18 Jun 2019
Considering an Internship?
Ever thought about applying for an Internship? Want to know what they are all about? Then read on:
What is an Internship?
An internship is generally a short-term and fixed-duration period of work offered by employers, during which an intern is able to contribute to the employer’s business using their skills, as well as gaining valuable work experience and personal development.
Most internships last for any length of time between one week and 12 months.
Who are they for?
Typically, you’ll find that the vast majority of employers are seeking degree students for their internships. This is because they wish to recruit interns who already have some valuable skills, are keen to learn, gain some work experience and get a foothold in the employment market, without the employer having to make a long term contractual commitment. Internships also give employers a potential field of new recruits for the future, as and when their studies come to an end. For interns, this provides a great way of ensuring they leave education with not only academic skills, but also workplace experience.
Many universities have, and promote internship schemes for their students for organisations they partner with. These can work through subsidising the employment of the intern, making it less of a cost and risk for the employer. If you’re a student, make sure to ask around about this at your University. A good place to start would be the careers advice service.
What should I expect?
Your main responsibility as an intern is to be a sponge for information. You’re there to learn! Your employer will typically have a project for you to complete which isn’t critical to the success of the company, but will still give you experience that is applicable to other projects in the same line of work later in your career.
Don’t expect to be overwhelmed. Your new employer won’t expect you to grasp everything straight away; they’ve chosen to employ you on the understanding that you’re relatively new to the comings and goings of the area you’re working in, and as such they will have realistic expectations of what you’re capable of. Your goal is to impress as much as you can.
What will I get out of it?
For many students, the pay packet is probably the main motivation behind applying for these opportunities. Don’t let this be you!
Your main goals should ideally be to learn, deliver a successful outcome, get great references and make connections. Your future employment will almost certainly be (at least partially) dependant on the thoughts and opinions of your previous employers, so take the opportunity to shine!