When you’re studying at university, you can quickly find all your time taken up with not just attending classes and completing assignments but also with extracurricular activities such as socializing and being a part of clubs and associations.
However, if you want to get your career going sooner rather than later, it makes a difference if you complete one, two or more internships during your time at university. By doing this before you apply for your first full-time job you’ll give yourself a better chance of success. Here are some key reasons why you need to line up an internship for yourself today.
Obtain Helpful Referrals and Testimonials
One of the key benefits of completing internships is that doing so enables you to get helpful referrals and testimonials from the people you work with during your program. Provided you are professional and effective in your role, and therefore impress those you interact with, you’re sure to receive a wonderful testimonial that you can put on your resume and on social media sites like LinkedIn.
If you particularly wow business owners and/or managers during your internship, you might even get referred by them to top stakeholders at other companies or even recruiters. If this is the case, you could end up with a permanent job sooner rather than later, without having to compete against lots of other candidates. Since so many positions are filled before roles are even advertised, this can help you get a foot in the door and move your career forward.
Get Some Clarity on Your Career Direction
If you’re getting close to completing your degree and are starting to stress about which field to enter or job to pursue, an internship can be beneficial. By earning this kind of work experience, you’ll get to see, first-hand, what the role is really like. You’ll see not only what it entails but also how it works from the inside and what’s required to be successful at it. In turn, you should be able to find some clarity when it comes to your career direction.
Many workers who are new to a field think they know what a job will be like, but the reality ends up being quite different. However, if you set up some internships for yourself, you’ll try out a few of your top choices and see whether they’re for you or not. You may be surprised at which role you actually prefer.
Develop Some Practical New Skills
Another reason to line up an internship is that doing so will enable you to develop practical new skills. During your work experience, you might have to do a lot of basic jobs, but even these will act as good teaching grounds for you. Plus, when you do get pushed out of your comfort zone doing more detailed or higher-level work, you’ll quickly extend your abilities.
During an internship, you should be able to pick up a variety of skills which will help you in future roles and even in your university studies. For example, you’ll hone your communication abilities, and you’ll get practice at dealing with customers or other stakeholders, completing research, using databases and other computer programs, writing reports, managing time effectively and being organized.
Apply Your Learning in Real Life
Similarly, internships can be helpful because they allow you to apply what you’re learning during your studies to real-life situations. You’ll be able to test out your knowledge whether you’re currently studying an online master’s degree in educational administration, an on-campus MBA degree, a course in marketing, an engineering degree or something else.
Seeing how information is practically used in the workplace can be invaluable. After all, there’s a real difference between learning about things on paper and applying them in the workplace. By completing an internship, you’ll reinforce everything you’ve already learned and find it easier to complete your studies.
Stand Out From the Competition During the Job Hunt
Whether you’re already applying for jobs in your field or are gearing up to do so once you’ve graduated, it’s always important to look for ways to stand out. When you’re job hunting, you’ll typically be up against a lot of competition, so anything you can do to make yourself get attention is vital. Once you’ve completed one or more internships, you should naturally move to the top because not everyone applying for roles will have done the same kind of proactive work experience as you.