You’ve probably had your parents, or career advisers, nagging at you for a while now, telling you that you need to do an internship and get some real work experience. Right? But why is it that internships are so important for young people to do in the first place? I’ve got 5 reasons why you need to think about applying for an internship ASAP.
Experience Is Essential
One of the main reasons internships are so important to students and grads is that they provide students and grads, or those looking to change careers, with the experience needed to land a job.
Work experience is vital for anyone wanting a job because you need to prove to an employer that you know how to actually do the job. Having a few internships on your CV will help you stand out from other candidates and put you in the running for the opportunity you want because you’ll need less training.
Internships allow you to gain these new skills and get an idea of what the workplace is actually like. An employer that can see you already have this knowledge is more likely to hire you over another student who doesn’t have any work experience at all.
Completing an internship gives you this upper hand and a whole heap of experience to talk about in your CV, cover letters and interviews.
Make Connections Through Internships
Another reason internships are vital for young people is the role they play in building your network and making connections.
A professional network and good connections are so important as you continue through your career. They can do all sorts for you, from finding you a new job to helping you gain a promotion to allowing you to negotiate a better salary. Bosses and employees 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 grabbing lunch with someone in your department. Or even asking your manager about their day. Networking doesn’t have to be as scary as it may seem during your internship.
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 really get a feel for the workplace and understand what they do and don’t like about a certain career path, industry or company.
Taking part in a short internship at a specific company will give you a better insight into whether this company is the right place for you in the future. Maybe you’ve heard great things about a particular industry or department, but once you actually 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.
Internships can also give you an insight into what you like as a person. If you’re required to do a ton of teamworking 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.
There is nothing stopping you from doing a bunch of different internships and getting to know more about loads of different careers. If you have the time to explore what you like and don’t like, you might as well make the most of it.
Learn New Skills At Your Internship
Another key 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 as many new skills as you can.
Not only will you gain technical and industry-specific skills, but you’ll also figure out how to manage your time properly, work with others, work independently and communicate with people you’ve never met before. These soft skills can be extremely important when applying for future entry-level roles.
Prepare For The World Of Work
When you’re a young person 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, are something you will learn during your internships.
Consider these 5 reasons your sign to get looking for an internship now. You won’t regret it. No matter what kind of internship you end up doing, you’ll gain a whole host of new skills, experience and connections while hopefully getting paid!