Internships are excellent programs students can utilize as they transition from college to the marketplace. You can decide to go for paid or free internships as you flex your muscles for your future career. But what are their advantages and shortcomings in the lives of those who go for them? In this discussion, our career experts tackle some of the leading benefits and weaknesses of paid and free internships. Therefore, remain with this post to discover what internships can and can’t offer you.
Internships have many advantages students can benefit from as they race towards their dream careers. This section discusses just a few of the leading ones you can expect as you take on one.
Practical Work Experience
First, all internships are designed to prepare students for their careers. Therefore, practical work experience becomes the primary advantage of this arrangement. The reason is that most modern employers are more focused on applicants with some practical experience in their prospective jobs, like, for instance, online writers. Work is the end of all your academic engagements and papers, so you require a foretaste before plunging deep into your career.
When you take on an internship effectively, you see all the things you learned in class from a practical perspective. Moreover, you get practical insights and learning you couldn’t have scooped from a textbook. Therefore, it’s the best basis for employers to test the validity and authenticity of your papers.
Build a Strong Contact “Bank”
Additionally, internships assist you in knowing the most critical objects on earth—people. Yes, people are more important than anything else you can or should know. Everything else you know comes from and through people. Don’t forget, the people you knew taught you in college and paid your school fees. Therefore, internship lets you know and connect with valuable people you need in your future life and profession. Don’t forget that getting an apprenticeship is just the start of a long life-long career journey. Therefore, you get an opportunity to enrich and credit your contact “bank” with meaningful connections.
If you take your internship seriously, you could get absorbed in the same place. Alternatively, your temporal “semi-employer” could refer you to their connections. So, never underestimate the power of human connections because they bridge you to your next employment opportunity. Remember, you will also need the same people you are working for as an intern to recommend and reference you.
Gaining Industry-related Knowledge
Working as an intern also exposes you to technical knowledge relevant to your career line. This exposure ensures that you learn the practical dimensions of your profession. It lets you learn about the practical challenges and opportunities that face your sector. You also learn how to navigate your way in your given industry’s jungle. For example, if you are a nurse, it lets you distinguish the details of the trade from the theoretical assumptions you had about it in class. This knowledge helps you to transition gradually from a learner to a professional.
Sharpen Your Skills
Skills are critical to every industry you are studying to work in because you will need them to succeed in your career. Therefore, being an apprentice lets you sharpen them well to give you a competitive edge and competence in the marketplace. For example, if you are a nursing student, your apprenticeship will sharpen all your soft and technical skills. It will allow you to empathize with suffering people. It will also assist you in developing your communication skills in formal and informal settings.
Fortify Your Resume
Lastly, your entire period as an intern can boost your resume significantly. To exemplify, it embellishes and enriches it with practical experience you wouldn’t have gotten any other way. Therefore, if you value a magnetic and irresistible resume, then you should value your apprenticeship. What your bosses say about you during this season is the only proof that you either followed or didn’t follow what your lecturers taught you in school.
Despite their many indisputable pros, internships have their shortcomings. Below are some of them.
Some Pay Nothing
Apprenticeships come in paid and unpaid forms. If you elect for a voluntary one, then you will have to bear with this con. You will need to foot all your bills and all the other living expenses. This way, it can be challenging, especially if a student is taking the internship away from home. You should only take this offer if you can afford to pay for your expenses, or it’s the only available option.
No Job Assurance
Although many graduates usually expect their internships to guarantee them jobs, most of them don’t. Therefore, be diligent to learn carefully to please and win your temporary hirer’s approval. Otherwise, if they are not pleased with your performance, your experience could dent your CV.
Although this con is not widespread, it does occur to some students. Some hospitals with toxic work environments and cultures don’t treat their interns well. For example, they look down on them as outsiders or make them feel they don’t belong there. Most of such hospitals take their interns as voluntary nurses doing all the dirty menial jobs. Consequently, interns often feel out of place and demoralized.
Conflicts can arise along the way. For example, some chief medical officers require a student to travel far away from their home to a different location, while others forbid interns from applying for jobs in a related sector for a couple of next years (as per the non-compete clause), even if they are qualified. The United Nations is one such body with stringent bans on its interns, so be ready for all these challenges or at least check those issues in the hospitals before applying for an internship to it.