Often we hear that “You need the experience to get experience”. And frankly speaking, this seems to be the biggest hurdle for young adults stepping into the workforce. Employers today, rely heavily on resumes that speak of extensive work history, be it from an internship, actual job or even from volunteering work. A work background holds major significance when entering the workforce.
“Life is a race, and if you don’t run fast enough, people will walk over you.”
When Dr.Viru Sahastrabudhhe said this in 3 Idiots, we all laughed a lot and got over it. But his words hold true in today’s world. It’s not only the businesses that are competing with each other, but people are also competing amongst themselves to reach the top. Even the friends you graduated with, have now become your competitor.
When you think about it, you realize that gaining practical knowledge and work experience during your college days, actually is the most advantageous plan. That internship you skipped during summer vacation, could have made a huge difference in your probability of securing the job opportunity.
If this information isn’t compelling enough, here is a list of reasons why taking up internships are important for your future career:
Internships have had a history as a period of work experience focused on exposure to a workplace, and work discipline as a part of an academic course. Internships, traditionally allowed students to get practical and real-life experience of working with organizations, and the learnings generated during internships were expected to add value to a student’s understanding of the discipline being pursued. While this still holds true the concept of internships has changed in recent times, with internships being a good opportunity for many to kick start their career, as well as an internship is a great starting point for freshly minted as well as the experienced talent to be a part of the gig economy. Internship taken up by students engaged in a professional, vocational or other academic programs, gives them ton loads of benefits like;
1.) Internship Provides Exposure
Having an internship provides you with experience in the field of career you want to pursue. Not only does this give you an edge over other candidates, but it also prepares you for what to expect in the field and gives a boost to your confidence. If you’re lucky enough to snag a beneficial internship, it can be valuable for your career.
2.) Internship Provides Opportunity To Experience Real Work
An internship gives you first-hand experience of real work. Depending on your field of study, you might read about how organizations thrive and function in textbooks or hear from your seniors about how an organization works. Nut nothing compares to experiencing those scenarios in real life. Internships can help students learn about workplace culture, employee relations, and leadership structure. All this information and experience will help students prepare for their professional job.
3.) Internship Builds A Professional Network
Networking is an exchange of information between people, with the ultimate goal of establishing a relationship that helps in advancing a professional career. Partaking in internships allows you to establish a deeper relationship than you normally would by talking to a stranger. According to Harvard professor Timothy Butler, “The biggest mistake that people make networking is that people don’t do it.” There is a 1 in 16 chance of securing a job by connecting with people, so networking is critical. Internships provide a great environment to meet professionals in the career field you want to pursue, as well as other interns who have similar interests.
4.) Internships Create Room For Personal Development
We are shaped by the experiences we go through. Internships test you in different situations which you normally in your daily routine would not encounter. Internships help you in knowing yourself, your goals and how to best achieve them. Internships don’t only encourage personal development, but also create a greater understanding of self. Taking up internships in different sectors of industry will give you the chance to expand your horizon and narrow down onto one particular field of interest where you will enjoy the work assigned to you. Internships are a great way to learn from your mistakes. Full-time job doesn’t encourage if you keep on making mistakes, but internships are meant for those who are willing to make mistakes and learn from them. Finding such clarity about yourself and your goals is difficult, many spend years in professional life and are still uncertain about themselves. Internships build a sense of self-confidence which will take you to greater heights.
While students from top schools have a good placement cell to take care of their summer or winter placements, these days there is ample opportunity for others to also take up internships by leveraging online platforms dedicated to internship opportunities. One can also try and leverage websites for freelancers to bid for projects. That way, you are creating your own internship opportunity.