How Applying for an Internship Can Jumpstart Your Career
By Xavier Cloitre on Mar 21, 2019
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Most students often have second thoughts on applying for internships.
After all, don’t way too many interns just waste their entire summer making coffee for their superiors or just spending hours photocopying and filing documents without really learning anything that they can use for their future careers?
They are simply turned into menial servants and foot soldiers--without pay.
But regardless if an internship gives out a paid salary, it is often required by educational institutions for academic credit.
Even if your course of study does not require an internship, the fact of the matter is that they are valuable investments for your future.
Although an internship program may not provide immediate pecuniary perks for your pocket, it can provide you with priceless intangible longer-term benefits worth much more than just a month or two worth of wages.
Thus, it is important that students reexamine their choices and reevaluate their impressions on what an internship does.
Here are the four reasons why undergoing an internship can work for your best interest now and in the years to come:
The value of experiencing full-time, hands-on work and feeling the pressures and rigors of a professional environment even if just for a short period is worth more than any salary.
The exposure to the real working world will help you prepare and equip yourself to work in it after you graduate.
Companies and organizations cannot afford to waste the opportunity of having you help them (whether as free labor or for pay) carry out their everyday tasks by only asking you to make coffee or run errands.
They will most likely delegate you tasks that take into account the reality that you have not yet completed your studies and as such, you may have insufficient skills to take on more crucial, complex, or heavier tasks that only those who have completed their studies will be able to do.
If you are able to exceed their expectations as demonstrated through your outputs, work attitude, and performance, then they may trust you with more advanced tasks, which is the whole point of the internship--you learning to do actual work and learning to perform above the standard.
By doing so, your internship can show you more about how the future company, professional field, or industry you are aspiring to be part of actually looks like.
It is like a way of testing your own suitability for the job you ostensibly want to take in the future.
For those who are still indecisive of what they want to do, taking more than one internship may help them explore and experience various kinds of job options before they choose to commit into any one of them.
Internships help you build the beginnings of a network
Another priceless payoff of internships is that you get to know and work with professionals.
Through meetings, conferences, and events, you will be able to practice your communication skills in a professional setting, which includes interacting with working professionals from various fields and backgrounds.
You can get to know other people, companies, organizations, and materials which you may tap in the future when job hunting or when you’re already working.
Some internship programs provide for mentors for their interns.
All of these people can become a pool of contacts you can use as future references or when you’re looking for new job opportunities.
Internships bolster your employment chances
People who have internships and work experience are more likely to get hired than someone who has a bland resume with zero experience.
The work experience and contacts you gain from an internship is a quantitative addition to your resumé and references, making them more solid.
If you decide to apply to work for the company where you underwent an internship and they were impressed with your performance as an intern, they would be more likely to accommodate your desire to become part of their organization.
Keep in mind that internships are a way for employers to test potential future employees.
Given the present era of chronic and pervasive unemployment that breeds tough competition among thousands of job applicants desperately jockeying for a position, internships can give you the competitive edge over other job seekers that you can ill afford to forego.
Internships are the way to get that early edge as a student or recent graduate.
Internships teach you to manage your time well
The adage “time is gold” holds very well true in studies as well as in work.
If you usually cram before an exam or tend to arrive to class in a less than timely manner, know that you cannot do those things out in the real working world if you want to keep your job.
Internships immerse you into an environment where you need to discipline yourself to value every minute, especially if those minutes belong to others.
The fast work pace professional environment that internships allow you to immerse in will be great in making you master of time management.
Time, unlike money, is something that cannot be recovered when lost.
Therefore, get rid of the free labor inhibitions in your mind and intern with a company as soon as possible while there is still time.
Building the foundation of your future career
Internships are opportunities to lay down the building blocks of your desired future career. It can shape your future in ways of not having an internship will ever be able to.
To achieve a future of progress and financial security, pick an internship opportunity that will suit your interests and help you hone your skills.
There is nothing else more fitting to be the first block upon that future dream house of yours than an internship experience.