Our economy is changing daily, and with it, the talents, skills and experience needed to be a part of that growth cycle are too.
The job market is a competitive one and often presents a tough learning curve for recent graduates. When it comes to securing that all-important graduate job offer, it’s no longer enough to just have a good degree. Relevant work experience via an internship is now just as important as exam results to your future career and is a key sought after attribute.
What does an internship involve?
An internship is a period of work experience within an organisation or company, usually undertaken by university students or recent graduates. They can either be full time or part-time, paid or unpaid and can last from a week to a year.
The main focus is on providing training and work experience for yourself and internships give students real-life experience of the workplace and field they hope to break into.
What are the benefits of an internship?
- Develop critical work skills
Probably the main benefit of doing an internship is that it will give you the chance to gain experience in a real workplace, allowing you to hone and enhance your soft skills such as teamwork and communication, as well as learning new skills such as using Excel or various computer software.
One of the major benefits of undertaking an internship is that opportunity to build connections with professionals in the field you are trying to break into. Perform well and impress, and these connections can help you in a multitude of ways, from keeping you in mind for future opportunities to providing an important reference or letter.
Internships provide a great environment to meet professionals in the career field you want to pursue, as well as other interns who have similar interests.
- Gain a competitive edge
Recruiters and hiring manager will be impressed to see you have gone the extra mile and have the passion and drive to acquire skills and experiences outside of the classroom.
To combat this, many clued-up graduates are undertaking not just one but multiple internships, giving them a wide range of skills and experience of multiple companies and departments, all of which appeals to potential recruiters.
- Learn how a professional workplace operates
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.
- Explore unexpected avenues
There are internships in every industry imaginable, from HR to investment banking. If you’re undecided on the field you want to enter, internships can give you the chance to try out roles, departments and industries you’ve never considered, which may help narrow down your options, or even open up a whole new career path.
- Earn as you learn
Although unpaid internships remain a topic of much debate, paid internships do exist – and many internships simply offer an untaxed training allowance that cover expenses such as travel and food.
While every job offers transferable skills such as teamwork, problem-solving etc. paid internships give you the opportunity to earn money while learning vital skills for your future career.
We have an array of positions on our website, so please do visit https://www.thegraduateproject.co.uk/jobs/search
By Anirudh Nair