The early professional life of employees is usually full of vicious circles. For example, haven’t you face the trouble of not having enough experience to apply for your first job? Or being rejected in an entry-level job, because you don’t have work samples? Well, you are definitely not alone. Although employers usually require minimal work experience, not all graduates got the chance or had the time to practice their field before they finish college. But don’t worry! There is a way out of this dilemma: you still can start an internship. Jobzella is presenting you the top ten reasons why you should start an internship before you graduate and apply for your first job.
- Create and expand your professional network:
So far, you have your connections in the academic world, in which your professors, teachers, and academic advisors know your qualifications and abilities. Now, it is time for you to create the bigger network that can support you and add to your qualifications when applying for your first or new job. Doing an internship, will allow you to work and communicate with real professionals in the industry. These people will mentor you and help you understand and do your work during the time of the internship. More importantly, they can guide you to great job opportunities, recommend you to their own professional network, and put a good word for you.
- Learn about the position’s demands and requirements:
Working in a field, no matter what it is, is completely different than studying it. You know the field theoretically, but now you need to do it practically. You will get familiar and familiarize your body, soul and mind with the circumstances, requirements, conditions, risks and rewards of the job. While being in an internship, you are trying the life you will live when you graduate. So, you learn how to survive and succeed, and what to avoid and enhance in yourself.
- Practice the field:
When at college, you keep telling everyone that you love your major, and that you are finally in the field of your dreams. The internship allows you to actually live the “life of your dreams” that you have always imagined. Although this might sound exciting, some people change major and shift careers after an internship. They discover that this was not what they wanted, or that they understood wrongly their passion and skills. Sometimes, students discover new fields, or better opportunities they never thought existed. So practicing the field is not only about trying to work in your major, but also to determine if that is what you want to do for the rest of your life.
- Dig your way to the first job:
Doing an internship gives you your first actual work experience, which can help you get a smooth path into your first job. Moreover, sometimes, companies give their interns permanent positions in the company, whether as full-time or part-time employees, after they have tried their work, and were convinced with their efficiency. So who knows? Maybe your internship will be your first job as well, so choose carefully and wisely where you want to start.
- Get work samples, create your own portfolio:
Aside from your college paperwork, assignments and projects, you still need actual samples of your work. As doing an internship equals working in a real job, with actual tasks for a period of time, then it your chance to create your own work portfolio. Collect copies of everything you do, certificates that you take, events that you attend, and projects that you succeed in, all will count, and all is adding to your competitive value against other candidates.
- Guidance and advising on your performance:
Although you will be treated like a coworker, your workmates understand that you are still an intern and will help you do the work better. Every once and a while, you will get tips and advice on how to perform your tasks, to get better sources, to learn new skills or any other information that can build up your qualifications to rise in your career. On the other hand, you will have a free and always-available help center to answer your questions and solve your concerns in terms of doing your tasks.
- Learn the real industry:
Theoretical knowledge is never sufficient to expose you to the real specifications of the industry. Even if you studied examples of real professionals in the industry or read real-life cases, you will not grasp the whole idea of your field. On the other hand, in today’s fast-changing world, all industries are developing every day if not every minute. Doing an internship, will get you informed with the most updates and the latest news. It will also help you discover the different branches that you can perform working in this field.
- Become a professional while still at college:
Being a professional is not always about how many years you have been working in a certain field. Sometimes it is about how well you have been educated, if you were introduced and abide by the rules, regulations and ethics of the industry, and your output that you created working in the field. Doing an internship gives you this competitive advantage, and gets you ahead of regular college graduates.
- Build your resources database:
While working at the internship, build your own database about important professionals in the industry, great courses that will advance your career, organizations or companies to work for, internships to do, or even websites and blogs to follow. Whatever new information you gain, is a plus to your career and an addition to your experience. You will be surprised, when such information become handy.
- Get an advantage standpoint:
Although getting high grades, and earning top positions in college is useful for your CV, there is nothing that attracts employers to you more than your experience. If two candidates have the same achievements in college, and the top recommendations from their professors, employers will still prefer those who have a work experience.