Internships are the building blocks for your career. They give good exposure to what working in a particular field might look like and help you enhance your skills in a professional setting. But that’s not all! From gaining credibility to qualify for future job roles, to broadening your perspective, internships have a lot to offer.
Are you a recent graduate looking for an internship? Or maybe you’re a college student trying to understand the industry? Whichever it may be, companies nowadays require applicants to have at least one internship as a testament to their knowledge and skills. However, not just any internship works. You must do your research to find which one is a good fit for you. Here are 7 things you should keep in mind before applying for an internship (and a bonus pro tip with each point!):
Learning: Organizations usually provide a lot of opportunities for their team members to learn. This also extends to their interns as well. Take advantage of trainings and certifications to expand your knowledge and apply it in real-time to projects in the workplace. Because while you may be great in academics, learning only takes place when you bridge the gap between theoretical learning and hands-on experience.
Pro Tip: Ask recruiters what sort of learning comes with the position and if any training is included.
Skills: What sort of technical and soft skills do you hope to gain from this internship? This is important since you need to make sure that the skillset that you gain is relevant to your goals.
Pro Tip: Make a list of skills you would like to learn and check the job description of the role you’re applying to, to see if you get to work on any of them.
Work Culture: Do your research about the people who work in the company you are applying to and what kind of culture they are building. Work environments play an important role in how productive and engaged you will be. This is why it’s crucial to understand this aspect of the internship. Here are some questions to think about:
- Is this a big company or small company? How many people would you be working with?
- What are the reviews like?
- What are the values of this company?
- What are the benefits of this program besides pay?
- Will this internship help me achieve my goal(s)?
Pro Tip: Check out the company’s social media channels to understand what working there might look like.
Professional Guidance: This is possibly one of the most important things to keep in mind. As an intern, you are expected to fulfill your roles and responsibilities with the help of experienced team members. Their years of expertise can prove invaluable in professional as well as personal growth.
Pro Tip: Ask your mentor as many questions as you can. This can get you a lot of insight into things you might have never known about otherwise.
Networking: While having the right knowledge and skills is important, it is equally crucial to connect with the right industry professionals. Networking has boundless benefits and it’s a skill everyone must develop in their professional life. Not only can you open more doors with networking but it also helps build meaningful relationships with people. You instantly become more credible and trustworthy in the workplace.
Pro Tip: Expand your network on LinkedIn by connecting with like-minded professionals. You can join groups or events to see which people share your interests if you’re not sure who to connect with.
Stipend: Was your first internship paid or unpaid? Most applicants consider internships that don’t provide compensation worthless and a waste of time. Instead of focusing on earning, think of it as a learning stage, see what you’re getting in terms of knowledge and experience because this is what will ultimately help your resume stand out.
Pro Tip: You can find an internship according to your preferences on most job portals. Apply with a small personal note and build job-specific resumes to stand out.
Pre-placement offer: If getting employed is your end-goal, consider applying to companies that offer jobs with their internships. During your interning period, you can assess whether the role and company is something you’d like to continue working at in the future.
Pro Tip: The perks in the job description usually mention a job offer on completion of internship.
Internships may be short-term but the knowledge and skills you get always prove valuable in the long term. Shape your dream career by becoming industry ready. Bridge the gaps left by academia and the education system with real world knowledge. Make your mark on the professional realm! A world of possibilities opens when you have prior work experience.
If you are looking for an internship with all the above points in mind, you’re in luck because IAMOPS is hiring! Check out our current openings and apply for the role that fits you!