We’ve all watched movies about interns and hear about our friends & loved ones doing those elaborate “summer internships in Spain”. But what are internships really about? And what purpose do they serve?
Well, it seems that internships benefit both the employer as well as the intern, pretty much making it a win-win scenario; and here’s why:
1. Valuable Work Experience before Graduating
Either by shadowing an inspiring senior, or doing general ad-hoc duties, the intern will soak up a sea of knowledge during this time because they get to work in a team, under pressure in real world business situations, whichever industry it may be. Learning how different roles in an organisation integrate as a team is something only practical experience can teach you. Real-world perspective & problem solving skills are everything.
This is a biggie. As an intern, you could be fresh out of college or an adult considering a career change (remember the intern where Vince Vaughn worked for Google?). Whatever the case may be – you grow or start creating your professional network system that could lead to business opportunities in the future. You could lend a helping hand and vice versa. And if you can, get a mentor as this is crucial to learning about your desired industry whilst having a fantastic reference under your belt.
3. An Opportunity to ‘test-drive’ the Chosen Career Path
It is one thing to read up on and study a topic but completely another to actually go through a day ‘in the life of…’ Many, many times interns realise a few months into an internship that they do not in fact want to peruse what they initially thought was right for them, but take with them important lessons from the working world, heck even a brand-new skill set from that specific company that they did their internship through. But in most cases, the internship is a solid foundation & preparation where they can apply their knowledge.
4. Internships & the Economy
They have become key in today’s economy because whether the internship is paid or unpaid, they are adding to the workforce in a positive aspect whilst adding value to businesses. Having that experience on their CV allows them a much better chance of landing full-time employment after graduating.
5. Fresh Ideas & New Perspectives
Now from a business perspective, bringing in an influx of interns provides an organisation with unique individuals who, if managed correctly, bring in new ideas and a year’s supply of highly motivated pre-professionals to help out where needed – especially with short-term projects so that the senior staff can focus on the serious stuff.
6. Genuinely Potential Employees
This program helps the employer suss out the intern’s working style, how well they add to the organisation, and how quickly they learn. So it’s kind of like a prolonged practical interview, where the potential employee gains experience within the company before being hired properly. This is a great return on investment as research has shown that internshipsincrease employee retention rate.
7. Benefits for the Business
Interns provide employers with so much additional manpower which in turn increases the overall productivity of the organisation because each intern will have specific strengths & skill sets. So as an organisation, creating an effective Student Internship Program provides an excellent element of cost-effective help. These new team members could help grow your business with their immediate assistance.
8. Student Internship Program (SIP)
If your organisation has established a well-put SIP guidebook, then you have yourself a fair and consistent process that benefits the community because it helps students pay for their studies as well as contributing intellectual expertise to the educational sector.
College campuses are viral societies, so if your organisation does a great job with your first batch of interns, word will quickly catch on and soon you’ll have the most sought after talent asking to be a part of your program. If people are happy working for your organisation your clients will also notice this – and the spiral continues upwards!
10. Giving Back
Internship programs are a way of giving back to the community. We’re not talking about charity cases here in the least. In fact, educating & mentoring the young minds of tomorrow whilst receiving these many forms of assistance is exactly why this is such a fantastic win-win situation as mentioned before.
Bringing It All Together
Is it all cookies & cream? Probably not. Whether you’re creating this type of program or joining one takes trial and error (even blood, sweat and tears at times), but a point to remember here is that internship opportunities are not limited to office settings. It doesn’t matter if you are a dog walker at your nearest vet or a note taker for a magazine editor – if you’re a motivated individual or an interested company ready to enter into a mutually beneficial relationship- you’re on the right track. This is how business and networks grow.