Finding a full-time job after university isn’t always easy. Heavy competition for graduate roles and a lack of on-the-job experience are common issues for young adults transitioning into the workforce. So, how do you get experience without first having experience? An internship could be the answer. Internships give university graduates an opportunity to test the water in their chosen profession and start making valuable connections in their industry. Whether it’s paid or unpaid, an internship is a solid investment in your future. Here are seven reasons why.
1 Gain professional experience
Completing an internship is an excellent way to show potential employers that you’re able to work hands-on in a professional environment. You’ll also learn a lot of soft skills that you wouldn’t in a classroom, like how to communicate effectively with clients and colleagues to get the best results.
2 Try before you buy
We spend a large portion of our lives at work, so it’s important to know that you’re happy working in the industry you’ve been studying. Completing an internship is like looking through a window to see what your future career will look like. If you love it, then you can confidently increase your commitment. If you don’t, then there’s still time to switch your focus or explore other avenues.
3 Make important industry contacts
An internship will introduce you to a range of professional contacts working in your industry. If you make a good impression, you’ll finish your internship with several new connections and potential referees. This will prove to be a valuable resource when you start applying for full-time positions and need a mentor or references to impress potential employers.
4 Find valuable career mentors
As well as broadening your list of connections, the relationships you make during an internship can often lead to mentorships that will serve you throughout your career. Don’t be afraid to ask your senior colleagues for advice and support, and make sure you stay in touch with them on LinkedIn after you move on.
5 Develop talking points for job interviews
To ace a job interview, you’ll need to be able to answer questions with real-world examples that demonstrate your experience and expertise. An internship will give you a wealth of talking points to show your potential employer that you can walk your talk.
6 Build your confidence
Working on real projects for a real organisation will give you a newfound confidence in your abilities – not to mention teach you how to stay cool, calm, and collected in a professional setting. This self-assurance will help you when you interview for and land your first full-time job.
7 Improve your resume
To get a job, you first need to do well in an interview. To get an interview, your resume needs to stand out from the competition. When a prospective employer sees that you’ve completed an internship, it will go a long way to helping you get on the shortlist for an interview. Make sure you include details about your role as an intern, including your responsibilities and any specific projects you were involved in.
An internship is an excellent way to transition from university into full-time work. It will give you an opportunity to develop your professional skills, build a network, become a more attractive job candidate, and may even lead to a full-time position.