Finishing full-time study can be a strange time. You’ve probably had lots of fun, made life-long friends and, hopefully, enjoyed your classes. But it can be hard making the transition to the working world. You probably have little real-world experience; your skills might still lie mostly in cramming for last-minute assignments and tracking down academic references. You might be nervous about entering practical professional life – after all, you don’t know what it’s like yet.
Allow us to introduce a lifesaver: The Internship.
What is it? An internship is a supervised, practical, unpaid, time-limited training or experience for qualified students and professionals, conducted on-site or remotely within an organisation. You gain real-world experience related to your academic or professional field while serving in a company, organisation, not for profit, NGO or Charity.
Internships are an ideal bridge between student life and work life, because they draw on elements of both worlds. As an intern, you’re working for a real-world company on real-world projects – dipping your toe in professional life. But your key purpose there is just as much to learn and develop your skills as to work for the company – holding onto your role as student.
So why should you take an Internship? There are dozens of benefits! Here are our top six:
1. It’ll help prepare you for your first job.
Nervous about getting that first job? Feeling like you have no practical experience? An internship will help calm your nerves. Taking an internship essentially gives you the opportunity to practice operating in the working world – you’ll gain insight into how the working day in your field of interest actually runs and what sort of expectations employers have of their employees. You’ll also get the chance to exercise and deepen your skills, whether these are highly specialised (e.g. using new drafting software in an architecture internship) or super transferable (e.g. taking meeting minutes). An internship isn’t quite the same as being a real employee, but it means you’ll go into your first real job with some real experience – and that’s invaluable.
2. You’ll boost your CV in the eyes of all future employers.
Those skills you develop during your internship? They won’t just help you do your first job, they’ll help you get it. Internships are a highly impressive piece of experience to have on your resume, setting you apart from your peers who graduated at the same time. Not only do they demonstrate that you have some real-world experience, and that somebody else already considered you skilled enough to take on, they show that you have a proactive personality. You put the effort in to find an internship and develop your skills, suggesting you’re just the sort of independent, organised worker employers need.
3. You’ll get loads of guidance throughout.
One of the best things about internships is that they’re intended to be learning opportunities for you. You’ll be gaining experience in the real world, with the support of the team, so it’s not too overwhelming. In any job, you should feel supported. But an internship is a particularly great time to pick the brains of experts and ask for help with difficult tasks. Remember that just as much as the company is offering you practical experience, you’re offering the company a mentorship opportunity. They’re excited to have you around, hear your ideas, and feed off your energy. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and remember to use your initiative!
4. You’ll form contacts.
It’s a cliche, but it’s true: networking is key in professional life. Knowing the right people can help you answer questions, find out about opportunities, and even get a job – so having a wide circle of professional acquaintances is extremely useful. An internship helps you start that circle. The people you meet while in your role may not only become trusted colleagues and friends, they can introduce you to plenty of other potential contacts, which may help you with your future career. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for interns to be offered more permanent roles in their companies if management is impressed with you. An internship itself may be a direct entry into the working world.
5. It’s a way to try out a job or industry.
The real world is quite different to university. Practicing in a law firm is quite different to law school; marketing a real product is quite different to learning marketing theory. So before you dive head-first from your studies into a particular profession, it can be helpful to make sure it’s something you really want to be doing! An internship is a great way to figure it out: it lets you experience a particular industry, organisation, or role for a fixed period, without locking you in for the long term. You get all the insight with much less of the commitment – and if you find you don’t enjoy practising law in reality, for example, you can pivot to another field without wasting your time.
6. You can do it somewhere fun.
The biggest draw of an internship, in our opinion? You can take one in basically any industry sector! Whether you want to experience the start-up culture of a new company, expand your IT skills, learn about the fashion world or explore the beautiful New Zealand nature learning about conservation, there’s an internship for you. You could also choose to take your internship remotely, from anywhere in the world or a coffee shop in your hometown. Whatever you decide, an internship will provide you with international experience and all the cultural novelty your heart desires. It may look like work – but you will definitely have a lot of fun!
Pumped for an internship? We can help. The team at INTERNeX are specialists in helping young people find the right internship while exploring the world. We organise the nitty-gritty details; accommodation, airport transfers, arrival information – so you can focus on having the time of your life!
Simply contact us via our enquiry formand let us know what you’re most interested in and one of our team will be in touch to help you out.
Alternatively if you already know which Internship you would like, you can complete our online applicationand start your adventure today!