Considering an internship whilst studying at university? You’re not alone, and in fact, there is an increasing trend for students to do more than just study – start-ups are formed, part-time workers abound, and there are numerous freelancing opportunities online and offline.
Let’s take a look at some of the best reasons to get yourself set up with an internship during your time at university.
1. Get hands-on experience in your subject
Don’t just settle for being a bookworm and living in the library all of your uni years. An internship will get you involved with your local community and businesses, getting practical experience in your subject. It’s true you may start out with some tedious job to help the organization, but just by being there you are getting a feel for what it’s like to work in that industry.
You will be able to ask questions to people in a career that you will eventually have yourself after you complete your studies, something which is an indispensable asset to your university studies.
2. Secure yourself a placement after you finish studying
If you’ve been working as an intern for a few weeks, months or years whilst studying, and got to know the people around you in that business, who do you think they’re going to hire when you’ve graduated and they have an opening? You, who knows the ins and outs of the business and have demonstrated your abilities numerous times, or someone else who looks good on paper but has no real-world experience? You guessed it!
Whether you just do a summer internship, one across the course of a semester each year, or even a quarterly one, you’re immediately gaining a solid employer reference wherever you end up.
3. Build your CV
Many employers these days aren’t content with a good degree, although that certainly does show an ability and aptitude to learn the material related to your discipline accurately. By taking on an internship, or multiple internships to give you the breadth, you will also demonstrate a willingness to work and a passion for your subject – not to mention your resourcefulness in acquiring new skills.
During an internship, you’ll also gain valuable transferable skills, whether that’s public speaking or simple office management.
4. Network building
As an intern, you will be coming into contact with a wide range of people, not just the people who are working in your desired career after you graduate, but also the people that they are offering their services to.
You’ll find after a few weeks that you have a number of people you can reliably connect with on LinkedIn, or even make personal connections and develop friendships with. This is great news when it comes time to graduate, you can simply send a message to all of the people in the industry you wish to be a part of and instantly be pointed in the right direction. It is a case of what you know, but it’s also who you know too.
Taking the initiative will show keenness to your course leaders and future employers, plus you’ll love being immersed in your subject area and get a feel for what it’s really like to work in a certain industry.
Those are just some of the great reasons to intern alongside your studies, but how do you go about finding an internship? During your open day, you can ask your future lecturers if they know of anywhere in the local area that would be suitable, or if they don’t they will surely be able to sit down and help you find something appropriate once you’ve enrolled on the course. You can hand out CVs in local establishments, or send emails out if your course is something a little bit different and there’s nothing that really suits what you’re looking for in your immediate area.
Keep an eye on our blog here where you’ll find more information on how to live and study successfully as a student or better still quickly head over to Why You Should Join Social Clubs, Groups and Societies at University.