Job or an internship?
Are you stuck in this dilemma too?
You are one of the many youths who face this question every year right out of the threshold of their college life.
While you might be all excited and bubbling with energy to bag your first job, an internship might be ideal for you to begin with.
But first, we have to pop a few bubbles (sorry). It’s not about the glitz and glamour of working in an elite corporate firm, however, it’s not about remembering coffee orders either.
An ideal internship is about getting a mole’s eye view of the entire work structure. Since you will be at the base of any career ladder you choose to climb, as an intern, you get the opportunity to learn right from the grass-root level.
That’s the importance of an internship is in preparing you for a role, right from the way down.
Yes, the hours will be long, the pay might be less, get ready for no pay as well, but at the end of the term, you will have practical knowledge about your selected career path.
But, like conspiracy theories surrounding the Bermuda triangle, the importance of internship is wrapped up in Pandora’s box.
Thus as Lara Croft, with a rapier for your weapon let’s pop some myths and unearth some facts about the importance of an internship.
Misconception: Internships are not worth it
You cannot buzz the red light enough on this point. Forget the silly movies you have watched and what they have taught you.
Interns are not the guardians of the expresso and the photocopy machine.
There are office boys who do that work, and no, interns do not take their position.
The importance of internship is to help young people learn new skills. This is the only time in one’s career when one can learn whatever they want to learn.
As an intern, you will have free access to pursue your department of interest. Be it human resources or sales, you can select one or pitch to do both.
In fact, you can join with one (for eg, sales) and finish your internship with a new focus (for eg human resources)
Since it’s the starting of your career, changing tracks is one of the key benefits of internships
Fact: Identify what you don’t want to do
You are not the only person confused about career options. Not everyone decides to be a doctor or engineer right at the age of 13.
Don’t be harsh on yourself for that.
This is another importance of internship it helps you identify what you don’t like to do.
Well, if you can’t decide what you want to do, start off with what you don’t want to do.
Internships allow you to drive through the negative first road.
For instance, if you join the sales team as an intern and realize marketing is your passion, you can easily make the switch.
So you scratch off sales from your career list and put in marketing.
Relax, your seniors will not break your head for the switch. In all probability, they have done multiple internships before identifying their passion.
Misconception: Internship guarantees job placement
Don’t live in this bubble, please. It may sound scary, but interns are also fired.
Now that you have heard the worse, the importance of an internship does not lie in the placement.
Often internships don’t guarantee a permanent job, But does it make internships useless?
Of course not!
Fresh out of college, with no solid experience in the corporate world, where would you get networking and communication experience.
This highlights the importance of an internship.
If not the job, you will bag some fine connections who will help you get an amazing job in the long run. Isn’t that worth more than scooting through job portals daily?
Fact: Passion for work over a shining resume
The purpose of an internship is not to gloat your achievement-studied resume.
Honestly, no industry cares about what’s written on your resume if you cannot produce the same on the table.
While in the erstwhile time accomplishments were held in high regard, the startup culture has brought a dynamic change in the structuring. Your achievement needs the backing of passion.
The rule is simple: If you don’t like what you do, you won’t be able to gear your heart and mind to produce the best.
As a result, your achievement will be a fairy tale written in your CV.
Here lies the importance of internship, it helps you bring out that passion. Be it a startup or an enterprise, if you are passionate about the work you do, your internship might earn permanent status.
Misconception: You should intern in your field of education
What if you go to an Italian restaurant for dinner and order a sandwich just because you have the same for dinner at home, will it make sense?
Then why go to an Italian restaurant in the first place?!
That’s how silly this misconception is. The primary idea of an internship is to widen one’s horizon and learn skills outside one’s established knowledge base, and that can only happen when you take up work differently from the things taught in your classroom.
Thus tail this donkey of a misconception and explore opportunities in fields outside your purview of knowledge. For instance, if you are a coder, take an internship as a graphic designer.
After all, a full stack developer needs some basic designing skills, right?
Fact: At times unpaid work teaches a lot
This is absolutely for you to decide. While it’s never advisable to work for free, the payment can be in terms of money or experience or both.
If an internship can give you an excellent opportunity to learn a new skill which you would have to pay for otherwise, taking unpaid work will pay for itself in the long run.
But as a rule of thumb, never chase money. The greens will increase as you learn more.
Thus focus on learning right from the start if you aim for a fatter wallet.
Misconception: Internship is only worthwhile if it’s a big company
First things first: Decorating your resume with laurel leaves does not highlight the importance of an internship.
Though big corporate names on your resume, especially in the job experience part will turn a few heads, those will turn in the opposite direction if you have not learned anything from your internship.
There are many corporate giants who hire interns due to social pressure. Many a time, such job roles are not that fulfilling and often stick to menial tasks.
Small organizations, on the other hand, require manpower to function. Thus if you are looking for challenges or aim to learn concrete things right from the start, these are the companies to approach.
Since small firms have fewer people, you will get to work with technologies and processes which will take you a notch above your friend jotting meeting minutes in a big firm.
After all, what’s in a name?
Fact: You need a flawless resume to get an internship
Even though you might not have any work experience, attention to detail is something that you must have if you want an internship.
A template resume studded with grammatical errors, spelling mistakes will not make the cut.
Be it any job, your sincerity is always of primary concern, and that reflects on how you make your resume for your first internship.
As known, the resume creates the first impression of the candidate. Even though your attire for the interview might be casual, your resume should be professional and on point.
Misconception: It’s all about the experience letter
So that means you can bunk office, go watch a movie, hit the pub, and do all that you want to. It’s just the experience letter that matters!
If you are following this path for your internship, you are soon to fall off that cliff. The falsity of this misconception must be highlighted in red.
The experience letter awarded after the completion of the internship period is to certify that you have acquired the skills and training required for the completion of the tasks given to you during your internship period.
You might get the experience letter, but if you have no experience to show for it then your next employers will know.
Not only will you be unable to get a job, but your reputation as a candidate might also be blacklisted, and that is a setback right at the onset of your career.
Thus, be honest, dedicated, and committed.
Enjoy your internship time for sure, but earn something in addition to money to make your life in the industry easy.
Is an internship crucial for career growth?
No. Internships are not essential for career growth but it can surely help the young workforce to focus and gain better exposure at working in the real world.
It also allows them to gain experience and widen their horizon of knowledge. In addition to providing a nice learning curve, an internship program can give a young graduate a sneak peek into the professional world.
What can one learn for an internship?
This heavily depends on the person concerned. Internships provide an individual with a wide array of skills to focus on.
Be it attention to details, patience, or focus, there are multiple important soft skills one can learn from an internship program in addition to the hardcore sills related to the job profile.
How to include internship experience in the resume properly?
The following steps can be helpful for that purpose: