Why are internships so important?

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If you go to university, one of the first things people often start discussing is internships. At the beginning of October (or even November), most of us have not planned for the Easter holidays or Summer break. However, once you are in university, the first thing many will do is plan their holidays based around internships and spring weeks. The real question is, why are internships so important?


What exactly is an internship?

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, an internship is seen as “a period of time during which someone works for a company or organization in order to get experience of a particular type of work”. In simpler terms, internships are when one works for a company in exchange for experience. Sometimes these can be paid, but typically transportation expenses are covered.


Spring weeks, on the other hand, are week long experiences where one is immersed in a company to see what their ethos is like. If one does well in a spring week, this can progress to an internship for the summer. They are similar to work experience, except they are often much more immersive and can involve projects. Unlike internships, spring weeks are only for that week. Internships today can span over weeks or months, depending on what an employer is looking for.


What can internships entail?

At university level, internships can entail doing a project or collaborative task to immerse yourself in the field you have applied for. Conventionally, finance and technology companies run summer internships for students in their penultimate year of studies (second year of university) to help them gage who they would like to hire after graduation. Tasks can range from coffee making to full on client meetings, depending on the employer.  Whilst coffee making is not the most useful skill, you have to start from somewhere!


Why do we need to do internships?

The great thing about internships is that they give you the opportunity to explore your chosen field in a short period of time. They are wonderful to help you understand the ethos of a brand and gain skills in a more intense, professional environment. Simultaneously, they can be the stepping stone into future careers.


So… why are they so important?

Besides boosting your CV, internships give you the opportunity to experience the workforce in the most realistic way possible. You are able to experience responsibility and proper work life in an environment where it is okay to make mistakes and learn from those around you. They are a wonderful chance to see if the proposed career path you have been thinking of is actually for you. Therefore, make the most of this opportunity! Do you think internships are important? What are your tips to secure them? We would love to hear your thoughts!


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