Friday 22. 2019
If you’ve ever been stuck in the conundrum of “a job is asking me for work experience, but how am I ever supposed to get work experience if I can’t get a job without it?!” then interning may be the answer to all of your woes. Year-long placements are encouraged to university students to solve the above issue, but they aren’t always ideal for every student. If you’re unable to complete a gap year in employment, then come graduation time you may feel yourself stuck in a rut, unable to gather any real experience because everywhere you turn to for experience, requires it itself.
Internships, however, are often a favourable choice amongst students – especially those nearing the end of their studies – because they can be flexible yet valuable. Though typically offering it in short bursts, they offer experience all the same. And evidencing more than one internship can really shine through on your CV whilst applying for graduate jobs.
But what is an internship, and why should you consider one whilst studying?
The word ‘internship’ derived from the American slang for work experience, but is now commonly used in the UK to describe a short bout of experience at a higher level. A placement is typically 6 months or longer, but internships can be anything from 1 week to 3 months, or can even involve working for one day a week over a given period of time.
Internships were once confined to medical graduates, but now, the term is used for a wide range of placements including businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies.
Many universities offer paid internship opportunities, taken from their network of local employers. But there’s also no reason as to why you cannot seek out your own – as many do.
Internships are a great idea for any student. Even if you’ve completed a year-long placement already, it never hurts to extend your knowledge even further whilst studying. There are many reasons why you should consider an intern opportunity whilst at university, especially in your final years. These include…
For The Experience
Arguably the biggest selling point to internships is the promise of experience that is often quite hard to obtain. Many good student employers will offer internships that extend far beyond filing and making coffee. They see interns as an extension of their team, and often hand over quality tasks to the student to see what they make of them. This’ll give you invaluable experience whilst studying, and will also demonstrate your capabilities to potential employers as a post-graduate too.
For The CV Boost
If not for the experience in itself, then perhaps for how internships look on your CV. They’ll solidify any claims you make and demonstrate not only that you have a good understanding of your industry, but also that you’re passionate and driven enough to put an extra graft in whilst studying too. An internship can separate a good candidate from a great one.
For The Education
Internships can also aid your education whilst studying too. You’ll be sure to obtain a lot of fundamental industry knowledge, which can also come in handy in assignments and exams as well as in your career search too. For example, you’ll have real-life working examples of practices and will likely pick up more of a practical education that you can then apply to your studies too.
For The Income
Most internships, if longer than a week to two weeks, will come as paid. If not by your university (as many are), but by the employer themselves. Don’t be afraid when reaching out to companies to ask if they can offer a paid position in exchange for your time. If they’re availing you as an asset to their business then 9 times out of 10, they’ll be happy to pay you a wage for this. Meaning you can earn some extra cash to support yourself, whilst still obtaining invaluable experience.
For The Connections
And finally, interning whilst at university is a great way to meet people within your industry. You’ll be connected with a wide range of employees and organisation owners who may be able to assist you in the future. Whether that’s in offering advice, pointing you in the right direction for positions, or even offering openings to you themselves. Many interns have gone on to be employed full time by that organisation, so there’s a massive benefit in those cases.
For more career advice and to begin your career search as a graduate, get in touch with TMI Resourcing – we’re experts in recruitment across the digital sector and can provide quality advice whatever your level of expertise.