Having trouble deciding what kind of internship to pursue? Whether you have to undertake an internship as part of your university course or simply just to improve your CV, it is vital to choose the internship that will personally benefit you. Your work experience does not necessarily mean that this will be your final destination but landing the “right” internship can prove advantageous during your future journey.
Here at Placement UK we have developed a couple of pointers that you should consider in order to find the right placement.
Types of Internships
Before you even start your search, it is vital to distinguish the different types of internships available. There are many to choose from such as summer internships, part time work and the compulsory year in industry. If you are a student about to begin a “sandwich” placement year, you will have to complete the compulsory year within industry, but on the other hand, if an internship is optional and you are planning on developing your skill set, you will have much more flexibility and therefore should take your time to decide whether you want a real position with real responsibilities.
If yes, then a part time or full time position would be ideal for you, but if you are looking for a lighter approach, perhaps see what your field of interest looks like. And to gain an opportunity to learn step by step and work alongside a professional, then a summer internship or work shadowing would be the best fit for you.
Personal career plan
The career you wish to pursue and your “dream job” should generally be the basis for your internship search. If you wish to become a project manager, you should look within that field and if you don’t, then you should probably avoid that field. Of course there are cases when it is not as simple as that, you still might be confused as what you want to do and where you want to be, but generally if you enjoy a certain field of work you should follow that path. An internship gives you the opportunity to get an insight in your field of interest and for you to see if this is truly something you would like to pursue.
Develop your skills
An internship is a great opportunity to build on the skills that you are currently lacking on. When searching for internships, many students and professionals usually pursue positions that they have experience and feel confident in, which is great if you are certain this is the career you want get in after graduating. But what about taking this work experience opportunity to develop your set of skills to test yourself? You need more experience in accounting? Take a role within accounting industry that will challenge you. It might be uncomfortable to begin with but life is all about learning and new experiences. Take this internship to learn and grow, it will be worth it in the long run.
Money shouldn’t be the motivator
There are many well paid placements out there that might seem very attractive at the time. It is hard to maintain your lavish lifestyle on a student loan, but you have to be honest with yourself; are you pursuing this role because it is genuinely something you are interested in or simply because it pays well? At this moment in time, a high salary might seem interesting but because you are pursuing this specific role you are automatically losing all the other roles that you might be more suited for and ones that might be more beneficial to you and could improve your skill set. You will have time to make money, now take this opportunity to develop your skills and most importantly find your own path as that would allow you to lead a career that you will truly enjoy.
When you look for an internship you have to be aware that the whole experience is far more than just a position. Most likely, you will be moving away from home to a new city, maybe even another country. You have to be aware of the local customs, will you be able to adapt? Want to land an internship in London, can you afford to pay the rent each month? Is it easy to commute? Is the area safe? The more you think about practicality of your internship, more and more questions should surface and do not let that put you down in anyway as that is a good thing. You want to prepare yourself not only for the role you are about to undertake but also your life outside of it.
Hopefully by now you should feel more confident about your pursuit for that “right” internship, which will challenge and develop your skills/qualities and open up a pathway to a brighter but more importantly, happier future.