Importance of internships is growing in almost every region and field of expertise. If you are looking for internships, you might be having questions like 'how important is an internship for me?' 'why to do an internship' 'is there a particular industry or company I should target?' and so on. Engineering, Business, Law, European Affairs - all have students trying their best to find an internship. Indeed, there are factors that make the concept of internships increasingly popular. In countries that traditionally had students join full time roles, internships are gaining a foothold.
More often than not, students look for such professional experiences to boost their career, not simply because their university or business school requires them to validate a certain amount of professional experience. Let us look at these 10 reasons to do an internship to highlight the importance of internships.
1. Work experience that counts
Just because someone is able to critique a bestseller does not mean that they can write one. Similarly, excelling at academics does not guarantee of being able to handle responsibilities. Learning by doing is what guides this thought process and this is why recruiters prefer those with previous work experience. The right internships are a short term contract with important responsibilities, and will count as serious professional experiences.
We have often heard from students who wonder - if the first experience in turn wants a prior experience, how to get a prior experience? But if the tips to get a job can cover this doubt. The first experience need not be the ultimate job. Iteration is the key to success. With smart profile building and perseverance, things will get bigger and better in your career.
2. Understanding your interests
Doing an internship helps get insights into life as a professional in the field. It will help you cement your beliefs about which field, which industry, which company size and what kind of work culture suits your interests. This is a very important reason to do an internship.
Before entering a long-term contract and its obligations, it is really great to be able to better understand the objectives. Since work is a major part of a professional's life, a long-term job should be the right decision.
3. Dynamic portfolio, faster
Once having entered a contract of an indefinite duration, it is not seen positively to keep switching companies too quickly. However, with the help of internships that last less than a year, things are different. Internships make it possible to have a dynamic, diverse and proven portfolio. Such a portfolio will give an edge in the competitive job market. Therefore, waiting for a decade to work in a few companies is not required. With the help of internships, you can link your name to different experiences in a much shorter time. This makes it a very valid reason to do an internship.
4. New skills add up
It is highly probable if not definite, that you will learn new relevant skills while doing an internship. Since each company has different priorities and ways to handle them, there is a difference in the tools they adhere to. Skills which are not transferable from one company to another are still useful. They show that you are a fast learner and are able to adapt & perform.
Since skills are highly valuable in any professional scenario, the importance of internships increases due to the skills they help inherit.
5. Time to adjust
Internships act as a cushion to your switch from a student life to a work life. The importance of internships hence extends from a purely career point of view to the development of mindset. Working under a manager serves as an example of the skills & attitude required. Therefore, internships allow a smooth transition and hence better performance. Long-term contracts come with more responsibilities & liabilities. Internships help in the transition by preparing you for an exciting new job.
6. Network & Idiosyncratic information
With every internship, you work in a new team and with other teams of the company. Often, you establish contact with external agencies. Specially in an international work environment, these networks span across boundaries. One of the qualities of a businessperson is the ability to establish and manage contacts - a form of interpersonal skill. A smart person who is also nice to colleagues & other professionals - seems great.
Firm or industry-specific knowledge is known as idiosyncratic information. It is a useful asset and internships help to gain it faster. Therefore, it is another dimension in the importance of internships.
7. Financial Support
Laws in France and many other European countries require a minimum compensation for full time internships. Even for part-time jobs, a minimum hourly wage has been described. For internships, the stipend is higher compared to part time jobs in addition to the career-related benefits. For students, this can be a significant support in terms of personal finances. Therefore, internships bring together the two most important priorities of a typical student - career prospects and personal finances.