What are Some Top Benefits of Taking An Internship? The Ultimate Guide

Internship nurtures budding business leaders, socially responsible change-makers, supports the local community development. These are the key benefits of internship to start with.  

Benefits of an Internship

This article is an attempt to understand internship benefits for interns, employers, society, business, special internships like social and abroad, etc.

 

An Internship is work experience for a defined period offered by an employer. Potential employees accepting internships are called interns. Internships are normally offered by universities and can take place during summer or the regular semesters.  

 

The internship provides an excellent opportunity to have a better perspective and understanding of the career. During the internship, interns get an on-the-job opportunity to work in their desired field and learn to apply their theoretical knowledge in a real-world scenario. 

 

Internship challenges theories and concepts studied in schools and colleges and provides an invaluable professional experience is one of the biggest internship benefits.

 

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Duration of the internship 

Duration of internship may vary across the industries like 3 months to 6 months etc. and can be full-time or part-time. In a full-time internship, interns work for the same time as other employees of the company and part-time they may work for a few hours every day or just a few days. 

 

Who are Interns and what they do

Interns are new graduates, students, and sometimes career changers (experienced ones) can also be an intern to gain experience in the new field. The daily work of the intern depends upon the type of company and the nature of the industry in which it operates. It may focus more on support tasks, administrative tasks, working on surveys, becoming part of an important team or project, collecting information, etc. The key duties of interns are administrative tasks like data entry, filing, sorting, documentation, scheduling meeting, and appointments, etc. 

 

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Paid vs. Unpaid Internships 

They are broadly two different types of internships one is paid and the other is unpaid. Unpaid is common and paid ones are competitive and pay minimum wage. Irrespective of whether paid or unpaid internships as it depends on a lot of factors, unpaid internships can be highly beneficial in terms of work experience, understanding of the industry, understanding work culture, networking which can help after graduation.

 

Internship benefits and importance for a future career

 When you graduate and start applying for jobs, employers start looking for work experience and candidates having internships on their resumes have an edge to get hired for the interview. There is a higher degree of competition in the job market.

 

Businesses are competing against each other and so are people for the competitive advantage in their own space. One good internship in the resume carries a major significance while trying to enter the job market. 

 

Key internship benefits along with a brief description for each is given below:

 Real-world experience and exposure 

An internship provides a great opportunity to gain exposure to the real world. Students can connect and apply the theoretical knowledge learned in college or university. It gives an experience of something new for the first time. 

 

Internships give a good learning curve at the onset of the career and glimpses of the professional world. It further develops workplace skills. 

 

Helps in selecting the desired career 

You have a better understanding of yourself, your career goal, and how to achieve them. Internships help immensely in selecting the desired career by exploring different roles and gaining good knowledge and skill set of the particular field or industry. It provides a unique opportunity of knowing strengths and weaknesses and what they are truly capable of doing. 

 

Developing Professional Network 

Provides an amazing opportunity to network with professionals that can surely help you in the future. Networking developed during internship establishes a deeper relationship compared to attending networking events.  

 

Understanding business or industry 

Interns get deep insights on working of businesses, challenges faced, expansion, and how to find a solution; bridges the gap between theory and practical by applying the academic concepts in the real work environment. 

 

Strengthens the resume 

Internships enhance your resumes and position a prospective candidate as hardworking and reliable. Internship experience positions candidates very well after graduation for further job opportunities. Further, it sets a good base and provides valuable insight in selecting a particular career. The internship experience is a testimonial of you being an asset.   

 

Job Outlook 

Sometimes interns get a job in the same company or even if they do not get the job internship improves the job outlook for the potential candidate. Internships create a path for a successful career as it provides an excellent opportunity to showcase your talent. 

 

Learn the professional conduct 

Employers want interns or employees to behave professionally in front of clients, vendors, investors, suppliers, etc. So during an internship, fresh students learn how to represent the company the dos and don’ts, what to wear for meetings and presentations.  

 

College Credit 

In some countries, internship programs offer college credit and that’s is another important reason for applying for internships. College credits are usually between 1 and 6 for completing an internship and can go up to 12 college credits.  Internship programs are vital for both students and companies both.  

 

Internship benefits – Soft Skills interns learn during the interning 

The experience gained during the internship is unique and plays a key role in the initial stage of my career. Interns get acquainted with key soft skills required for a prosperous career. 

 

Other internship benefits are learning a bundle of soft skills, a brief description of each is given below: 

Work Ethos 

It is difficult to learn the work ethos of an organization unless you work in an actual environment. While in college we can miss our classes, late submissions, etc. but in real-world scenarios these habits get re-moulded.

 

Team Work 

It is another great skill that will come along with internship benefits. While working on the project and being responsible for your piece of work needs commitment and patience. At times, there may be a scenario where you disagree with team members but you will develop the patience to deal with it. 

 

Communication Skills 

Having good communications skills especially soft skills can help you to get to the top and is one of the top listed skills of recruiters across industries. Learning to communicate well is one of the topmost skills that interns learn.

 

Time Management 

This is another key skill that interns learn. During the internship, you are committed to a project for a certain number of hours and cannot remain absent on regular basis. This further helps to strike a good balance between work and personal life. 

 

Responsibility 

Interns develop a sense of responsibility and ownership of the work they undertake. Internship experience makes you more accountable and responsible for the decisions that you take for the project assigned.  

 

Critical thinking and Problem – solving 

We cannot develop critical thinking and problem-solving skill unless we are in real-life situations. And this extraordinary skill is yet another great one that an internship teaches you at the onset of your career.  

 

Apart from the above-mentioned Internship benefits, it helps in a smooth transition from academic life to professional life and that’s what makes it an absolute must to undertake. 

 

Internship benefits – How do companies benefit from the Internship Program? 

 Internships create a larger pool of talent resources. With the growing need for hiring and a larger percentage of interns converting into full-time jobs. Companies benefit in multiple ways  

 

Increase Community Footprint 

When companies are hiring from local colleges and universities graduates get an opportunity to work there. Eventually, it is the business or company that makes difference in the lives of the local community. Besides, it helps to build a partnership with local universities and get access to the best local talent. 

 

Establishes brand identity 

When companies offer well-designed internship programs with good mentoring, real experience and training increases the brand visibility in the job seekers’ community. Also, enhances the college campus visibility. 

 

Cost-effective 

There are a lot of ongoing projects of different sizes and tenure. They can be long-term or short-term projects and companies may hire interns for some specific projects as they are always willing to work and often work at less pay. This helps the company in saving employee costs and provides a great opportunity for graduates to learn. Interns are the true asset because they are willing to work more either at a low cost or free of cost. 

 

Creating a Talent Pool for future employees 

recruiting ex-interns has its own merits as they are well versed with the work culture, job description, and the company. Besides, they need less training which saves two important resources like cost and time. Companies having well-structured internship programs have promising and quick access to future employees. 

 

Young interns infuse fresh ideas 

This may prove to be extremely helpful in bringing the much-needed change and can help the company get noted. Out-of-the-box ideas may help the organization to get more new customers while retaining the existing ones. Interns have a fresh perspective on problem-solving and are willing to work extra to deliver quality output. 

 

Supporting fresh graduates is itself a great way to give back to society. Well planned internship programs and creating the right opportunities helps youth to get a good start to their career. Our youth is the future of the country and we all grow together.   

 

Great resource pool for small scale business, small business has a limited supply of money and cannot spend huge amounts on manpower. Interns for such a company works wonderfully as they are easy to please, work hard and work can get done in minimum budget. Additionally, when searching for full-time roles everyone wants to work for big brands and established names but for internships, students look for opportunities in small businesses as well.  

 

Use of latest techniques and Technology College 

Going students are updated with the latest trends in the technology space and internship provides the platform to implement. So company and interns both benefit each other.  

 

They can further help you to establish and enhance your social media reach. If your company is not on social media interns can certainly make it happen as they are well updated with current trends and best social media practices. And if your company is already there on social media they can boost it up and move the business forward

 

Internship benefits also include improving the work culture of an organization. Employer steps into the role of leadership and mentoring interns. And intern brings their fresh perspective, motivation, and positive energy. A combination of both improves the culture and work ethics of the company.  

 

It’s a win-win situation for both employees and graduates. Formal internship programs allow developing a strong mentorship and getting the top resources. 

 

What skillset is required to get an internship?

The employer has a ready checklist for top traits and skills while considering applicants for the internship positions. Besides good grades, employers are looking for transferrable skills acquired during the academic courses. 

 

List of top skills every employer want in an intern:

Interpersonal Skills 

People skill is the ability to communicate well and effectively with others. During the internship, you may interact with managers, team members, clients, vendors, etc. Understanding and identifying the needs of others and working to fulfil them form the basis of interpersonal skills and employers seek the individual who is good at it. 

Research and Analysis 

It is one of the most important tasks given to newcomers especially in fields like investment banking, equity research, etc. Interns are given a lot of information to analyze, process, and complete the task assigned. Having a basic idea of doing empirical research helps in a big way when it comes to working on it. 

Technical Proficiency 

It is the sound knowledge of the skills set you to acquire. Employees don’t expect you to know everything but expect you to be well versed with the basic tools used for research and analysis etc. It would be always appreciated if you take an initiative and familiarize yourself with the skills needed to perform the task.  

Adaptability 

This is considered an asset. During the internship, it may happen that your core interest or skills don’t match with the skills required for the undertaken project. But the willingness to learn new skills and apply the same to projects commands good appreciation from managers. 

Communication Skill 

It is one of the most sought after skills. Having a good command of written and verbal communication is a valuable skill. Interns demonstrate their written skills in the form of resumes, cover letters, and verbal skills in the form of interviews or presentations. Better communication skills not only help in the internship period but also in professional jobs in the future. 

Internship benefits of student exchange programs

Student exchange programs are highly recommended as it allows them to explore a different world in terms of language, culture, food, the experience of local life. These programs may offer academic credit as well. 

 

Key advantages of exchange programs are:

  • Improves global awareness

Global awareness includes factors like environmental, social, political, educational, etc., and how they impact the world today. During abroad internship you will start understanding these factors more and develop a new perspective for your own country;

  • Language skills

Abroad internships provide an amazing platform to learn foreign languages; 

Other internship benefits include developing interpersonal skills, having international work experience, developing self-confidence, making international friends. 

 

How should I apply for an internship program?

Start the application process of internship at least six months prior because the competition is tough and you may have to apply to multiple places for getting your first internship. The recruitment drive for internships may be run by the company during a specified time throughout the year. One should be fully informed about the commencement of the recruitment drive.  

 

There is no fixed way of the recruitment process as it depends on the company. Some companies follow online applications while others follow offline mode. 

 

Besides, some companies follow strict norms for the internship process and while others recruit based on updated resumes. 

 

Start looking for internship opportunities 

Start with job portals because the same websites can be used for finding internship opportunities like rim jobs, Naukri, Monster, etc. If you want to be more specific try looking for websites dedicated to internship opportunities or entry-level jobs. 

Participate in Career fairs 

Participating in career fairs conducted by colleges can provide plenty of internship opportunities and is one of the best options for internships.  

Check with professors 

Professors or teachers often need help in their research projects and may be looking for an assistant. So you can always check with your subject professor for an assistantship opportunity.  

Applying for internships 

It may be possible that you don’t have work experience but while applying for internships you need a resume that validate your background and some relevant experience. So give it a thought and try to include the following in your resume:

  • Update resume for all the latest volunteer work and extracurricular activities you have participated in. You can include details of the courses, grades, specialization, etc. 
  •  Be concise if you do not have much to write on the resume and restrict it to two pages long-only and should be easy to read
  •  If possible get your resume checked with some professional
  • If you have some prior work experience make sure to describe work done previously. 

Keep references ready 

Your employer will always appreciate it if you have references to validate the information given in the resume. So get in touch with your references and inform them well in advance.  

Reference of sample work 

If you are looking for an internship in fields like research, writing, art, dancing, programming, acting, design, blogger, etc. keep a sample reference of your work ready. 

Well written cover letters 

Try and write a unique cover letter that has your background, interest, experience, etc. 

Practice your interview 

While going for an interview make sure you dress well. If possible try and find out the appearance of the exiting employees and try to match it. It also depends some companies may want you to be in formals while for others casual dressing may be just fine.  

Confidence is one of the skills that employers are looking for during the interview. To maintain good body language, sit straight, good eye contact, and speak confidently

You may also consider practising generic questions likely to be asked in an interview like:

  • Why did you select us for the internship or what do you know about us; 
  • Describe an incidence where you lead the team or worked with the team or solved client problem;
  • What are your weakness and strength 

 

It’s always good to prepare the answers to some of the generic questions asked during the interview. This further boosts your confidence if you are appearing for the interview for the first time. 

 

Towards the end of the interview ask your questions, even if you don’t have any questions in particular. Try to frame questions on company inception or day-to-day like etc. Never forget to send a follow-up message to thank the employer for the time spend and experience interview.  

 

Internship benefits of Social internship – a very special type 

Social internships are different and a very special type of internships where students get connected to the grassroots level social problems existing in the society. 

 

These internships make students socially conscious of the resources available and the inequalities less privileged people face with basic needs. Learnings of these internships are different from the formal ones. Students develop empathy, the attitude of giving, and respect for weaker sections of society and can create a big difference going forward.  

 

Young and fresh minds have a great potential to bring in change for the betterment of the overall society from the grassroots level. So getting them in touch with such internships at the onset of their higher education will not only create socially responsible leaders but also change-makers.  

 

There are different types of internship programs and each type has a long list of Internship benefits associated with it. We can keep on writing and writing and the list of internship benefits keeps on growing. Internships provide unique and enriching opportunities for talented students to jumpstart their careers. Right guidance at the initial stage of a career goes in a big way to create future leaders that take our country ahead. 

Author:
Anita J Bhat, AFM is currently a stay-at-home mom and pursuing 3 months internship with IIM Skills. My work experience spans more than 8 years in investment banking and equity research fields of finance. I was responsible for making pitch books, creating and analyzing financial models, participating in investor and client meetings. Recently, I have cleared AFM, a respected financial modeling certificate in the industry, and planning for CFM (Chartered Financial Modeler) in April 2021. I love to spend time with my family and my 7-year-old son. I have a passion for reading and learning new things.

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