Benefiting From An Internship; Part 1
So you’ve decided to complete an internship but don’t know where to start? Internships Down Under has extensive experience in arranging internships in a wide range of fields and we are happy to share our knowledge. We have put together a three part series covering the ‘Before’, ‘During’ & ‘After’ stages of an internship detailing things to consider.
In order to get the most of your internship, we suggest you start by asking yourself the following questions:
Should I complete an internship?
“An internship is a temporary voluntary training program where a host company provides beneficial skills and experience to match a student’s learning goals and objectives”.
If you are considering completing an internship for reasons which do not fall inside the definition of an internship then we’d suggest looking for a different program.
We hear of applicants completing internships to:
– Potentially get a job with the host company
– For residency regulations
– Include on their CV despite already being well qualified & experienced
Internships are designed to enhance your skills and training.
Where should I complete my internship (location)?
You have to decide if you want to do your internship abroad or in your home country.
Benefits to completing an internship abroad:
– Develop cultural knowledge and global experience
– Enhance corporate language skills
– Increase personal development and confidence
– Experience and challenge of being out of your comfort zone
– Make new friends and enjoy unique experiences
Benefits to completing an internship at home:
– Comfort of a familiar culture, city & working environment
– Personal support from friends & family
– Retain and coninue with your existing job/studies while completing the internship
– Location relevant networking
– Financially more viable
The size of the host company?
No matter the size, both small & large host companies can provide unique benefits throughout an internship. You will need to consider the direction of your career and the pro’s & con’s for choosing a small, medium or large host company.
What do you expect to learn from your internship?
Before you start an internship, it is a good idea to write down field specific skills that you expect to gain from your internship. This may include specific training such as IT programs, language skills, corporate writing techniques, accounting procedures, management methods, corporate decision making processes, design software, e.t.c. It is very important to spend time setting out your goals that you want to achieve during your internship. Make sure your goals are realistic and attainable in your internship.
Which industry field?
Are you completing an internship to gain an insight into your future studies, or are you looking to enhance your practical skills in a specific area in which you want your career to head? Deciding on what industry field you want to specialise in and how specific your requirements, will determine the host company that is right for you. For example you may be considering studying marketing, and are happy to complete a broad experience in marketing which covers various areas, OR you may want to be very specific and target an internship in a niche area of marketing such as B2B Fashion Marketing.
When and for how long?
In some countries there are extended holiday periods where companies may remain open, but only operating with minimal staff. These times would usually not be ideal to attend the internship and should be avoided. An example of this is if you are considering completing your internship with a school or University; holiday periods should be taken into account.
You will also need to consider the duration of your internship. If the time spent with a company is too short then you may not learn more than the basics, while if it is too long then you could spend the last few weeks not learning anything new.
A vital aspect of getting the most out of your internship is the interview. The interview is as much for your benefit as it is for the host company. We suggest you read the following interview tips.