An internship refers to a professional learning experience offering meaningful, practical tasks related to the career interest or field of study of a student. A quality internship is either a full-time or a part-time work schedule, including some administrative or clerical duties. But can an internship benefit your career?
Short Answer: Yes. An internship can definitely benefit your professional future in so many ways. In this article, you’ll learn about the impact of an internship on your career path and why it’s important to undergo one while you’re still a student.
- Provides Real Life Work Experience and Exposure
An internship should be long enough to get you in the rhythm of the responsibilities of the position. As an intern, you should be able to complete deliverables and provide outstanding results.
Here are the important things you’ll learn from an internship:
- New and Improved Skills: You’ll acquire more knowledge in a specific role, which will help you understand the scope of work and challenges of a job. Also, an internship prepares you physically and psychologically to keep up with the demands of the job.
- Professional Communications: For a first timer, it can take time to learn how to work in a real-world professional setting. So, it’s best to learn from hands-on experience. You’ll learn how to speak with people in various professional settings, making you more confident and assured that you’ll do well in pursuing your dream career.
- Networking: You’ll be able to learn being proactive in introducing yourself to all types of people, from customers to upper-level management, and even CEOs.
- Take Constructive Criticisms Well: While criticisms can be quite scary, you’ll be able to better deal with them and take them as opportunities to improve your knowledge and skills more. They also help nurture work relationships, teaching you to avoid taking criticisms personally, which is a major reason why employee-to-employee or employee-to-employer conflicts arise.
- Develop A Professional Network
Professional networking refers to an exchange of information between professionals. Its main goal is to establish deeper relationships which help advance your professional career.
Take a look at these tips on how you can develop a professional network through an internship:
- Be A Friend: Being friendly to everyone in the workplace attracts people. Show your colleagues that they can count on you and that you’re approachable. They might help you get a job offer to work or manage an account once you graduate or pass the licensure exam.
- Be Professional: During your internship, show your colleagues and employers that you’re professional. Meet deadlines and finish projects with excellent results not just to impress them but also to show that you greatly value the company and you’re willing to be part of their growth and success. Once you gain their trust, you’ll be a good candidate for permanent employment after you finish college or the internship.
- Add Them On LinkedIn: It’s a good idea to search the LinkedIn profiles of your boss and colleagues and add them on your network of LinkedIn connections. It’s a good way to keep them reminded about your professional relationship and increase the likelihood that they’ll agree when you ask them to help refer you or serve your future character reference.
- Gain Technical Skills
An internship allows students to gain technical skills, especially those who don’t want to go to college. Having an internship provides the necessary experience to enable you to stand out from your competitors who may not have any job experience.
Check the following technical skills you can gain with an internship:
- Equipment And Machine Operations: Certain jobs would require operating heavy-duty equipment or all sorts of machinery, such as factory and construction jobs.
- Use Of Advanced Technologies: You’ll learn how to use advanced programs and devices, such as 3D computer aided design (CAD).
- Industry Language: In an internship, you’ll learn the technical language of a job. For instance, if you’re a medical student, you’ll better understand how medical jargons are used in clinical settings when speaking with medical colleagues and how to better use them in layman’s terms, when talking with patients.
- Develop Soft Skills
One of the best ways to develop your soft skills is through an internship. You need soft skills to stand out from other job applicants. The skills show that you’re not only highly knowledgeable in the business but also capable of adjusting to changes, resolving conflicts, and taking criticisms in a positive way. The best place to learn how to nurture your soft skills is in the real world.
Here are the soft skills you’ll learn in an internship:
- Problem-solving Skills: In an internship, you’ll learn how to think like professionals do, taking into consideration the pros and cons before making a major decision.
- Negotiation Skills: Learn how to use compromise to your greatest advantage and come up with the best offer or solution to present to your customers and business partners by undergoing an internship.
- Communication Skills: As already mentioned, internships can help you in honing your communication skills, not only verbally, but also in written form. Observe how professionals talk with clients and potential investors, so you can pick their best practices and apply them in your chosen career.
- Leadership Skills: Internships create future leaders, so it’s essential to consider attending one to hone your innate leadership skills.
- Become More Independent
You won’t learn by being always spoon-fed. It’s best to partake in an internship to increase your self-confidence level. During your internship, you’ll be considered like any new employee. Expect to be given an orientation and some form of training, but the bulk of work is all on you.
It means that you have to take the time to learn how long-time employees do their thing. Learn from their mistakes and keep in mind their best practices.
For those who want a bright professional future, gaining experience through internship is important. An internship helps you smoothly transition into the workforce. You’ll learn to become more independent and proactive, so you’re better prepared to go to job interviews and more confident to apply for higher job positions that will significantly benefit your career.