If you’re unsure exactly what path you want your career to take, don’t panic! An internship is a great opportunity to get some real workplace experience and some insight into the world of work in your chosen industry. As a university student you are equipped with the skills and willingness to learn that employers yearn for in interns. Hopefully you will be in demand by employers but it’s still important that you consider the type of internship you’d be happy in. Set yourself realistic expectations; think about the industries or types of roles that best match your skills, personality and values.
Here are some key considerations to make before embarking upon an internship:
1. Your skills
Aside from the fact you probably won’t get offered an internship that requires skills you don’t possess, you’ll probably be frustrated working somewhere that isn’t utilising the ones you do have. Don’t worry if you feel your business acumen isn’t up to scratch, when you start as an intern, part of your employer’s responsibility is to teach you new skills and encourage your learning.
If you’re studying for, or have completed a degree then you’ll know what really motivates you and what pushes you too far. It’s important to be challenged at work to maintain stimulation and productivity levels. Being programmed to do the same thing day-in, day-out will become monotonous and result in a lack of enjoyment. When searching for an internship consider, is it likely the role will be challenging enough while making use of your skills and knowledge?
3. Opportunity to learn
One of the mains reasons for undertaking an internship is to learn about the world of work. It is absolutely essential that you choose an internship that will afford you lots of opportunity to learn. Don’t select one where you will be working alone or on basic tasks. Choose one where you can shadow experts in different roles and learn as much as possible during your time there.
4. Company culture
Enjoying your place of work is just as important as the work itself. Find out what you can about the company’s values to make sure they align with your own. A little bit of research can go a long way in helping you find a suitable internship.