The era of internships is here, now more than ever. Companies want to test the waters with future entry-level employees as interns. And fresh graduates or students still in college want to explore and gain skills before they head out in the real world.
However, many people still believe that internships mean unpaid labor, running errands such as getting coffee and ordering lunch. But things are changing and internships are becoming a way to gain a foothold in your desired industry. An internship stint can set you apart in more ways than one. 2014 saw a 150% increase in internship opportunities compared to the previous year. About 82% internships that are offered in India have a stipend, which is an added benefit.
First and foremost, an internship is the best way to begin networking and establish a group of people who can assist you professionally in the future. Your manager at the internship will become a valuable resource for connecting you with future job opportunities. Besides, there is no shame in striking up a conversation with people you are working with to gain insight into the culture of the company and industry.
Your repertoire of skills can always use a new set of skills. You can never have too many skills. An internship will teach you valuable skills not only in the field you have chosen but also other general skills, such as working in a team, working under a boss, working towards a deadline as well as how to take criticism positively and work on it.
Experience, whether it is from a three-month long internship or a 6-month long internship, is invaluable. Most internships these days treat you as part of the team and give you the full experience by assigning you to work like a full-time employee. Even though you might not be getting paid as much as them, the kind of work you do gives the impression that you are serious about kick starting a career in your chosen industry.
Standing out is not bad, in fact, that is what is required in today’s cutthroat competitive world. Everyone is out to succeed. Where do you fit in and how do you stand out? Internships give you the extra edge, especially when coupled with recommendation letters. Gaining an early foothold in the industry of your choice will be beneficial to you in the long run. Your edge is your experience and your skills.
Whether we like it or not, first impressions are the most lasting impressions. When it comes to resumes, the first ten seconds that a recruiter takes to scan your resume are crucial. The language you use, the order in which you sequence your experiences, and the presence of experience on your resume leave a good first impression.
Every college graduate has a resume that talks about high school achievements and extracurricular activities from college. A versatile resume is one that goes beyond the usual list of accolades and presents something different. Your internship experience, especially one done during your college years make for a unique resume that will be unusual and eye catching.
An internship is not only a way to gain experience; it is also a way to figure out what you want to do and what you don’t want to do. A marketing student interning as a sales associate might realize that their interest lies in advertising, after an initial internship. Working in an office will help you choose the direction you want your career to go in and assist you in making decisions about how best to reach your goals.
Graduating from college does not guarantee to find a job right after. Some students might take up to six months to land a good, well-paying job. A great to use these gap months or even a gap year might be to secure an internship. One doesn’t always have to intern at fortune 500 companies to gain experience; startups and small business offer just as much, or, even more, hands on experience. In 2014, 70% of interns were hired by startups and small business. Out of those, about 68% were offered jobs by the end of their internship period.
Whether you come from the field Engineering, IT or Marketing, there is an internship for you. About 69% of students who apply for an internship are from an engineering background, 9% from a business background and 22% from an arts or science background. AS a learning experience, internships are a great opportunity for an IT student to learn about content writing or an engineering student to learn about the financial aspects of running a business. Don’t be afraid to explore different avenues before you decide on which one you want to spend the rest of your life working in.
Now you have a list of nine amazing benefits of having one or two or even three interning experiences. Paid or not, the benefits of an internship far outweigh the drawbacks. So the next time someone asks you why you are wasting your time an internship, you are now armed with a comprehensive but detailed list. All you have to do is turn on your laptop and start applying for your dream internships.
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