In today’s competitive workforce, the biggest challenge for fresh graduates and students is to get the hands-on experience that prepares them for the fast-paced working world. College plays an important role in teaching students the theories and the strategies they need. However, students are strongly encouraged to implement those theories in a real working environment. While some students may think an internship is a waste of time and effort, many students decide to enroll in internship programs during summer breaks to gain the relevant knowledge and also to pay for their expenses.
Statistics have shown that those students who have undergone several internships during college have better chances of attracting employers and recruiters later on. And thus, an internship experience is beyond important. It is valued by employers and hiring managers because it illustrates a relevant working experience that will help students excel in future positions.
So why exactly is an internship beneficial at both personal and professional level?
1. Get to know yourself
Consider your internship as an opportunity to explore more about yourself. Many students do not know what are their strengths and weaknesses. Some of them, for instance, do not know if they prefer working independently or on a team. The role of an internship is to help you identify your work preferences and encourage your personal growth by putting you into real-life situations that trigger your exploration.
Therefore, students who go for internships develop strong interpersonal and intrapersonal skills better than those who do not. That’s exactly what you need at this stage of your life. Simply, you need to become familiar with the professional settings and figure out what you really want to do with your career.
2. Gain experience
There is always a huge gap between reality and expectation. Undergoing an internship will give you a glimpse into the real working environment. Experience, above all things, is the most important reason why students should do at least one internship before they graduate. It offers them the opportunity to learn new skills and try out new tools. Either interning at a startup or at an established company, the internship experience will give you an insight into whether this is the right career path for you.
3. Gain confidence
You are presumably now at this stage where you have not figured out your most valuable asset yet. Students and fresh graduates often find it hard to figure out what they are exceptionally good at. Therefore, during your internship, you will be exposed to a number of challenges that will make you explore your greatest attributes and become more confident. For instance, you might be asked to pitch ideas, suggest solutions, write reports, and give a presentation to a large number of people. After completing your internship, you will be surprised by how confident you have become about your skills and knowledge in your industry.
4. Build connections with professionals
During your internship, you will not just meet professionals and experts in your field, but you will also have the chance to work with them. Building professional relationships with them will definitely help you in the long run.
An important advice we have for you is to stay in touch with your employers and mentors after your internship is completed. Reach out to your former employers either via social media or emails every once in a while as they can be helpful in providing recommendation letters and suggesting new opportunities in the future.
5. Strengthen your resume
Having one or two or even three internships listed on your resume will have a tremendous impact on your future career. Students and fresh graduates who have had more than one internship are more likely to be considered by most employers and hiring managers for a full-time job position. In this competitive job market, employers seek experienced candidates more than ever. So, if your resume is presenting a solid practical background, you are more likely to get the job.
Make sure you list down all the acquired skills, duties and responsibilities you had during the internship period.
6. Land a full-time position
And lastly, if you really commit to producing quality work, your employer is likely to offer you a job. According to the national association of colleges and employers (NACE), almost half of the recent grads who were employed right after graduation did at least one internship. So, do not underestimate the power of internship as it might have a significant impact on your career. Demonstrate a strong work ethic during your internship and be passionate about what you are doing. Prove yourself as a fast thinker and learner and always leave a good impression.
An internship is not only an investment in your future career. It is also an opportunity for you to explore alternative career options and to know whether you are into this industry or this firm. An internship will help you to test drive your career before getting stuck in a full-time job that you don’t like.
If you are looking for remote or on-site internship opportunities, check out our latest list of summer internships 2018. You will find a considerable number of internship opportunities at startups in Egypt and Europe. Choose the internship that matches your qualifications and start applying now.
By: Menna Shalaby
Creative Content Intern