The term Internship mostly targets the students, trainees or fresh graduates who require a professional work experience in their domain of interest under the careful direction, guidance and intendance of an administrative entity, for a specified period of time that usually caps two to three months.
Internship, now a day, is more of a necessity to compensate for the lack of work experience that is expected of a fresh graduate while applying for a job at any organization. It provides you an opportunity to polish your professional skills, experience the working environment and facilitates in learning the market demands of your area of interest.
Internships play a profound role in building the foundation of your career. Hence, the strategy of “Three Well’s”- Well-suited, Well-planned, and Well-balanced- is imperative. In addition to that, wise selection of a company or organization, which you opt for the internship, also plays a critical role in shaping your career further down the road.
Managing internships among all those projects like homework, examinations and credits can be a very challenging job. Consequently, 'how to plan an internship’ has become trickier than it sounds. Many students struggle between the idea of earning extra-credits/professional-experience via internships or stay and manage the regular curriculum activities.
1. When Is The Best Time For Internship During The Studies?
Set up your working schedule apart from your assignment
2. Where Do You Want To Do The Internship？
3. What Kind Of Internship Are You Looking For?
4. What Do You Expect From The Internship and The Company?
Experience & Skills
Guidance from a professional supervisor from relevant field
Internship certificate after finishing it
Professional Networking and Making Contacts
Potential full time job after the completion of the Internship
Paid or Un-Paid Internship (Monthly Allowance)
Easy Commute (necessary or not)
Working hours (can be per day or per week)
What are your goals for the Internship?
In any job, it’s essential to know what’s expected of you, and your internship won’t be any different. By setting specific goals with your employer, you’ll gain structure and meaning for your internship.
Here are some examples of goals and expectations;
The specific skills you want to work on
The specific areas or projects your employer needs help with
How you’ll seek guidance or ask questions when needed
Where to find resources and answers on your own when possible
How your employer will deliver feedback on your performance
How to communicate about delays or adjust timelines on an assignment if needed
5. Make New Connections:
Your internship is a valuable opportunity to start networking. After all, the people you meet in this setting could become friends, professional contacts and possible mentors for years to come.
Striking up a conversation with strangers isn’t easy for everyone but there are simple icebreakers that can get you started. Here are some examples:
• Did you have an internship when you first started your career? What was one of the most important things you learned?
• What’s something you believed earlier in your career but think about differently now?
• What’s the best piece of advice you received, or wish you’d received, at the outset of your career?
• What skills do you think will be most relevant in this field over the next decade?
6. Keep A Journal to Track Experience
Over the course of your internship, make a habit of writing in a journal so you can recall ideas, learnings and accomplishments.
7. Treat The Internship Like A Real Job.
If you want the employer to take you seriously, you need to take the job seriously. "To get the most of an internship, regardless of the pay, interns should treat their internship like they would any job," Schofield says.
8. Stay in touch
Not every internship will result in a job offer right away. If the company and work you’ve done are of interest to you, it’s a good practice to stay in touch so that when an opportunity does open up, you will be top of mind.