Armed with a new qualification, graduates are keen to enter the workplace. The reality is that the number of available jobs open is insufficient to accommodate the latest crop of graduates, or if there are vacancies, experience in the field is often required – graduates are then stuck in a catch-22 situation. Internships can be an alternative way to enter the workforce. Armed with a new qualification, graduates are keen to enter the workplace.
An internship is an introductory position that is defined for a specific period of time – generally 3 to 12 months. An internship enables graduates to gain experience in their chosen field. It can be paid (a stipend) or unpaid.
First-hand work experience
It is most likely that graduates do not have work experience. An internship arms graduates with practical experience that assists in boosting their CV for when they apply for permanent positions. It can also be considered a ‘test drive’ of a career direction – some people do internships prior to studies to ascertain if the field is something they are passionate about.
In some organisations, interns are assigned mentors, who help guide young people from a professional perspective. There may also be additional training programmes within an organisation that assists graduates/interns with honing their soft skills.
Often within organisations, teamwork is an essential for optimal organisations. Studying can sometimes be a solitary endeavour, and an internship helps train graduates to work within a team in an effort to ensure key deliverables. Working within a team also promotes information sharing thus broadening a graduate’s knowledge.
Interns are exposed to many facets within an organisation, and have the opportunity to engage with stakeholders (internal and external) thus expanding their network for future prospects.
Improves job prospects
An internship could help secure a permanent position for a graduate – either with the organisation they are interning with or with another organisation who required some level of practical experience, which an internship has provided.
During interviews, it is often asked, “Tell us about a time where you excelled at…” – having practical experience means that you can answer questions more efficiently and really highlight your capabilities.
With experience and exposure, and internship can help boost confidence levels of individuals.
1) Employers have the opportunity to evaluate new talent without committing to hiring.
2)Graduates bring in fresh ideas and perspectives that can help grow brands.
3)Organisations fulfil a social responsibility obligation towards helping to empower young individuals.
“There may also be additional training programmes within an organisation that assists graduates/interns with honing their soft skills”