In a nutshell, internships are an opportunity to kick-start your career even before you've finished your tertiary (or equivalent) education. Internships are basically the bridge between studying and your future career, making the transition into the real world a lot more appealing.
Practise Makes Perfect
Internships give you the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge you've learned during your studies to the day-to-day functions of a professional job. Not only that, it's an opportunity to develop your skills, with each of your daily tasks contributing to the greater good of the business you are working for. Learn and understand more about local businesses and how they operate / what an employer's expectations are and how you can make the most out of being their employee.
Applying the skills that you've learnt during your education can be tricky, tasks that are absorbable in a classroom setting aren't always the easiest when it comes to the actual "doing", especially in a professional team environment. But an internship is a great way to be able to ask questions, apply your logic, and creativity, to build key problem-solving skills that are imperative in teamwork environments.
It is also a safe environment for learning how to make mistakes and pick yourself up and carry on - a.k.a resilience!
Understand Where You Are Going
Having your mindset on a career is the first step, but it's understanding the path that that career could potentially take you on that's the exciting part.
Being exposed to the inner workings of a business and seeing first-hand where your career could take you holds massive value to your future decision making. Believe it or not, managers and directors didn't walk straight into their roles!
Understanding the progressive steps that you can take to build your career and get to where you are wanting to go is something that takes time, but pays off dividends in the long run - your future self will thank you!
Get To Know How Teams Work & Connect With People
What’s the best outcome of an internship? If you said a job offer, you’re right. Well, partially.
While you may not be able to turn every internship into a full-time role, each experience will give you something much more valuable and long-lasting: relationships with the people you met and worked with.
The connections you make during your time at an organisation can be stepping-stones to your next opportunity.
So, how can you become a great team member?
- Keeping your lines of communication open
- Productive use of time
- Asking questions
- Being flexible
- Mutual respect
There will be a lot of new information given to you during your internship... But that's okay, there are so many people who are willing to help you out and get you the training you need to be successful.
And most importantly... have fun!
Teamwork might make the dream work, but at the end of the day, it's so important for you to enjoy yourself! Lean into the unknown and the uncomfortable, and make the most of your time as an intern - you never know where it might take you and what doors it might open for you!