Internships are the perfect way to try out your desired career while securing some much-needed work experience in the process. An internship can either be paid or voluntary, dependent on the role and the company. However, this position could be the stepping stone you need to get your foot on the career ladder and boost your future prospects. Internships can be applied for independently, or they can also be arranged for you by a specialist recruitment agency, but the latter will provide much more opportunity of being noticed by employers.
If you’re unsure whether to pursue an internship, here are some of the reasons why it could help you succeed in your career:
As briefly mentioned, an internship is an ideal gateway into getting a flavour of what your chosen career may be like. You’ll gain an understanding of how the business operates and most importantly, what your typical duties are likely to include. Most jobs expect you to have the relevant education and experience under your belt. But employers of internship placements are usually happy to accept candidates that simply have a keen interest in the role, meet the company’s values and are looking to progress in that particular career field.
Gives you an edge over other candidates
One of the most advantageous aspects of an internship is that candidates who have already had a work placement in their chosen field are much more likely to stand out to employers when applying for roles. Why? Simply because you will already have an idea of what the day-to-day responsibilities include. And, you won’t require as much coaching as an inexperienced candidate. Dependent on the company, you may also be offered a higher salary than candidates who have not had prior experience, which is always a bonus.
The chance to learn something new
If you have never been in a professional work environment before, it can be difficult to know where your strengths and weaknesses lie and how you conduct yourself in certain situations. With this in mind, it can be difficult to know which career path is best suited to you. An internship gives you the chance to polish up both your hard and soft skills, gain more of an understanding of the industry and meet new people along the way, which simply cannot be achieved outside of the professional workplace. As a result, you can use your internship as a learning curve and base your future career decisions on this experience.
You may be offered a full-time position
Most internships are temporary positions, ranging from 3–12-month placements. Graduating from university and jumping into a full-time job can be overwhelming. But an internship gives you some breathing space to figure out what career type is best for you in the long term. After your placement has ended, your employer may offer you a full-time position if they are impressed by your efforts and have a job role available – but this is completely your choice. You may decide to stay with the company. Or alternatively, believe it is time to move on and try something new. Ultimately, an internship gives you options on your career progression.
Internships are the perfect way to explore different career paths. For most placements, relevant experience isn’t usually required, providing your CV is impressive and proves you have capabilities for the role. In the process, you can analyze and develop your skills and learn about an industry hands-on, which cannot be achieved in the classroom. If you’re keen to get on the career ladder but worried about standing out from the crowd in such a competitive market, an internship is certainly an option to consider either before or after graduating.
This guest post was authored by Laura Bill
Laura Bill is the marketing manager of graduate recruitment agency, Inspiring Interns.