How internships can help begin your career


Whether it’s a required component of your degree or a voluntary decision, undertaking an internship while you’re studying is one way to get a greater understanding of your industry in a real-life setting. There are many things that textbooks can’t teach that only experience can, and the working world can be considered one.

Here are 5 reasons to undertake an internship, to prepare you for your career.


  1. You’ll quickly decide whether this is the industry you want to stay in

Studying at University is filled with informative lectures, tutorial classes and assignments, yet nothing helps you learn about an industry faster than throwing yourself in the deep end. It’s impossible to judge as an outsider looking in, therefore only being in the workplace and experiencing the day-to-day happenings can give you a true indication if this is right for you. The last thing you want is to wrap up 4 years of studying a degree to realise in your first position that it’s not for you, and it’s back to University. Not only is this a colossal waste of time, but it will set you back years and increase your HECS debt.

Interning is also a way to find out what particular job you’d like to have in this industry. For example, if you’re studying journalism you could intern at a television station, a magazine and a radio station to determine whether print journalism or broadcast is right for you.


  1. You’ll make great network connections

As the saying goes “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” when it comes to the professional working world. It’s not to say that you don’t have to acquire the necessary qualifications, but it emphasises the fact that good connections can be your head start to getting a role, especially if the industry is competitive. When you intern at various workplaces you’ll begin to grow your network of professionals, including those you directly intern for as well as the company bosses and partners. If you make a lasting impression and connect with them via LinkedIn or email, it’s likely that when you’re looking for a position they will remember what a wonderful job you did when you were at their company and consider you more closely. You’ve already proved what you can do while you interned and showed them what kind of person you are, so half the job interview is already cemented.


  1. Provides practical experience

Many positions being advertised ask for applicants who have a few years working experience, which for most graduate students is out of reach. However, if you have interned for years at various companies you’ll have picked up skills that cannot be taught in a textbook. Even though you haven’t been officially employed by the companies you’ve interned for, you’ll have physical evidence of your work that you can bring to your future interviews to show as your capability. You’ll also be more confident and likely have used similar software that the position requires you to, giving you a one up.


  1. Could land you a position

Research for SEEK shows that 72% of Australian candidates received a permanent job offer after completing an internship at the same company or a different one. When a business is hiring it often looks internally before advertising to external, so if you’re the enthusiastic, self-motivated intern that they’ve grown to know and like over the year, it’s highly likely you’ll get a look in first.


  1. Teaches workplace culture

Interning is the perfect place to observe office politics and learn how to approach them such as office gossip, staff behaviour and how the order of authority generally works with managers and bosses. Experiencing this can help to teach you how to maintain good relationships with your future colleagues and show you how others communicate effectively. You’ll see mistakes made and be able to learn from them before you even step foot into your first role in your professional career.



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