why do an internship

Internships are increasingly becoming more popular among students and young professionals as a means of kick starting their careers. They present an attractive opportunity especially this year with the drastically changing professional landscape and fierce competition for all types of employment. But what are they exactly, and what are the benefits of taking an internship? 

What is an internship?

An internship is a short-term work experience offered usually to students by companies. They usually last between three to six months and many students undertake an internship during the summer break from university. For some, internships are compulsory as part of their university degree programme. In addition, language students, in particular, have the chance to complete an internship as part of their year abroad. Internships can be an excellent introduction to the world of work and professional environments. 

How can internships help with professional development?

First and foremost, internships are a means of gaining experience of the workplace before graduating and embarking on a career. During their placements, interns usually gain indispensable industry knowledge and professional skills which can help to secure employment in the future. 

In addition, internships can be a great chance to try out a particular industry without having to commit to a full-time job. In this way, they allow students to see if they are suited to a certain career or if they enjoy the work they had originally wanted to undertake. As a result, internships can play a very important part in the early professional lives of students as they allow them to gain experience and make informed choices about their future career path. 

Furthermore, companies often offer interns permanent positions for after graduation if they have performed well. Therefore, internship programmes can be a vital opportunity to kick start a career straight out of university.

Furthermore, doing an internship abroad (as many language students choose to do) can be an excellent opportunity to improve language skills and network abroad. 

However, it is important to note that internships are not essential to professional development. Not all students have the opportunity to take an unpaid internship programme and not doing one will not hinder your ability to get a job once you have graduated. They are simply one way of gaining professional experience. 

What are the benefits of internships?

  1. Enhance your CV – Doing an internship during your studies provides you with experience in an industry and makes you stand out to potential employers as you already have essential knowledge and training. 
  2. Networking – Being an intern for a company will allow you to make connections and build relationships with others in the industry which can be essential for your future career and open up new opportunities to you. 
  3. Gain confidence – Having experience of working in a particular sector will build your confidence in your skills, competencies and assets. This confidence can really help in interviews when applying for jobs after graduation. 

How do you find an internship?

First, you need to identify what type of work you would like to do and which sector you would like to work in. Next, it is important to start early and prepare in advance for any interviews. After that, searching for an internship programme can be relatively easy. There are many opportunities for students to find an internship such as:

  • Careers services and career events
  • Online searches (e.g. LinkedIn, Google, Indeed)
  • Email companies directly about their internship programmes 

Berlin Translate also offer an excellent online internship programme to gain experience in the translation industry.

Ultimately, internships are a great way to gain industry experience and develop professionally to prepare you for work after graduation. 

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