Why Is An Internship Essential For Your Professional Development?

We already know an internship is an official program that is offered by an employer to potential employees.

It is a modern concept of decades old apprenticeship program, where a skilled laborer, often a craftsman, would take on and teach a young person their trade. In exchange for being taught a trade, the apprentice would agree to work for the craftsman for a specified duration, may be for a couple of months or more. 

However, interns of these days are free to work either part time or full time at the company for a specified period of time, typically, for 1.5 or 3 months. The culture of internships is very popular in undergraduate or graduate students who need to gain valuable work or research experience for a better career ahead. Internships are available for a variety of digital marketing degrees, healthcare programs, paralegal certificates, and many other career choices. 

By the time, you might have probably got an idea of what we are going to talk about. But, before we proceed let's understand the difference between an apprenticeship and an internship. In internships, an intern is not bound to work for the employer after the internship is over, though many do. Internship also offer students a chance to “try out” a job or industry, to check if it is the right career choice for them. While, apprentices already know which field they want to go into, and work with a master in that field to learn it first-hand. 

Although we know, an internship is extremely important as it allows students to present their newly learned skills and opportunities that they would not receive otherwise. They also gain technical knowledge within the industry of their choice as well as etiquettes required to interact with professionals in a workplace setting, develop essential soft skills like time management, organization, adaptability, problem-solving, teamwork and more. 

This article will talk about few concrete reasons to opt for internship, especially for your professional growth. 

An Internship Provides Real Life Experience and Exposure

An internship can be remarkably valuable towards your career. It not only enables you to gain first-hand exposure of working in the real world but also allows to harness the skill, knowledge, and theoretical practice they learnt in university. Through internship, students can acquire endless amounts of education in their life, however, that knowledge may not always translate to the working life. Other great thing about internship is that it teaches young professionals about the specific industries and companies they are interested in. Internship exposes interns to new people in a more controlled and stable environment and understand the know-how of the industry. Additionally, the given training, assignments, and duties without the added pressure provide a nice learning curve for students with little experience of the professional world. 

An Internship Helps Gain Experience and Increase Marketability

An internship gives intern an experience in the career field they want to pursue. Not only does this give individuals an edge over other candidates when applying for jobs, it also prepares them for what to expect in their field and increases confidence in their work, in the real-time. 

An Internship Allow Interns to Learn More About Yourself

To know yourself is to know your goals and how to best achieve them and internship is great at not only encouraging personal development, but also provides a greater understanding of one’s self. Internships provide a higher level of clarity which they cannot get otherwise. For instance, take a mass communication student who decides to do an internship related to his field of study. That internship will give them a chance to explore what a career in mass communication would be like. Sometimes, reality does not meet expectations or may have more hurdles than pre-assumed. This allows interns to decide whether they wish to continue with their current career path or look for other alternatives. 

An Internship Helps in Networking

An Internship not only benefits you in the working environment, also helps build your professional network. In actuality, there is a 1 in 16 chance of securing a job by connecting with people, so networking is of utmost importance. It provides a great environment to meet professionals in the career field you want to pursue, as well as other interns who have similar interests. 

An Internship Makes You Learn the Operational Functions of Workplace

You may be aware of Depending on your major, you may read about how organizations thrive and function in textbooks, hear from guest speakers who talk about organizational structures, or dive into case studies about workplace culture, but nothing compares to living the actual experience. Internships help students learn all about workplace culture, employee relations, and leadership structure, which should help them onboard in their first professional job with more ease than if they haven’t had professional experience.   

An Internship Builds Your Resume

Most organizations and jobs that you apply to following graduation want employees to have some sort of professional experience, even for entry-level jobs. In the event that you are a finalist for a position and haven’t had an internship experience but the other finalist has, you may lose out on a job opportunity, so make sure you at least have one internship on your resume before leaving college to give you a leg up on the competition. 

An Internship Equips You with More Than Just Technical Skills

No, company demands only business and technical knowledge, they require you to know more skills because no matter how good you are, you won’t stand a chance of succeeding in any profession unless you develop a collaborative work ethic and learn to be a team player. You also need to know how to work under pressure, and why do deadlines matter. To be precise, by doing an internship you not only get to polish your technical skills polished but also get exposed to the challenges of a work environment. These experiences will be extremely useful to talk about in future interviews and show employers that why you will be a good fit for their company. As per LinkedIn Skills Report (2018), 57% of people rated soft skills as being more important than technical skills. Skills, such as communication, leadership, problem-solving, and teamwork can all be learned through an internship and utilized beyond that experience. 

An Internship Allows You to Gain a Competitive Edge

We all know, job market has always been very competitive. There may be hundreds of other candidates applying for the same job profile as you. As a result, you need to work on yourself to make yourself stand out in the job market. And, nothing better than an Internship can provide you with experience and skills to help make employers notice you and show them that you would be a perfect choice for their company, if you’re a fresher. It also portrays that you are someone who has the drive and passion and has been motivated to acquire experience outside of just University. 

According to the State of Millennial Hiring Report, in US, graduates who complete more than three internships are more likely to secure a full-time job. Most institutions are emphasising that students should graduate with experience. The report also claims that 81.1% of graduates accept that working as an intern has helped them significantly improve their career prospects. 

Another report, Sutton Trust’s 2018 report  showed that “Completing an internship was associated with higher salaries, for both middle and working-class students”.  

Needless to say, internships have a crucial role in shaping one’s career. It not only helps undergraduates and graduates gain real exposure to working environments but also helps them develop the necessary technical as well as crucial soft skills to make them stand out in a saturated job market.  

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About the Author
Author: Saniya Khan
Saniya Khan I am Saniya Khan, Copy-Editor at EdTechReview - India’s leading edtech media. As a part of the group, my aim is to spread awareness on the growing edtech market by guiding all educational stakeholders on latest and quality news, information and resources. A voraciously curious writer with a dedication to excellence creates interesting yet informational pieces, playing with words since 2016.

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