If you’re like most students, you’ve probably spent some time at the "Internship" section of job boards more than a few times. It's tempting – a chance to simultaneously gain valuable experience and impress future employers. You’ve also probably wondered what taking on an internship as a student before graduating means for your future career.
Internships can be great for your career — if you do them right. But first things first: Think about whether an internship is right for you before you start looking.
Considering a Part-Time Job Instead
It can be tempting to take on an internship as a way to earn money while you're still in school. However, internships are not always the best option for students looking to make money. On the other hand, a part-time job can be a great way to get your foot in the door and test your skills.
In fact, there are plenty of resources online you can leverage to get started and start building your resume before applying for internships and full-time jobs. An excellent option is salarship.com, where you can browse tons of part-time jobs requiring zero experience to get going.
If you decide that an internship is the best option for your career goals, don't let this deter you from pursuing one of the best opportunities in your field! The key is finding the right company and making decisions based on this route's positives.
1. You Get To Learn in a Real-World
Internships are often tied closely with full-time employment, so they give students a chance to see how people work together daily, which can be incredibly beneficial when they are applying for jobs after graduation.
2. You Gain Experience
Internships can provide valuable hands-on experience in an industry or organisation that a student may not have had much exposure to before starting their studies. In addition, this gives them insight into what it's like being employed by certain organisations or working with specific types of people within those organisations, which can help prepare them for future careers.
3. You Get Quality Feedback on Your Work
When you're a student, it's hard to get feedback on your work. Internships allow you to get quality feedback on your work from people who know what they're doing. They also give you insight into how to improve your skills and knowledge so that you can work in the field after graduation.
4. It Looks Good on Your Resume or CV
Internships are the perfect opportunity to boost your resume. They’re a chance to work with a wide variety of people and get valuable experience in your field. This quality will impress future employers and help you stand out from other applicants.
5. It’s a Networking Opportunity
Internships are also a great way to meet new people, especially if you’re looking for a job after graduation. You can make connections that will last long after you graduate, build your professional network and get to know people who can help you land that dream job post-graduation.
A student internship certainly offers invaluable experience in its own right, but it also comes with its own set of difficulties — both anticipated and unanticipated. Here’s a look into some of the challenges to expect.
1. It May Be Unpaid Work
Internships are a great way to get your foot in the door of the industry you want to work in. However, some internships are unpaid, and you may find it hard to justify taking time off school if you aren't getting paid for your work.
2. Interference With Schoolwork
If you're already behind on schoolwork because of an internship, this could be a problem for you later on with school. If you decide that an internship is worth sacrificing some of those study hours, then make sure you can handle the added pressure.
3. It May Not Have the Structure You Expect
You may also find that the internship does not give you the structure or experience you hoped to gain. You may find yourself doing tasks you would never have thought of doing and in which you do not have experience.
4. No Guarantee of a Job
You can't guarantee that the internship will lead to a job offer when you leave it. While some employers will offer jobs based on recommendations from previous interns, many don't do this at all. In addition, some companies may not even hire interns during their internship period.
5. You May Not Improve Your Skills
You may have learned all the skills needed for the job before starting working on it, or you might have picked up new ones during that time. However, if you work at a company that doesn't use your internship as part of its hiring process, then you're probably not going to learn anything new from it.
Now that you've seen the pros and cons of taking on an internship, it's time to decide for yourself if it's something you'd like to do. Some students find internships beneficial, while others don't care for them much. So it's really just a matter of finding an internship that is a good fit for you.