W ith the ‘A’ Level exams out of the way, some students may choose to take up part-time jobs at coffeehouses, ice cream parlours or retail stores while they await their results. This certainly beats staying at home nestled into your couch day in and day out, indulging in tasteless TV programmes and meaningless computer games.
But instead of taking up a student job, why not consider going for an internship? Common concerns such as inflexible hours and low pay should not stop you in your tracks. The benefits of an internship far outweigh its limitations, some of which we will put forth here.
GAIN A GOOD UNDERSTANDING OF JOB/INDUSTRY
An internship is the best way to gauge the functions of a job and gain a preview of the industry. It thus helps to affirm your career choice or, on the other hand, give you an indication that perhaps the career is not for you. Job and industry knowledge aside, an internship will also enable you to familiarise yourself with office activity. You’d find yourself better able to manage essential tools such as Microsoft Excel as well as the trusty office printer.
LOOKS GOOD ON YOUR RESUME
An internship looks more impressive on your resume than a student job at a coffeehouse of sorts. The decision to take up an internship in the working world will mark you as someone who is serious about progression. In your resume, you may highlight the projects you have helped to effectuate and the skills you have gained in the process.
MAKE PROFESSIONAL CONTACTS
The people you meet during your internship can turn out to be useful contacts in your future career. Apart from your colleagues and supervisors, useful contacts include vendors who will be able to render services you might seek for in future. You never know – the contact of a food catering company you need today for a small-scale company-wide event might come in handy when handling larger-scale projects in your professional role.
BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE
Having had “work experience” as an intern, you will be more confident of yourself in the workplace. People with confidence and a positive work attitude will be trusted to take on greater and possibly more rewarding tasks. You will also be able to pick up the telephone or work the office printer in your future first job with greater confidence!
The benefits of an internship extend beyond this list. Internships certainly help to facilitate your personal and professional development and expose you to various job functions and the working world. We understand that it can be difficult to secure an internship before you start university – if you are unable to, have an idea of which organisation you wish to serve and work towards a securing an internship there in your second or third year. Who knows, the organisation may decide to offer you a mid-term scholarship or contact you for a job there after you graduate!