tips for the different stages of an internship/graduate job application. Therefore, if you’re stuck at all on how to pass the online tests, a video or telephone interview, the assessment centre or the final stage interview, you can check out those posts to get some help! Although, I was recently asked to do a blog post regarding what I believe are the benefits of having an internship or graduate job – which I thought was a great idea since I’ve never actually addressed my full experience of having an internship and why I think it’s worthy to apply for one. Obviously, I’m currently in the process of applying for graduate jobs so I can’t really comment on the benefits of those, however the benefits of an internship would be the same as those for a graduate job as you can view a graduate job as an extended/permanent internship.
To make it easier for those of you who are considering applying for internships and placement years for your penultimate year, I’ll summarise the benefits that you can gain!
1. Gaining a foot in the door for a future graduate job.
By spending a considerate amount of time at a company on an internship/placement, you’ll most likely be provided the opportunity to apply for one of their graduate programmes that you’d start once you’ve graduated. It’s a misconception that you’ll be offered the graduate job just by simply working there on an internship, since you normally still have to apply. This will normally be the final stage though, so the assessment centre tasks and an interview. It also helps that you’ll be known to the business and hopefully liked since completing great work during your internship. If you manage to secure a graduate job before your final year of University, that will be one less stress that you’ll have to deal with.
2. An added bonus for your CV and job applications.
If by any chance you don’t secure a graduate job with the company that you did an internship with, you’ll still have the benefit of having the internship experience that you can offer when applying for other graduate jobs. This experience will also be useful when applying for all sorts of other things, like society roles, further education e.g. Masters and direct entry jobs. It will most likely be the first time you have worked in a full time role whilst dealing with big responsibilities, so it gives you loads of scenarios to talk about.
3. Gaining exposure and networking.
Of course you’ll network with people within the company that you’re working for, but you might find that you don’t want to pursue a career in that company – which is perfectly fine. However during your time there, you’ll be exposed to other people (like clients of the company) who you can network with. Therefore, the opportunities are endless.
4. The skills you learn can be applied elsewhere.
Even though I’ve had so many part time jobs in my life, the skills I learnt during my internship were completely new. This is down to the level of responsibility you are given and the fact that you’re actually making an impact on the business. It can range from learning business etiquette during meetings and networking, to learning the best ways to deal with conflict or to solve important problems. Also, having an internship provides you with the opportunity to build your confidence and learn from mistakes (which I did a lot).
5. Understand your skill set and whether that is actually the career you want to pursue.
Ideally, you would hope that the job role that your internship is in will be what your future career will be. However, there is no need to build this pressure on yourself. Instead, you can use the internship to figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are, what type of work you enjoy, what gives you energy and what career you actually want to go into. It may be that you work in a certain function in a corporation, but you speak to people in another function and realise that you want to pursue a career in that function instead. Or you may realise that you want to work in a completely different industry, e.g. you may want to work in an accountancy firm instead of a FMCG company. Therefore, an internship or placement year gives you the best chance to learn more about yourself.
There are more benefits that I could list but I’ll end up writing an essay because I can talk forever. However, if you’d like to learn more about my internship experience then feel free to contact me or comment below! There’s so much I can tell you and no question is a silly one. I’m thinking to do my next blog post about a day in the life of an Intern – so I’ll summarise a typical day during my internship, that way you can get a better understanding of what my internship was like. So look out for that in the next few weeks!
I hope you all had a great Christmas and a happy new year! 🙂