Internships are a great way to gain some real-world exposure before one graduates, and may even allow one to have a transition into a paid or a full-time job. Your institute's career department can help you find an internship. There are various other sites too to help you find an amazing internship like Internshala, letsintern, LinkedIn, and various others. But even with these variety of options, how will you know if an internship is right for you? Here are six things one should look for in an internship:
Is it worth your time? : It is quite possible that a legit internship may not provide you with as much relevant experience towards your ambitions. Don’t look for an internship just to fill the space “internship” on your resume. Internships should be a great way to explore various career options. Seek out instead a positive and a career-oriented experience that may or may not be in the form of an internship.
Education, not exploitation: Unfortunately, some employers exploit interns for their own use. Unpaid internships favour vocational education and that the work of unpaid interns cannot be a substitute for regular employees. Before accepting an internship, ask for a clearly stated list of your roles and responsibilities. Consider a project-oriented internship with an agreed tenure, it leaves fewer chances for you to get exploited by the organisation. Many employers provide sales and marketing internships which only benefit the organisation by having increased sales.
A mentor: Mentoring may be less common in today’s business world than it was years ago, but many organisations still include mentoring in their internship programs. Mentorship not only helps you during the internship tenure but also once your internship is concluded, a mentor can be a great connection as you look for a full-time job in that organisation. If there is no proper mentor as part of your internship, consider asking the internship coordinator if you could reach out to schedule a time to meet and discuss how that person got to that position. You may have to be the one to initiate the mentoring.
Relevant to your degree: Ideally, an internship should relate to one's degree program, allowing one to exercise the skills and concepts studying theoretically. On the other hand, an internship may provide a whole other unrelated set of skills and experiences that you might not be able to access any other way. Resumes that boast a broad range of skills and work experiences are not uncommon these days, but some connection, maybe small, between the course of study you are in and the internship you are considering will be to your benefit for the career perspective.
Variety of experiences: An internship that exposes you to a variety of different departments at a company can prove crucial. The more you are ready to see and acknowledge, the more answers you will need to question regarding where you would like to work, who you would want to work with, and what exactly you want to do. With that in mind, you may plan to do two, three, or more internships over the course of your college career. You may even continue internships after you’ve graduated.
Opportunities for full-time employment: Do internships really get down to full-time jobs? Statistically speaking, yes, your full-time job offer may come from the company for whom you interned. In the current job market scenario, employers are likely to favour resumes that show some real-world experience in addition to a relevant education. Even if your internship doesn’t allow you to transition into a full-time position, it may be an important key for getting a job somewhere in the future.
If you're going to place in sometime at an internship, you could possibly also get the most out of it. Focus on these key factors, and your internship will set the stage for your successful career once you graduate and enter the working world.