July 16, 2013
Internships are great on-the-job training opportunities for new college grads or experienced professionals foraying into a different career. We’ve listed eight main benefits of internships below. Keep in mind that in order to reap these benefits, you have to first seize the opportunities available through the internship.
1. Professional Connections
Internships are an excellent opportunity to build professional connections. Unlike networking events, the people you connect with during an internship spend time with you in a professional setting and become familiar with your work. Therefore, these connections will give you a strong recommendation in the future.
2. Career Skills
Whether it’s how to write a concise email, answer a telephone, or shake a hand there is a professional way to do everything. Working in an office environment, you’ll have the chance to observe how others operate and take on those attributes that you feel work best, whether it’s communication, behavior, or office etiquette. This way you won’t end up making mistakes or asking a lot of questions in your first full-fledged job.
3. A Way to Apply Your Skills
Take your internship as the opportunity to test out the skills you developed in college or previous work and see how they work in the real world. By applying your skills at your internship, you’ll get an idea of your biggest strengths and areas of improvement. You’ll improve your chances of getting a job if you can show on your resume that you’ve already applied what you’ve learned at college in a professional environment.
4. Insight into Your Interests
When you’re finishing college, you’re not expected to know exactly what you want to do with your career. But if you use the internship wisely, you can figure out if a particular occupation is right for you. You can think of internships as career experiments. If you enjoy your internship and find some success, it can set the direction for your entire career. If you discover that you don’t like the area that you end up interning in, you might be exposed to other departments or specialities that interest you even more.
5. Experience Company Culture
Internships allow you to work in different kinds of companies to see what environment works best for you. Maybe you want try a small business, a large corporation, or a start up. Each of these businesses have unique opportunities and benefits. Without trying a variety of businesses, it’s hard to know where you’ll best fit. An internship allows you to do just that.
Internships should award you with some kind of compensation–course credit, money, a professional recommendation, and/or a stipend. Stay away from any internship that doesn’t offer any kind of benefit for your time and work. Also, if an internship pays well, then chances are it will be more demanding and offer better learning experiences.
7. New Skills
There’s a very good chance you’ll learn new skills at your internship. For example, you might end up learning a new software program, a type of analysis, or project management techniques. In the real world of employment, learning never stops, and it’s great to start adding to your skills inventory early.
8. A Job
You may approach an internship as an audition for a full-time job with a company. Apply yourself to the internship as if it’s a permanent gig, and it might turn into one. Companies are always looking for dedicated, hard-working individuals. If you use your internship to demonstrate your abilities, they won’t want to let you go.
Looking for an internship? Search Simply Hired for internship opportunities.