So what’s in it for you in an internship… aside from work experience?
If you’re a graduating student or a fresh grad straight outta college, you’ve probably heard a gazillion times that internships play a crucial role in your future career. (Yup, you heard right!) The question is, what makes it great? And how important are internships for you to spend ~200 hours~ of your precious time for it?
Internships are great opportunities for you to explore! What makes it even better is knowing what’s on the other side of the bargain. Check out these 5 benefits of an internship and get motivated to be the best intern ever!
1. Get a glimpse of your future career.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a trial mode on a certain career or office? You know, working as an actual employee. But without signed contracts a.k.a. commitments… just yet. Well, that’s what an internship is for!
As an intern, you’ll spend hours in a real-life, bustling office. This means getting the chance to see what life’s going to be like for you once you enter the workforce. Be observant! What are the daily tasks of a journalist or a computer engineer? Who are they working closely with? Does it interest you?
The more you spend time on your internship, the more certain you become of the career path you want (or don’t want) to pursue.
2. Meet your future boss and workmates.
Just when you thought you were done socializing with your classmates and prof; your internship will unleash your inner extrovert even more! Internships are one of the best avenues to meet and interact with professionals in your field. So don’t be the wallflower intern who stays at your desk 24/7. Network like a boss!
There can only be so much to learn online about How To Be The Best Employee 101. Get tips and advice straight from your boss and workmates! This way you’ll get specific, tailor-fit answers to your career industry. After all, the work pace in restaurants, law firms, and ad agencies are completely different worlds.
P.S. Stay connected with the people you meet during your internship. It’ll come in handy when you look for a job! *wink wink*
3. Gain confidence in your skills.
The thing about learning concepts and theories in school is never knowing how much you really understand it until you actually apply it IRL. Internships help you answer this dilemma. Did you really learn to balance spreadsheets? Or write an effective press release? Who knows unless you try and do it—not for homework, but for real work.
More than just the experience of actually doing work tasks you’re taught in school, internships do well in boosting confidence in your abilities. It’s like a real-life validation of that perfect score you got in your final exam. This way you’ll know it’s not just head knowledge but real skills you gained. (Speaking of skills, how many of these 21st century skills do you have?)
4. Set yourself up for your dream career.
Aside from making sure you learned your lessons in school, literally and figuratively, internships are also helpful in preparing you to seize your dream career. While every internship experience varies, most companies—if not all—will look for it in your CV. Especially if it’s your first job!
Don’t underestimate the power of choosing the right company or department to intern for. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the media or politics, make sure your internship reflects that goal. If you’re looking into a career shift from your course, learn the necessary skills during your internship so you can transition better. Make it count!
5. Support your advocacy… or find it!
Last but not least, internships are a great way to work on things you’re passionate about. Say a long-overdue project or advocacy you feel strong about! Remember that internships aren’t just about career-building, but personal development, too.
Think about the things that keep you up and running. Things that make your heart full even after a long, tiring day. And then find an internship that fits the bill! After all, isn’t that what dream careers are supposed to feel like? Might as well start early with your internship. Go for it!
Internships can either be just another school requirement to finish, or it can be a well-deserved golden ticket to land your dream job. Make your internship experience the latter! Stay motivated by keeping these benefits of an internship in mind. You can take our word for it—hard work always pays off!