In the ever-competitive world of job-seeking every point counts. Taken into consideration that there is an increasing number of high-education institutions offering top quality programs at affordable prices, the sole ownership over a diploma and being an honors student just doesn’t cut it anymore. Any employer or an HR specialist who has even a bit of experience in that field of work knows that the competitive advantage today isn’t theoretical but rather very practical. That’s where previous experience comes in, and the reason that choosing good internship(s) might pave the way for you landing that job among 300 other applicants.
Business world is one of the most dynamic environments on the planet, and constant influx of fresh professionals is one of its cornerstones. But don’t get fooled that just because the demand for qualified work-power is constant, companies are so desperate that they’ll choose anyone. There is such a vast ocean of people to choose from that they can actually allow themselves to be pretty picky and choose only those who fit their needs the best.
When sudden changes occur, the people who fill the vacant positions should be ready to jump right into the fire of business challenges.To be honest, every good position in any company requires at least some experience. Young people who dedicate their early years to academic studies don’t have the time nor the ability to acquire that experience outside of seminars, summer schools and most important of all - internships. That’s why in choosing an internship everyone should consider all of the following before you make a decision:
1. Always pick something you are interested in
Doing an internship just for internship’s sake or because you are bored is probably the worst reason to do it. Whatever one might think, interns are a very important part of every system. The work they do is automatically taken off the shoulders of higher-ranking employees in the company hierarchy which gives those guys a better chance of doing a good job. That’s why it is important that interns are interested in and dedicated to whatever they are doing. If they do a lousy job, or do it too slowly and with zero interest, those above them feel it, and the whole work process gets slower and worse. And btw imagine yourself spending several hours per day for a couple of months doing something you hate.
2. Make it relevant
It’s not the only important thing that the internship you do is about something that is interesting to you. For example I’m interested in deep-sea diving and astrophysics, but I’m very well aware that I’m never getting near careers in those two. That’s why I did internships in the media that provided me with the necessary experience and set of skills I am now using in my career. To best describe it - if there is a preschool for kids, think of an internship as a pre-career for grownups.
3. Make sure you have the time to do it
Most people will do internships while still attending studies. Some of them will even accept multiple internships at the same time, if they have finished studies and are on a job-hunt. The problem with this is always time management. You have to inform yourself well about what and when will your obligations be. Otherwise you may end up not having time for both your studies and your internship, and doing them both badly which is the worst possible outcome.
4. It’s important to learn!
Internship isn’t just a time-pass. It is an awesome opportunity for you to learn some practical skills that you can use later on in your career. That’s why it is very important to pick the position and the surroundings that stimulate you to work more, and learn from them. It is very important to be around people who not only know what they do well, but are also willing to share that knowledge with you, and have both the capacity and the will to do so. An internship which ends without you learning anything new and useful was just time wasted.
5. Learn from the best
While we’re talking about learning, it’s different if you’re learning basketball from your friend, from a gym teacher or Michael Jordan. Sure, Jordan’s expectations are higher, he’s gonna drive you harder than anybody and expect the impossible from you, but that’s the only real way to learn. Big names in the industry aren’t big for no reason, and their name on your CV speaks very loudly for yourself.
6. Last but not least - the money
This definitely isn’t the most important or a crucial component of an internship, but it doesn’t hurt to get at least some financial compensation for your hard work. So if you have two or more competing choices or offers which are very similar to each-other, this should of course be one of the (not so) little things that could decide.
Heads up and go for it!