Making a transition from college to career can be unnerving. It can be hard for many graduating students to identify the right career path and may end up getting lost in the competitive job market. An internship opportunities can prove to be a “test drive” for graduates, to a specific industry, organization or role. It can provide an inside look which can create a profound effect on the direction they choose. These internships programme not only provide you a foot in the door at an organization but also help the students in understanding as to which roles best suit their interests with a help of a real world experience. Here’s how internship programme helps you in figuring out which career best is best suited for you:
#1 Exploring the practical work involved
While your academic course structure teaches you theoretical things about your future job, internship experience can help you link this theory with the practice. It is only when you’re in the actual work environment that you get to explore the practical work involved. An internship experience enables you in gaining the first-hand exposure of working in the real world. And if you’re not comfortable with the sort of work involved then you can always look for other options before it is too late.
However, don’t be disheartened on realizing that it’s not the right job for you. It’s much better to learn that you’d be unhappy sooner rather than later. And if you’ve up made up your mind then you can spend the next few months exploring the other areas of interest and job that might be a good fit for you. And you can eventually start working on securing an internship in your desired industry and define your career. However, be very certain before making your decision. Take the time off to reflect on the experience and ask yourself why you didn’t enjoy this internship programme and was there something that you could’ve changed or done differently. With this information you can assess your post graduation plans. Students who enroll into internship programs while they are still in college are more likely to feel confident they chose the right degree by the time they graduate.
In the competitive job market it’s all about who you know. As an intern you’ll be surrounded by the professionals in the industry and by interacting with them you will be able to gain new connections and learn how to communicate in a professional environment. The contacts you form during this time can later become your mentors, source of job opportunities and references. It is a common knowledge now that more and more positions are being filled without being advertised. When you finish your internship program, it is important to formally thank your senior employees, clients, fellow interns, for their help and support. After internship when you’re searching for a job it is important to take advantage of your personal and professional network as much as possible. They may help you develop skills and offer moral support in your early career and help you connect with other people in different industries and organizations and in case you want to change career paths you can easily do it with the help of a good network and support.
#3 Internships opportunities to transition into full time positions
Companies mostly hire interns after the student’s internship is complete. Internship provides a valuable inside connection with the hiring manager and other top managers. You must consider your internship programme as your extended interview and if you’re hardworking and determined enough then you can convert that internship work experience into a permanent position in the company if that’s the field you’re inclined to continue working in. It is up to you to showcase your talents, commitment, and value to a prospective employer. Even if you don’t, you will hopefully finish with internship recommendation letter from your main mentor and a range of potential referees.
According to the 2018 Yello Recruiting Study, 92% of students begin searching for jobs before graduation and 20% secured internships work experience to get a jump start on their post-college job search. If you wish to secure a permanent position then remain in constant touch with your employer as companies with internship programs usually begin their discussions with their interns before they leave to return to school. You must also demonstrate your work ethic and work commitment to your employer to make them realize that you’re truly taking the internship opportunity as a learning experience.
#4 Internships help students in making better career decisions
According to the studies conducted in University of the West of England and Edith Cowan University in Western Australia, students who enroll themselves in internship programs feel more competent in managing their careers those who don’t and feel more likely to gain employment. This, in turn, also helps them to cope better with job insecurity and they are more prone to perform better in their jobs. Also, those who completed an internship work experience were better at making effective career decisions than those who did not. The study further revealed that it is due to the fact that the students became aware of their own personal priorities and how this affects their career decisions. Getting an insight into the realities of a profession helped them learn whether it aligned with their personal values and sometimes the internship told them quite clearly which career pathway not to take.
Internships provide the opportunities of receiving feedback from those you work with. It is vital to remember that this feedback or a performance review is actually an invaluable career tool in your journey to success. So do not get defensive when you’re receiving a constructive criticism from your supervisors or people you’re working with because if you listen to them it will actually help you in becoming an even better employee in the future. And if you know what you’re doing well, you can use those attributes to sell yourself as a strong candidate to employers later on. The feedback will also help you in making decision regarding your future career prospects.