Finding work can be a real challenge, especially if you don't have any experience. Yet to get experience you must first find a job. It's a nasty catch that can be difficult to get around but an internship is a good way to do it.
Internships provide work experience opportunities to university students, recent graduates and people considering career changes. Employers are willing to hire interns with little or no experience, especially if the intern is willing to accept little or no monetary compensation. However, the benefits of doing an internship go far beyond your pay cheque.
Gain Valuable Work Experience
An internship provides the opportunity to gain hands on work experience that you just can’t get in the classroom. First time job seekers and career changers aren’t usually desirable candidates, but companies are willing to train them as interns and give them the experience they would need to get a job.
Have an Edge in the Job Market
Employers are usually more concerned with your work experience than your qualifications and internships are often the only way to get the work experience you need to secure a job, so they're a vital part of your resume. Many employers prefer or require applicants who have done an internship or relevant work experience and in many of the more competitive job markets it is essential to set you apart from the others.
Transition into a Job
Employers see interns as prospective employees and many finish their internships and continue working with the company full time. Internships are the number one way for employers to find new staff in the US. Think of it as a really long interview, after which you’ve proved that you are a capable and hardworking employee. Just as you’re giving the industry and the company a trial run, they’re doing the same for you.
Decide if this is the Right Career for You
If you’re not sure if this is the right career for you, doing an internship is a great way to try it out. Internships are generally short-term, so you can test your future career without committing and find out if it is a career that will satisfy you.
Internships are a great way to meet people in your field. Even if you have experience, knowing people never hurts. An internship allows you to meet people who might help you land a job later on and give you the contacts in the industry you’re trying to break into. Plus, references from people in the industry will really add weight to your application.
Apply Classroom Knowledge
An internship can be seen as the pinnacle of your undergraduate education and give you the chance to use the skills you've learned in the classroom in a real-world setting. It’s a chance to prove the worth of your qualifications and to show that you can perform in the role you've been given.
Getting experience is a great way to build your confidence. What's more, if you have an impressive resume, you will be more confident in your chances of securing a job. After you’ve done an internship, if an interviewer asks if you know how to do something, you won’t say “um, yes, I think I would be able to do that" but can say “absolutely" and supplement your assertion with examples.