When you think internship, you’d be forgiven for thinking it makes sense to secure one in your final year. That way you can seamlessly breeze straight from your internship into your dream entry-level job—right?
Wrong. Interning in your final year, while great, is not as beneficial as interning in your first year. Here are 8 reasons to snap up an internship in your first year.
1. Ease the nerves
In your first or second year of uni, the idea of entering the workforce can seem daunting, and hours in the library studying can feel so far removed from an actual career.
Getting an internship early on in your degree can help you feel more connected to why you’re at uni, and can help develop vocational skills you may not pick up in tutes and lectures. Interning eases you into your field, gives you a taste the of future, and can help you clarify your career direction.
2. Translate skills into the classroom
Assignments have a reputation for being tedious, and it’s sometimes hard to relate
how an essay is applicable to the workplace. After a semester or two, that tedious cloud can grow bigger, killing your motivation.
Interning in your first year helps to usher you into the light. It allows you to see how negotiating a group project transforms into killer management skills. It allows you to test theories you’ve been introduced to in class and improve your communication
, interpersonal skills, adaptability, receptiveness and time management skills.
3. Build your network
We all know that it’s sometimes not what
you know but who
you know. In fact, networking will likely be the single most effective strategy
used in advancing your career. There are a number of ways to do this, but interning means you’re actually working with professionals in your field—not just chatting with them at an event. They get to see you in action so that you have access to opportunities early.
Interning keeps you in touch on a regular basis and keeps your networking contacts abreast of your accomplishments and career journey. Open the lines of communication early, and adapt your elevator pitch to match where you are at and what your latest goals are. When completing your internship, send a thank you note to all those you were influenced by. This will increase the likelihood that they’ll assist you in the future.
4. Grow your portfolio
Having a stellar portfolio will be a major key to success. By interning in your first year, you can start your portfolio earlier than many of your peers. It gives you extra experience on your resume, shows you are eager and can take initiative, and helps you stand out by getting your name out there.
Be it a presentation you gave, an article you wrote, a campaign you worked on or a design you created, interning gives you tangible evidence to showcase your work to future employers. You can mock all this in class of course, but it’s not the same as completing work in the ‘real world’.
5. Learn skills you can’t get in the classroom
There are certain skills that can only be taught through experience
. They’re practised, not preached. These skills include emotional intelligence, reading people, patience, intuition, problem solving under pressure, and common sense. Skills like working with people toward a common goal and applying facts to real life situations all come from interning.
6. Gain useful feedback
The best way to grow your capabilities is to take constructive criticism
on board. Use feedback as a way to strengthen your attributes so that you’re an even stronger candidate at the end of your course. Remind yourself that you’re still learning and feedback is part of this—not something that should be taken to heart.
7. Internships offer an unforgettable life experience
A full-time job at one of the world’s leading organisations might be stretch for a fresh-out-of-uni graduate, but an internship isn’t. An internship might be your only opportunity
to get a look inside a company you’ve dreamed of working for—so take the chance while you can.
Internships also provide the opportunity to get a grasp on how your chosen industry operates; you’ll be exposed to the day-to-day workings of employees in that industry, and get a glimpse into what your future in that sort of industry could look like.
8. Earn a salary
Not all internships are unpaid—many jobs offer a small salary or bonuses for completing certain work. In fact, many non-vocational placements are required to pay you for your work. Earning while you gain experience is a no-brainer, it helps you economically to meet your immediate needs while edging you closer to your end goal.
Score your dream internship today
While many TV shows portray interns as tasked only with fetching coffee, mail and sandwiches, in reality, internships involve a whole lot more. The knowledge you gain from the experience will be of tremendous value and set you on your way to your future career. You never know, that internship you land in first year could be the golden ticket that takes you up the glass elevator to your future career!
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to find out how we can help you get your super organised before you start an internship.