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Gathering work experience through internships

Internships are a popular method of on-the-job training, frequently utilized by students and recent graduates to kick start their professional careers.

Often aiming to provide a connection between their theoretical knowledge and the real business world, internships are typically understood to be temporary positions. More precisely, they can span anywhere from 6 weeks to 12 months, with 3-6 months being the general rule of thumb. Most internships are without pay, while some are full-time posts and others are only part-time. Personal interviews to attain such a position are to be expected.

Additionally, internships will commonly involve elements of tutoring and/or supervision from the side of the employer, and are typically comprised of tasks that are linked to the requirements of entry-level posts. A supervisor will often be specifically assigned to an intern, designating his/her specific work tasks and providing an evaluation of his/her overall contribution.

A way to start building your professional network

Outside of being a clever way to gain relevant practical experience regarding the know-how of a business, internships are also frequently identified as the best way to – eventually - land a full-time job. Unlike a graduate programme, employment is not guaranteed upon completion of an internship. However, it is common practice for employers to offer the best interns a permanent, paid position at the end of their trial time, or subsequent to their graduation. This benefits employers, as they gain an experienced colleague needing little if any training once appointed.

Finally, it should be noted that internships can also be used as a means to extend one's professional network of contacts, test out a potential employer or career path, or simply gain necessary university credits.

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