Thinking of doing an internship? Here are some of the great benefits of doing an internship in the UK or abroad
Benefits of Doing an Internship
11 November 2013
Internships are fantastic and extremely beneficial for lots of different people in different circumstances. They give people a view into the business world prior to having a full time job in a way that is not normally possible. The skills and experience that internships bring are also extremely valuable and they can open doors for people who are trying to accelerate their career.
When is the right time to do an internship though? And what are the benefits of them?
When you’re looking for a job
No one really knows what they want to do when they first start looking for a job, and despite what your parents tell you it isn’t the end of the world if you haven’t got a pre-planned career path that you have set in stone. Whilst looking for jobs, whether you have just finished university college sixth form or even just school, they can be a great way to try out different sectors and find a job that is right for you. Employers also look to see if you have work experience that is relevant to the job you are applying for, something which can be very difficult to get without doing an internship. This is due to the competitiveness in many sectors and the need for experience before a company will take you on in a full time roll, and doing an internship can give you that relevant experience which makes you stand out from the crowd.
Changing your career path
Internships can also be a great experience for people who want to change their career path. If you are looking to change your career, it is extremely difficult to get a job if you just start applying without any relevant qualifications or experience that is generally required for the job you want. So taking an internship relevant to your new career path will give help you make the first steps by giving you relevant experience to show employers that you are capable of working in the industry you have chosen. Some companies also use there internship schemes to test people out and before offering them a full time job, so make sure if you are going on an internship to be professional and treat it like it’s your full time paid job. Who knows, you might get lucky!
Personally I think one of biggest advantages of taking on an internship is seeing if you actually like the job you are going for, because you want to know you like something before you start searching for a job for months. No one wants to get a new job and then find out they hate it from day one. It would be such a waste of time and effort. Internships can make sure that doesn’t happen. On the other hand if you know what job you want, then an internship can give you more confidence and experience and make you stand out from others when applying for that job. The confidence you gain from an internship will also help you when it comes to being interviewed for a full time position. After all, if have work experience in a job you are going for and in the interview the employer asks you if you think you are capable of doing the job well you will be much more likely to get the job if your answer is ‘absolutely, I have done this at internship placement’ compared to something like ‘ I think I can do it, I’m a very quick learner.’ Be honest, which one do you think will sound more appealing to an employer? I think it’s pretty obvious what the answer is.
If you are an international student or are looking to do an internship in another country, internships are especially good. This is because you are getting a great cultural experience and broadening your language skills while gaining work experience at the same time! There are also options out there like the Leonardo da Vinci programme (soon to be 'Erasmus for All'), which is an EU funded programme for international internships. So, as well as this programme improving a wide range of your skills and making you more employable, it is also free. You would have to be mad to pass on such a great opportunity, which is why we feel we have to recommend it. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get a place on this programme though, because there are plenty of affordable opportunities out there that will give you valuable international experience.
Meeting the right people
During an internship you will meet people in the field of work you are looking for. This can be hugely beneficial because meeting new people can give you contacts for jobs in the future or even the present. But learning off people who have been in that field of work is always great and can give you experience ahead of other people.
There you have it then. That’s our list of key reasons why taking an internship is a great idea and how it can benefit you and put you on the right track to succeed in life. I hope this article has encouraged you to take an internship and good luck in the future.