An internship is a great opportunity to gain valuable experience. It allows you to put all your academic knowledge into practice. Nowadays, internships are seen as a great way to make that transition into the real world.
Not only are internships a great way to build experience but it also helps answer potential questions you may have about your industry of choice and whether you have made the right choice after all. But one of the most important things you get out of your internships is that if you perform well and make a good impression, then chances are you could be offered a full-time job later on.
The thing about internships is that you pick up valuable skills that any employer will find useful regardless of what industry you have interned in. There are a variety of skills and traits that employers are always looking for both in internships as well as entry-level jobs. We will discuss the 10 particular skills for internship employers want in an intern in the next section and the 11 skills for internship you need to develop.
Skills employers want in an intern
Communication is one of the skills for internship that is extremely important and its significance is often overlooked. Communication comes in a variety of forms from the ability to write professionally to speaking professionally. Sometimes a lot of issues can be solved as a result of communication and a lot of issues are caused by miscommunication.
Therefore the ability to be able to communicate effectively as well as translate ideas and convey information is one that employers will find extremely valuable and a must-have skills for internship.
Known as the “people skills” and one that will go hand in hand with great communication, interpersonal skills are one that will get you far as well. Interpersonal skills refer to the tactics and behaviour an individual uses to interact with others effectively.
Chances are that you will be interacting with different people from your colleagues and supervisors to potential clients. It is therefore important to be able to build and maintain relationships. Employers seek individuals who acknowledge the value of different perspectives as well as being able to identify the wants and needs of others. Interpersonal skills for internship are a must!
Collaboration is one of the vital skills for internship. As an intern, you will likely collaborate with coworkers but also other potential interns. Your communication and interpersonal skills will play a key part towards collaboration with others. Being able to collaborate with others is one of the skills for internship that employers will definitely value!
Time management is another skills for internship that is transferable from the academic world into the real world. Your academics have taught you to manage your time from studying for exams to meeting assignment deadlines. The difference is though that more responsibility will be placed upon you because there is no syllabus that will tell you when the deadlines will be.
More responsibilities will be put on you and the ability to organize your time whilst still producing results. Time management is one of those skills for internship that will showcase to employers that you can prioritize responsibilities as well as determine the appropriate time to multitask or focus on a particular task.
In today’s ever-changing world, you are required to wear multiple hats. This is especially common if you intern at a startup, it is common that two days will not be the same. For example, you could be helping out with marketing on one day and the next you might be required to help out in sales. Adaptability is a valuable asset and one of the vital skills for internship employers will definitely appreciate.
Skills for internship would not be complete without including critical thinking. Critical thinking refers to the ability to form a judgment based on your ability to analyze and evaluate a situation or issue. You will be encouraged to display your abilities to think especially when facing issues or problems and employers expect you to input as well.
Research and analysis
Your academics have exposed you to the ability to research and make analyses in the form of research papers. There is a real opportunity to showcase your research and analysis skills in your internship. This is a transferable skill and one of the skills for internship that employers can definitely benefit from and one that is a must for your internship.
A great internship skill that employers will definitely take notice of is the ability to take initiative. Especially when you are doing an internship it is great for your employers if you show initiative. Take on more than you can, try out different things and so forth. Not only will you be exposed to different sides of the business but you may also find new areas of interest. Taking initiative is one of the most important skills for internship.
Possibly one of the most difficult skills for internship but one that is definitely important and one that will help you in the long term. Being receptive or being able to receive feedback is one that employers will deeply appreciate. When your supervisor or coworker may make a comment that could be deemed as mean it is easy to take it to heart. If you are able to work on the feedback and not take it personally then you are a valuable asset!
In the modern digital age, you are expected to have some technical proficiency. You are not expected to be an expert in everything although it certainly would help if you know your way with technology. Being technically proficient in today’s world is one of those skills for internship that many employers will definitely value!
Skills to develop during an internship
Now that you know the 10 skills for internship employers are looking for, let’s explore what skills you need to develop during your internship that will benefit you greatly.
One internship skill you need to develop is communication skills. It is expected that you will be communicating with employees, potentially other interns, your supervisors and even clients. Being able to communicate effectively and efficiently is one of the skills for internship that will benefit you throughout your career.
Being a positive person can be a game changer and one of those skills for internship that is definitely difficult to master but one that can do wonders for the workspace. Having a positive attitude as well can also transform you into a collaborative team member and someone that can contribute to a harmonious work environment.
As mentioned earlier, in today’s world things are changing faster than ever meaning a must internship skill is adaptability. This is an important skills for internship for you to develop as it will mean that you are able to showcase your ability to adapt to various situations. Especially if you are interning, it is important to take on different tasks, which is a great way to show your adaptability.
Refers to the ability to keep yourself motivated, keep pushing and take action despite the adversity that you are going through. This is a highly valued skills for internship that employers value incredibly and it is a great skill to have in general. Those that possess this skill or trait are more likely to push themselves further, complete tasks and meet deadlines.
Previously mentioned as well which only just highlights how much this skill is needed by employers, and that is the ability to show that you can manage time. If you are able to manage your time effectively whilst performing your tasks to a high standard, you are showing your supervisor that you can be relied upon and this builds trust. Your responsibilities and tasks will likely increase once you have built that trusting relationship with your supervisor.
While you may not be expected to take on leadership roles as an intern this should not stop you from being able to show that you have leadership skills. Leadership qualities include showing your confidence and willingness to accept new responsibilities and leading by example whenever you are given the chance. All these qualities could land you a full-time role after your internship is done. Leadership is one of those skills for internship that can have positive implications for your future career.
Being inquisitive can potentially come across as annoying because you are just curious about everything that you ask a lot of questions. However, do not let this hold you back because it is better to be curious than not. Employers actually appreciate curiosity because you are keen to learn and help you gain a wide array of information on different topics. This is a must-have skills for internship you need to develop.
One of the skills for internship that you need to develop as it is one of those skills that are transferable and one that can get you far in your career. As mentioned earlier, you will be exposed to various tasks, problems or issues that will require you to think critically. If you end up in a problem, your supervisor will expect you to solve it too. An internship will definitely expose you to developing this skill set.
Interpersonal skills allow you to communicate and work well with others. Not only does it involve communication but also the ability to listen and understand others, showing respect and self-awareness as well as being able to react with patience and empathy. It involves being receptive and being able to continually look for improvements.
This is a no-brainer but one of the skills for internship you need to develop during your internship is the ability to teamwork. You will be expected to work with others from coworkers to your supervisors and potentially even clients. Teamwork is highly valued in a workplace and showing the ability you can work with others is an important consideration for employees.
One of the vital skills for internship that can be such a game changer and that will really allow you to showcase what you are made of and that is integrity. Integrity refers to the ability to possess strong moral principles whilst being honest. Building stronger connections with your coworkers, whilst transforming the workplace into a more positive and collaborative environment can be made possible as a result of displaying integrity. You can practice integrity by speaking honestly to everyone, helping others when they need assistance and completing your tasks on time.
So there you have it, skills for internship that you need to develop during your internships as well as the skills that employers most value and are always looking for in their applicants. It is important to make notes of these before your internship as well as notes throughout your internship.
If you want to demonstrate or develop these internship skills we recommend that you apply for an internship with AIP. We offer internships in 25 different industries in 18 different locations. Explore your options on our website and apply today!