?Either as a young student entering the job market or an experienced professional restarting or changing their career path, internships offer you an opportunity to evaluate the job profile and gain valuable experience in a short time. As an intern you not only get to experience the workspace but also get to do various types of work. Most importantly you get to build your CV and prove to your future employees you have first hand practical experience.
There are times when it would be wiser to ditch that fat paycheck and use the opportunity as a rung in the ladder. Simply put, whether paid or unpaid, an internship holds a lot of value.
1) Real work experience:
As important as education is, one of its main shortcoming is that it does not amount to real life experience. It is only when you step into an office and work with people do you realize what a job requires and what kind of skills you need. Hence internships not only make you experience these things, they also give you an opportunity to understand what kind of work you are good at or would like and what kind of skills you need for it.
2) Resume Building:
Internships tell your future employers that you have experience and know what you're getting in and you also possess the necessary skill sets. Past experience is highly appreciated by companies and as a fresher, internships help you be at power with experienced workers. Internships also act as an indicator that you took initiative to learn and any company is more likely to hire someone with an internship.
Finding the right guidance and contacts early in your career is very beneficial and very rare at the same time. Through an internship you get to meet the experts in your field and while during your internship you should learn as much as you can, it is also important to build a strong and friendly relationship with them for their contacts and guidance will be very useful to you in the near future.
4) Exploring and Discovering:
While finding your career path most try to just read through articles online or listen to their parents, it is better to experience before you decide. Internships provide you with this opportunity. Any internship is not for more than 6 months and most of the time they are just 2 months long. This is long enough for you to get a taste of the work you would be doing full-time without actually making a commitment to that work. It is necessary to explore ones choice and options and then choose what you want to do for the rest of your life.
5) Time management:
If nothing else, an internship teaches you how to manage your time in a fast moving corporate world.
With continuous deadlines, calls and targets to meet, time management is one skill that will make you shine through in a professional environment.
Internships are especially beneficial to women who are trying to restart their career. Women often have to take a break from their professional life due to motherhood or due to marriage and once their personal life is sorted, they often find themselves lacking the necessary skill to join the professional world again.
In India, ~65-70% Indian women who take a career break fail to return to work and a large number of women who are well educated and have potential to become a valuable part of the workforce do not even get a chance to begin their career.
Internships help in multiple ways.
1) Flexible working hours:
With many internships having very flexible working hours and even having the option of working from home, they can help women balance their professional and personal life smoothly. While moving from no work to full-time job can be exhausting, an internship helps by providing a smooth transition and time to adapt to the new life style.
2) Update skill-sets:
While most women who are looking to re-start their career already have past experience it is highly possible that while they had been on a break, the work space has evolved beyond their understanding. Hence they need to update their skill sets and an internship is the right place to do that.
An internship will also help a woman re-build her confidence and find her space back in a corporate environment.
Women can today choose from 4,000 internships with organizations like Royal Enfield, BOSCH, CRY, FirstCry, WWF India, Teach for India and it is just a beginning for them.
Where to find Internships?
With the advent of internet, it is very easy to connect with people, both socially and professionally. There are many platforms like Internshala, Letsintern and Glassdoor, where you not only find internships but also learn about various roles in demand by cooperatives and various salary and skill requirements. One can find internships in any role and with any amount of experience on these sites. Prepare in impressive CV and log into your profiles with all your details and you can apply to any internship you want. These platforms act as a connection between you and your dream internship and if your application is accepted each company has its own sets of processes and interviews. These websites not only help you find an internship but also from time to time give opportunities to enhance your skill sets with various learning programs. Along with an impressive resume, make sure you create a Linkdin account which has all your qualifications and experience updated and use that platform to connect with people in your workspace. They also allow you to select your field of interest and show various internships accordingly.
Before you go on any of these platforms make sure you have a well written CV and a cover letter ready at hand. Keep all your certificates and LORs ready and go into the world, well prepared and confident.
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