If you’re a student or recent graduate, you’ve probably had your parents or career advisers, or that one well-meaning friend nagging at you for a while now, telling you that you need to do an internship and get some real work experience. Right? But what’s all the fuss about? Why are internships important? Here are 6 reasons why you need to think about applying for an internship ASAP.
Internships Provide Real-World Experience
One of the main reasons internships are so important to students and grads is that they provide the real-world, industry experience needed to land a job.
Work experience is vital because you need to prove to an employer that you know how to actually do the job. Think of it as the difference between reading a recipe and actually cooking the dish. You can learn about marketing strategies in a classroom, but it’s an entirely different ballgame when you’re crafting those strategies for a real company.
If you’re a student or grad needing internship experience, you can register for our email alerts or sign up to our free, 3-week virtual Business and Marketing internship here.
Learn New Skills At Your Internship
Another reason students and grads might consider an internship is the value they have in helping you to learn new skills.
You know the struggle of applying for an entry-level job that asks for 15 different skills, technical knowledge and the ability to walk a tightrope all while making a cup of tea. Jobs can be super competitive which is why you need to stand out. An internship can help you do just this if you make the effort to learn new skills.
Not only will you gain technical and industry-specific skills, but you’ll also figure out how to manage your time, work with others, work independently and communicate professionally. These soft skills can be extremely important when applying for future entry-level roles.
Internships Improve Your CV
Once you have this real-life experience and all these fancy new skills, you can add this to your CV and become even more desirable to an employer.
Having a few internships on your CV will help you stand out from other candidates. It will put you in the running for the opportunity you want because you’ll need less training than others. If an employer knows you already have workplace experience, they are more likely to hire you over another student. Completing an internship gives you this upper hand and a whole heap of experience to talk about in your CV and interviews.
If you have experience and need help writing about it, you can check out our career sessions to make sure you’re doing everything you can to land the role you want.
Prepare For The World Of Work
When you’re a student or grad entering the world of work for the first time, it can be daunting. You don’t know what to expect at all. This is where an internship can be useful.
Internships allow you to get an understanding of the things you won’t see in a job description. For example, the office dress code. Although an employer might tell you to dress “smart casual”, you probably won’t know exactly what this means until you see what your work colleagues are wearing.
These small unwritten rules of the office, like the appropriate number of tea breaks you can take or the number of times you can annoy your colleagues by showing them a TikTok (guilty, sorry boss!) are something you’ll naturally pick up during your internships.
Networking Opportunities Galore
Ever heard the saying, “It’s not just what you know, but who you know”? Well, internships are your backstage pass to building a professional network.
An internship will allow you to meet people in your chosen industry, from experienced professionals to other interns. These connections can open doors to future job opportunities, mentorship, and valuable advice. Remember, bosses are humans at the end of the day. If you’re able to build a strong relationship with them and get to know them on a personal level, they will want to help you in your future career.
Making connections can start as something simple like saying hello to everyone in the office in the morning or in the group chat. It could be grabbing lunch with someone in your department. It might even look like asking your manager about their day. Networking doesn’t have to be as scary as it may seem during your internship.
It’s even possible to build connections and network in a remote role, like at The Grad Soc. Every week we have virtual team catch-ups and 1-1 meetings to chat about anything – make the most of this time and a real effort to get to know people.
Figure Out Your Likes And Dislikes
Completing an internship is usually an eye-opening experience. It allows young people who don’t have a ton of work experience to get a feel for the workplace and understand what they like about a certain career path, industry or company.
Taking part in an internship at a company will give you better insight into whether this is the right place for you. Maybe you’ve heard great things about a particular industry or department, but once you get stuck in, you realise you hate the work you’re doing or the structure of the workday or a whole other bunch of things. Maybe you thought you wanted to be a graphic designer but discovered your passion for social media marketing during an internship. These experiences help you fine-tune your career goals and make better decisions about your future.
Internships can also give you an insight into what you like as a person. If you’re required to do a ton of teamwork during your time as an intern, you might come to realise you prefer to work alone. All of this knowledge is something you can take to help you pick your next internship or job.
In a nutshell, internships are not just placeholders on your CV. They’re valuable experiences that offer real-world exposure, networking opportunities, and the chance to explore and confirm your career goals. So, if you’re a student or recent grad wondering if internships are even worth it – the answer is a “yes!”
Consider these 6 reasons your sign to get looking for an internship now. You won’t regret it. No matter what kind of internship you choose, you’ll gain new skills, experience and connections whilst hopefully getting paid! Keep reading if you want to know how to find yourself an internship.