Internships During College Life: Pros and Cons
As students, we often have people suggesting doing internships as much as we can, some even suggest that it is essential to do internships in the final year of graduation in order to have a successful career ahead. Are these sayings true? Do internships benefit? What are its pros and cons? Let’s discuss all this.
But firstly, what is an internship? An internship is a period of work experience offered by an organization for a limited period of time. An internship is used practice for a wide range of placements in businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.
Pros of doing an internship
Practical application of what we learn in class – Doing an internship helps us practically apply things that we learn in class. It gives us an opportunity to put things that we have learned into action. It also helps in getting a taste of our chosen field.
Get an idea of working in that particular industry - Through internships, we develop a better understanding of the working environment of a company or an organization and a better understanding of all the process that goes into working for an organization.
Builds up our confidence and enhances our motivation – Internship definitely enhances the confidence of interns. Interns get a clear idea of their strengths and weaknesses, get a lot of exposure, and eventually become confident after gaining some experience in the field of their choice. Also, we get an idea of working in the particular industry that we want to work in after completing our graduation. It motivates us to work harder towards achieving our career goals.
Establish networks – Internship helps in building a network. Connections and networking are very important for our growth career-wise. During the internship, we get to meet and know new people who can make recommendations for us or mentor us.
Boost your CV - Internships help in building and improving our CV. While hiring companies mostly look for candidates who have experience in the internship because they want candidates who have an idea of working in that particular industry. For instance, an individual who has done an internship in a newspaper firm will have an idea of how a newsroom operates and what he/she is expected to do. On the other hand, an individual with no internship experience will be clueless about the things mentioned before and the company will have to put extra effort to train him/her.
Getting direct job offers - If our internship manager or supervisor is impressed by our skills and abilities, he/she can offer us a job at the company. The acceptance rate for interns is quite good but it is not guaranteed. Overall, internships do give an edge during recruitment in that organization.
Sense of Financial independence- Paid Internships do give a sense of financial independence. The stipend may not be very high but still, we get to practice financial freedom and get ready for the future.
Cons of Internships
Competition in internships can be stressful - Because of the huge competition, Internships are not very easy to crack. It requires top-notch preparation like in-depth knowledge of the respective field, good communication skills, and many more. All of this can be stressful and can lead to a nervous breakdown or even depression in case of rejection.
Some unpaid internships can be exploitative - Paid internships are few in number and are hard to crack at first instance, so we are forced to do unpaid internships. Some organizations take advantage of this and exploit interns by burdening them with extra work and making them work for extra hours without pay. Eventually, interns also lose interest because they don’t have any incentive to work.
Interns are sometimes given menial work - Interns are sometimes not given the kind of work they had expected. Supervisors may view interns as unskilled or temporary help and give them menial tasks which do not require or build any skill. Companies fail to offer what they had promised.
Doing internships from substandard organizations- Doing internships from substandard organizations can be of no use. Many students panic and just for the sake of doing internships, do internships from irrelevant or substandard organizations. This is a huge mistake that we should not commit to because only internships from credible organizations are considered while recruitment. Also, substandard organizations may fail to equip you with the kind of skills that credible and big organizations can.
How to find good internships?
To avert these cons, you need to find good internships. But how to find one?
There are a lot of avenues today to find good internships like The Internshala, a platform where you can find all sorts of internships. The process is very easy too, just create a profile on their site and upload your CV, and after selecting the area where you want to intern you get all types of internships where you can apply. Similarly, LinkedIn is the best place to stay active professionally and get a glimpse of corporate life. Along with providing jobs and internships in every field it also gives all the industry-related knowledge. Some other good platforms are- Glassdoor, Unstop, letsIntern, and many more.
Saksham also provides great internship and placement opportunities. We organize a Placement & Internship fare during our annual fest - Orion. Also, we regularly organize career-related events like the recently organized UPSC conclave.
Knowing all the pros and cons of internships we can conclude that internships are very important, and nobody can deny that. But while going for internships we should keep in mind all the cons stated above, so that we know what we are getting into, and take decisions wisely.