Internships are a great way to familiarize yourself with a target industry. Most jobs these days require some form of experience relevant to their sector. Internships are an effective way to get this experience and hone industry-related skills. But should you jump into any internships? Or should you carefully choose based on your interest? Should it be paid or unpaid? We will answer these all in this article.
Why should you choose an internship?
Let's understand why you need an internship in the first place. The current global job market is booming with eligible candidates. There are often hundreds or more applicants for a single job. The situation is even more critical for the freshers.
While many people think that good grades are the only deciding factor in landing a prestigious job, the reality is often far from it. Employers look for skilled employees. And that’s exactly what an internship is designed to be, to train you with the necessary skills.
An internship basically gives you a competitive advantage and sets you apart from the rest. But people often make the mistake of jumping into any internship they get. If you are majoring in data science and plan to stick to your major as a career, there is no point in pursuing an internship in HR. This might look good on your CV but won't add any value whatsoever as it's not related to your sector.
What to consider while taking an Internship?
Now let's look at some of the other factors you should consider before choosing an internship.
Understanding your responsibilities
There are multiple job roles within the same sector. Just because you are doing an internship in line with your major doesn’t mean it will add value. Carefully read the job description before applying for an internship. In your CV, you can mention the responsibilities you carried out during the internship. So, the responsibilities need to reflect and align with your future career choices.
Paid vs Non paid
Many employers think of an internship as a training phase and often don’t include any remuneration scheme. However, you are still adding value to your employer with your regard, even if it comes in the form of training. We personally suggest you choose paid internships over non-paid ones. Because at the end of the day, you are still an employee even as an intern.
Usually, most companies pay significantly less than the industry standard owning to internship and contractual employment. However, it's still better than working without payment. check for clear outlines regarding payment or you can politely ask about it at the end of your internship interview.
The location also plays an important factor when it comes to choosing internships. If the company is located in a new city or country, both the scopes and challenges can be immense. There aren’t many foreign internships available in Bangladesh. However, some internships might require you to travel to remote places as part of the job responsibilities.
As a result, you should carefully consider whether the location and time spent on commuting are worth the compensation, be it monetary or experience. Due to Covid-19, many sectors are offering virtual internships. This can be a great opportunity to gain some experience from the comfort of your home.
Internships aren’t full-time jobs. They are more like an insight on how full-time jobs are and what is expected from you in your industry. Internships are a great opportunity to network with your potential employer as well. You will also get to interact with other interns who are in the relevant field as you.
Having good networking will help you advance in your professional career as well. So, it's important to check what kind of networking opportunities will you be getting from your internships. You can read more about professional networking in our comprehensive blog here.
Internships are all about learning new skills. However, there are internships out there that will only pile you up with paperwork with no real skill development opportunities. You should stay clear from such internships.
Internships are meant for learning new skills relevant to your sector. As a result, you should look for internships that will give you hands-on experience and opportunities to learn beyond paperwork.
Testing out your skills
Internships aren’t about learning new skills alone. They should also provide you with an opportunity to put your learning and existing skills into effect. You should be able to test out your skills and reflect on your performance. A cohesive work environment can be a great addition in this regard.
Your supervisor should be willing to let you work on your elements and oversee the performance for meaningful feedback. You should think of this as a test drive of your potential career choice. It's more like a trial-and-error run to check whether your preferred career choice is suitable for you in the long run or not.
Work on projects that matter
Even though it's an internship and your employment is for a short time, you should aim for internships that let you have a meaningful impact. There are instances where interns are subjected to the paperwork of the company. But that doesn’t add any real value to your resume and skills.
However, if you can work on definitive projects, it will not only help you hone your skills but also give you the opportunity to gather new experiences. Thus, an internship can be beneficial to your career course.
Internships can be effective ways to grab employment opportunities in the fast-tracked corporate world. Many companies don’t have the adequate means to train fresh graduates. As a result, it becomes easier for them if they hire candidates with internship experience. It also gives the candidate clear ideas about real-life work experience. However, there are a lot of aspects to consider before taking up an internship. We hope this article will help you in that regard.