Doing an internship is great - find out exactly why here.

The summer break from university is ridiculously long and it’s easy to put your feet up, watch your favourite TV series again and again, and basically doss about. But the summer is also a great chance for you to get some work experience under your belt and do an internship!

1.Try out potential career paths…

You may often feel that you’re not sure about what you want to do for a job after university, but don’t worry! Many students, just like you, are often in the same boat. It’s also often even more difficult when your degree (say if you studied a humanities degree like History, English, or Philosophy) doesn’t lead to a direct career path and you're wracking your brains on what to do. Doing an summer internship is an ideal way of finding out what your cup of tea is job-wise, giving you an insight into what life is like on a daily basis and what environment you could see yourself working in.

 

2. ...And work out which ones you don’t enjoy

As well as narrowing down potential career choices you may enjoy, doing an internship equally allows you to figure out what careers and industries that you don’t see yourself doing in a full-time capacity.

 

3. Create a network of professional contacts

Getting to know people during an internship is a great way to open doors after university, as well as being useful sources of advice and help. Being on good terms with someone in an industry can also lead to job opportunities; if a role does crop in the future, your connection could be one of the first to hear about it and refer you as a good candidate for consideration.

4. It gives you interview practice

If you’re successful in landing an internship you will usually have to meet the employer to talk through your interest and application. Having to sell and market yourself is a first for many students, and having an interview for an internship is a great way to experience what it’s like. The ability to confidently talk through your skills and experience and why you’re well suited to the role is an invaluable skill that you’ll have to use time and time again throughout your career.

5. It builds confidence going into your last year

Your last year at university is often where the pressure turns up: most people will have to write either a dissertation or complete a final year project (showcasing all the skills and learning they’ve made over the past three years). Academic work usually counts more as well, as third year weighting contributes heavily to your final grade. Third year is also a time where you want to make the most of socialising with your friends. So on top of all this, you’ll also have to juggle your time by thinking about what you want to do post-university. Having done a summer internship will help you settle your nerves on the job front during this stressful period and have one less thing to worry about.

6. Apply what you learned in the classroom and learn new skills

Doing an internship is also a fantastic way of actually using skills you’ve learnt in tutorials and seminars in a real working environment. Although it is often rare and unlikely you’ll have to use your course content and knowledge in most workplaces (don’t worry, it’s highly unlikely you’ll have to spout a quote from Wuthering Heights off by heart again), many employers realise that most degrees develop a student's ability to critically think, analyse, and develop an informed opinion and argument. Equally, an internship gives you the chance to develop a whole raft of new skills as well as gaining useful industry exposure and knowledge.

 

7. Having an internship on your CV helps you standout from the crowd

There are thousands of new graduates finishing university year after year and competition for jobs is often fiercely competitive. Because the volume of applications for certain jobs can be so high, employers can often cherry-pick what they judge to be the best-qualified candidates. Having an internship under your belt sends some positive signs to the person reading your CV: it shows enthusiasm that you’ve gone out and sought work experience, it shows you have experienced a real-life working environment, and overall shows you’re a conscientious individual who’s proactive about their future.

 

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