Nowadays it is all about having the perfect CV, fitting as much as possible into the company, bringing the best qualifications, and in short: being the best (prospect) employee.
Trying to make your CV stand out of the crowd is not as difficult as you may think. The fact that you ended up here shows you have already thought about the impact that an internship can have on your career. And what else could be more convincing than an internship in the field you are applying for to your prospective future employer? Having an internship on your CV shows that you have already had prior experience in the industry of interest under a supervisor who will be able to vouch on how well you performed, your strengths and weaknesses.
Having had an internship supervisor also shows that somebody with a knowledge of the business area has taught you some relevant skills. The person thinking about employing you will appreciate the fact that you are not a blank page. Therefore, doing an internship will give you a huge advantage in competing with other applicants.
By working in a company, you will automatically learn how to behave around managers and bosses, how to approach them and when it is better to keep quiet. These interpersonal skills are ones that you can maybe imagine what it may be like in your head before beginning life in the working world, but there is really nothing like actually getting out there and experiencing it for yourself and dealing with real-life working situations. Every company and set of people you work with will be quite different and enable you to learn about interaction with others and help you grow in different ways. An internship is an opportunity that will allow you to trial this working life environment with a lower risk.
So let’s imagine that you get that job of your dreams. Having been an intern before – whether it is in the same company or not – it will be easier for you to find your place in the company. This is because during your time as an intern you experienced company structures and ‘unspoken rules’, and although every company is different, there are certain business etiquettes that are universal. Instead of taking a fresh no-working-experience employee a number of weeks on trying to fit in, you would be able to adapt to your company’s atmosphere in no time, making it easier for you to adapt to your new job and start your work-related tasks.
Of course it is not all about the ‘outstanding CV’; an internship also gives you the opportunity to develop soft skills and get into the business drive. In addition to showing you have already had some good working experience, it will also be a chance for you to figure out what you are good at and what you need to work on. Many interns have used their opportunities to begin building their knowledge or expertise in an area early on. Whether you go into a job straight after your internship because you know that is the exact area you want to work in, or you want to partake in another internship to discover more work areas, it is something that is both rewarding and educational, a part of the building works to the journey of your career.
To put it in a nutshell: your internship is the best preparation for ‘working life’ you can get. You will experience a unique insight into how companies work and interact, how business is done and how to communicate within the company. You will learn more about your individual skill sets and if not in your home country, understand the different business practices of the environment you are in and the people around you too. Applying for an internship is the best method to introduce you to the corporate world, opening the gate for the rest of your future career path. Don’t wait any longer- apply for an internship today!
Theresa Hirsch and Amy Wong
Read how the internship in China affected our students career on our student testimonials page