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Five benefits of completing an internship

An internship is defined as a period of employment or industry placement – often without pay – that is used to satisfy the requirements of a qualification or to gain work experience in the field you’re studying in. Some courses - such as medicine, nursing and beauty, to name a few – require the student to complete a compulsory period of industry placement (for obvious reasons) and this is organised by the course provider. Most courses don’t require an internship to be completed, but students can decide to complete one or more placements ranging from a few days to a year or more, but usually only one or two days a week for longer placements.

Whether it’s a requirement of your course or not, internships are a valuable tool for those hoping to gain practical experience to bolster their learning and can vastly improve your chances of immediate employment upon completion of your course. Entering an internship may initially seem like a waste of time – after all, who wants to work without pay? However, the benefits are clear and the initial investment will be well worth it in the end. Here’s why:

Meet industry contacts

An internship will give you the opportunity to work alongside industry decision makers, potential future colleagues and other people within and outside of a relevant organisation who can be invaluable in the future. There’s no doubt that having the right industry connections is a huge benefit when seeking employment; in fact, people who have developed  working relationships in their field have a much higher chance of successfully pinning down that sought after position than those who don’t and many interns are offered a position at the end of their internship.

At the very least, your internship will pad out your resume with some great references and referrals. Even if you don’t go on to work in the company you completed your internship with, remember to keep in contact, as this will increase your chances of being selected for positions in the future.

Your résumé will look great!

It’s no secret that the workforce is cutthroat these days, even when you’re armed with great qualifications. Because of this, anyone with work experience in their field will have a much higher chance of winning their dream job than those who only have as educational background.

An internship will help you stand out from your competition and will show an employer that you have gumption, prior experience and skills, as well as dedication to – and a passion for – the field you wish to work in. The higher the number of internships you complete, the more you’ll gain when it comes to applications for employment.

You’ll learn the ropes early on

Despite the preconception that interns are just used as coffee fetchers, you’d be surprised at how much they actually learn over the course of their placements. Again, this will be invaluable from both the employer’s point of view and also from yours, as you won’t need to waste those first few impressive weeks learning the ropes – you’ll already know them! This is particularly beneficial when the position you’ve gained has a trial period.

An internship will also increase your confidence and general knowledge about your industry, which is clearly a boon during the interview and selection process.

You’ll be able to determine which career you’d like to pursue

If your industry has a range of employment options available (like sales, for example, where there is a range of differing career choices), completing an internship or two will help you decide which niche or company you prefer. An internship generally allows you to explore each aspect of a particular role, so you may be able to predetermine a specialty and figure out your strengths and weaknesses in your field.

Sticking with the sales position example, you may find during an internship experience that you love working in the clothing retail industry but dislike working in car sales, or frontline rather than a kg res immersive form of sales. Similarly, you may find you prefer working for a small family business rather than a huge industry leader. This means you’ll be much less likely to regret your choices when you’re in a paid position.

It’s exciting and fun!

By pursuing an internship, you’ll be immersing yourself in an experience that will be a memorable aspect of your study and employment journey. You’ll likely develop new friendships and participate in experiences that will enrich your life. Some internship placements offer serious perks, like attending company events, sports matches, celebrity meetings etc. that you just wouldn’t experience through study alone. So why not take the chance and invest your time on something that could turn out to be the best decision you’ve ever made!

Joe Blogs
Editor of the site

Author of bestselling book, "How to Dress for Success and act like it." Subverts conventional wisdom with logic, enjoys bios, and once saved a cat in a tree.

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