At one point in our lives we’ve all had dreams of having an office where we can proudly see our engraved names on a gold plaque hanging from the door and sitting behind a desk overlooking a picturesque view. However, the reality is that there is a lot of groundwork to be done before that executive role and its perks are yours.
Graduates have the idea that possessing an under or postgraduate qualification exempts you from starting at the bottom. As the old saying goes; “The only job where you can start at the top is digging a hole.”
Some graduates may ask: “How can I study for several years only to become a paper-pusher?”, but internships - paid or unpaid - have a lot of value. Here are some benefits that interning offers:
Gaining work experience – You cannot become a manager moments after taking your graduation gown off. Internships help in gaining skills to help build up one’s resume. This can also catapult you from a mere intern to being a permanent employee because you have a chance to showcase your capabilities.
First-hand experiences of prospective career paths – Internships give you a full view of what to expect once you are part of the workforce. As an intern you have an opportunity to move across and within departments which expose you to the path you would like to follow.
The opportunity to learn new skills and refine those you currently have – A CV is built-up of soft and hard skills, some of these are things you may have not been taught in the classroom. An internship has a great deal of emphasis on on-the-job training.
Build a network – Internships are a great way to make contacts. Although you may not want to continue working in the company you intern at, you can use the opportunity to forge relationships with people that may be of help in the future.
Change “theoretical knowledge” into practical knowledge – Real life experiences look good on paper more than textbook knowledge. A potential employer will not only be impressed by your theoretical knowledge but your delivery of practical examples too, and these could be skills you learned on the job as an intern.