At any one time there are 21,000 unpaid interns in the UK, this isn’t counting the tens of thousands of paid internships too. Getting one is tough, but not impossible and there are some real benefits. The best thing I did for my career was to do an internship. My early 20 year old mind rebelled against interrupting my university lifestyle, but fast forward 5 years and I THANK my lucky stars I did one. Mind you internships aren’t just for graduates but are also for people looking to enter into a new industry or get an idea of what it’s like.
1. It builds your network
One-third of 2015 graduate vacancies will go to interns who have already worked for that company; my experience is no different to this. Companies invest in an intern and letting that investment go is hard. So use these odds in your favour: apply for internships and show them what you’ve got.
2. It builds your confidence
When you first enter the world of business you are young and extremely naïve. You dream you will walk into meetings confidently, know exactly what to say and everyone will be wowed – this will not happen. Internships nurture your early talent to give you the basic skills to navigate the business world successfully.
3. It shows you what you want (and what you don’t)
An internship is a wonderful vehicle for you to experiment at any time in life. A six month internship, in the grand scheme of things, is not a long time and you can experience lots of different roles. You will be able to see what you definitely do and don’t want from your career.
4. Teaches you mindfulness
For most, doing an internship is like being given a free pass to learn, absorb the present moment and pay more attention to the world. This is mindfulness and this heightened awareness is actually very good for your mental wellbeing. So stop and enjoy it!
5. Gain work experience
Ever had a job application rejected because you didn’t have any practical skills? All through university we are told that getting a degree is what matters, it is important but to an employer work experience matters more. You need both to open the door so don’t neglect either of them.
How have your internship experiences been? Let me know your thoughts and opinions.