An internship is a great opportunity to experience the kind of work you can see yourself doing as a career. Unlike college and school, an internship allows for you to experience the work in a professional capacity, as well as give you something concrete to add to your resume.
If you are currently thinking about choosing the internship route, then you might be struggling to know what to look for. This article will help you to come up with a final decision as we take you through some of the key areas of an internship you should be looking at.
So, without further ado, let us explore how an internship can benefit your career path.
Table of Contents
The Right Role
Before you delve into choosing an internship, you will want to make sure it actually benefits your long-term career goals.
Whilst some people do choose one at random because it means they are putting something onto their resume, what they do not factor in is how an internship can really help with the job you want.
So for example, if you choose an internship at a fashion house, but want to work in dental care, then this kind of work will not help, and instead will add on extra work that was not needed.
Instead, use it as a way to further yourself and learn more about the role you see yourself pursuing in the future. It can also be a way to find out if the career path you have chosen is right for you.
Experiencing it first hand can tell you whether it is the right area for you, especially if you have a number of job ideas.
A Way To Learn
Because you will want an internship that can help with your future career, you will ultimately want to learn as you go along.
What you do not want, however, is an internship that you come out of feeling used, especially when it comes to the mundane tasks that others do not want to do – avoid this like the plague.
Do not confuse this with an unimpressive internship though, as you will find that no matter what, you will not be doing the high-flying jobs around the office. Most of the time you will be doing a role that is ideal for a beginner, but it should still be something that uses skill.
Using these skills should be beneficial to the job when you apply as a proper worker in the future, even though they might seem a little basic at first.
Before you apply for the internship, find out all the details about what you will be doing, and if it sounds like the odd-jobs that they avoid doing themselves, move on.
All interns should get paid, and if you find one that does not, then have a real think about whether it is worth it or not. You are giving your time and your skills to their work, and that means you should not be doing it for free.
However, not all internships do pay, and some may be hard to pass up. When that is the case, make a list of the pros and cons, and if you do not have too many outgoings (fuel, for example), then it may be worth it.
If you do find a paid internship, then the money will be useful if you need books during college, or a little extra ‘pocket money’ to see you through the month. Just remember that the pay will not be similar to a full-time job.
Finding people who have the same career choice as you is great – plus, they are the ones to talk to about how they got into the industry. Maybe there are things you have not thought about yet?
If they seem happy to be at work, and enjoy it every day, then this can give you a positive outlook on the work culture within the company and industry as a whole.
Doing some research on the company before you apply is a good way to find out about the experience of those who work there, and whether it is a great place to progress professionally.
Mentors In The Industry
Along with meeting people who are like-minded, you may find that there are those within the organization who can become a type of mentor. These are the people who you can learn from during the placement.
This can help you to gain confidence within the field of work, as well as help to provide you with professional support throughout the internship.
The majority of internships already have support systems in place, as it is very unlikely, especially at first, they will have you go off and do something alone without any initial support.
You may also be given access to those higher up in the company, meaning you will have an all-round exposure to the job as a whole. This can give you a better understanding of how things work, as well as receive support from a number of people in different roles.
Test Your Skills
Another way to find out whether the career path you have chosen is right for you is by testing all the skills you have learnt by doing it for real.
Journalism might have been fun during school and college, but what is it like to work at an actual newspaper or magazine – maybe it is not what you imagined it to be?
An internship is a great way to expose yourself to a career without having to settle down for the long-term. This means that you get a chance to taste it, rather than having to wonder about changing jobs, or potentially become jobless for a while.
Visit A New City
The perfect internship could be based in a different city. If you want it badly, then go for it. A big mistake a lot of people make is that they pass on their dream internship because it is too far away.
When this is the case, look at all the avenues possible to make it happen. If it is completely out of your control, then unfortunately you may have to look elsewhere, but at least see what you can do – just do not ignore an internship because it is not local to you.
A new city is also a great way to make brand-new contacts and friends, as well as experience something new away from home or college.
An internship is a fantastic opportunity to try out a job before you commit full-time in the future. It is also a great way to test out skills that you have been learning about throughout school, as well as note whether it is the right career path for you.
Use the internship to learn about yourself and the job. You will find that being an intern is more about just doing work, it is also a chance to experience a new city, and make new connections.
It is also important to make sure that the role makes sense to use as a stepping stone to further your professional growth. Picking an internship at random will do you no good, so instead, opt for something that relates to the field you want to work in.