How an Internship Could Change Your Life

Posted by | December 5, 2013 | Tips for Interns

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There’s no denying that an internship can impact your life – positively or negatively. Either way, deciding to take up an internship can teach you valuable life lessons, not only new job skills. Whether you make use of those lessons later on in your life is entirely up to you, let me show you just how exactly an internship could change your life and why you should consider taking one.

1. It gives your resume a boost.

Internships are a great way of filling in the gaps on your CV. Whether you’re straight out of school, or changing careers, an internship is a sure way of showing that you are dedicated and prepared to commit to something. Many internships are either unpaid, or don’t pay enough. Showing your prospective employer that you decided to pursue learning new skills without any or little remuneration is a good way to stand out.

2. It helps you make up your mind.

If you’re freshly out of school and don’t know if you really want to pursue your career in a field related to your college major, an internship can quickly solve that dilemma for you. Or, if you’re thinking of changing your career, slipping into a different field, an internship can be treated as a trial run to see if that particular kind of job is good for you (or, indeed, if you’re a good cut for the job!) If you get the chance to test the waters, most definitely do so. Even if you decide that this particular field isn’t for you, the fact that you took the internship will still count for something. And you can always use the skills you’ve learned in a different career, as many skills can be related to different fields. Management and leadership skills, anyone?

3. It could lead you down the wrong path.

I won’t lie, there are companies out there which want to get their money’s worth and offer nothing in return. You can read more about them in our previous post about ridiculous JobBridge internships. Sometimes you work hard but don’t learn anything new. Sometimes you waste your time with a company that doesn’t appreciate your work and dedication. It’s easy to become bitter and jaded, but don’t let one bad experience define your life for you. If things at your internship aren’t working out for you, quit. Don’t waste your time because it’s too valuable. Learn from their mistake and move on to better things. But before you do, remember – ask for references!

4. It gives you an edge in tough competition.

Would you rather hire someone with good grades and no experience or someone with average grades and experience? No brainer, really. Obviously you will choose the person who has experience in the field. Taking an internship can help you gain an advantage over other applicants in competitive fields such as architecture, engineering, or sciences.  Today’s employment market is full of people who want a chance to land a permanent job. Make sure you stand out from the crowd by gaining relevant experience. Not to mention, that experience you’ve gained through your (unpaid or might-as-well-be-unpaid) internship can help you land better paying jobs!

5. It could inspire you.

Being an intern is a great opportunity to observe how companies are made, not only run. It allows you to experience the social structure and power dynamics with a keener eye than being a regular employee. It’s a really good way of seeing how a profession would suit you, as I mentioned before. But it could also inspire you to branch out and do things on your own, put your own twist on the 9-5. Maybe working for a multinational company could make you realise that you really prefer to work on your own, as a freelancer? Maybe working for someone else would inspire you to start your own business? Maybe an internship will start you on your way to become a multimillionaire? ;)

 

Did taking on an internship change your life? If so, how? Let me know in the comments!

Photo credit: Felix Burton

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