Article written by Ola Alice, Babcock University, Third year LLB.
Experience is the greatest teacher. There is no better way to determine one’s expertise in a particular area than to test his years, months, or dates of experience in that area. By so doing, you develop an insight into how much knowledge such person has in that area and how well he/she has put it to use. It is safe to conclude that the quickest way to determine a person’s passion, or the lack thereof, for a thing or an area as in this case, is to ask how much effort or time such person has put into turning such passion into reality.
An internship is one of the most sought-after pre-career experiences of students. It can be described as a chance for potential employees, known as interns, to work at a company for a set period of time. Interns are typically undergraduates, and internships typically last between one and three months. The interns have the opportunity to be mentored by companies and their employees. They spend time learning about how the company works and in total how the industry works too. They get practical experience and skills that are in furtherance of any knowledge they have gotten from college or any educational institution. This period is a defining moment for students who wish to be employed and retained by the company and students who are navigating their career choices. Although unpaid internships exist, it is mostly described as highly exploitative. As such, the trend of paid internships is increasing.
Some students may not easily see the benefits of undertaking an internship, but companies require more than a degree nowadays. They want your CV to speak to the skills or knowledge you claim to have. A CV is a testament to all the experiences you have acquired. It is a proof of knowledge. If there is no experience at all on your CV, you are most likely going to go unconsidered by the company you apply to. Therefore, everything boils down to experience.
One of the benefits of internships is the flexibility it gives. Students get to choose what companies they want to intern at. There is flexibility in the role they perform as well as different depths of industry.
As mentioned earlier, experience is crucial to companies and even when applying for internship positions. To gain experience beforehand, students can look into volunteering, research work, or part-time jobs to get experience before applying for internships.
Finally, it is important to keep in mind that securing the internship is not enough. Students must stay organised, be focused, set goals, be professional, manage their time wisely, and learn during this period.