Get the most out of your internship

Your internship experience validates all the skills mentioned in your resume
Last Updated 02 March 2021, 08:15 IST

One thing that we have been constantly hearing when it comes to finding a job as a fresher is that experience is key to landing a job.

How do you add work experience to your resume before even entering the job market? Well, internships are your answer.

In the past decade, internships have become the tried and tested way to gain hands-on training. Internships are a starting point for your career in two major ways:

Improves employability: The internship experience included in your resume gives you an edge among other job seekers. Previous professional exposure compels a recruiter to look at your resume, while he or she is shortlisting from thousands of job applications.

Your internship experience validates all the skills mentioned in your resume. This gives the hiring managers confidence in your capabilities and may help you grab an interview with the organisation.

Apart from learning new skills and gaining work experience, internships get you acquainted with a professional environment, wherein you learn to work in a team comfortably, interact with team members and clients.

You may make a few mistakes at times, which are easier to forgive when you are interning, and learn from them.

Exploring options: Apart from improving your odds of getting employed, internships also provide you with the liberty to try your hand at multiple fields and recognise your true calling.

Kunal Arora, a third-year B Tech student of MSIT, Delhi, realised that he didn’t want to pursue a career in engineering. So he started pursuing internships in various profiles like sales, marketing, and business development. These internships helped him find his true interests and he decided to pursue his career in market research.

Often, students end up taking poorly informed decisions when it comes to choosing their streams, which leads to confusion when they are pursuing jobs. Internships here could be of great help in exploring your career paths and finally deciding on the field you want to pursue full-time.

How do you make the most out of your internship?

Be proactive: Proactive participation in work projects, asking intuitive questions, and sharing ideas could help you make the most out of your internship. End-to-end planning of your tasks and executing those on time and with efficiency speaks loads about your sense of ownership.

Additionally, sharing and executing ideas which are backed with objective research also exhibits high ownership and proves your competence to take on responsibilities. The research may include the kind of impact the proposed idea will make, its feasibility, amount of effort it will require, and whether it needs to be prioritised.

Be introspective: Internships are learning experiences where you must never miss an opportunity to learn something new, whether it is a new skill, email etiquette, or virtual meeting etiquette. One way to learn is seeking mentorship from your manager and team members and observing what good practices they follow in their day-to-day work.

Another great way is to seek regular feedback on your work. For instance, if you are writing an email to a client, you could ask a team member to take a look at it and ask for their inputs on how you can make it more precise and polite.

Manage time: How you manage your time reflects directly on your professionalism. An internship provides you with multiple opportunities to learn the same. Time management is not only limited to completing your work ahead of time but also includes reporting to the office on time, being punctual while attending meetings, and so on. These habits reflect that you have high respect for both your own time as well as others’ time.

Team player: While it is important to complete tasks on your own, it is equally essential for you to be able to work with a team. While you are interning, you work in team projects where some of your work depends on deliverables from other team members and vice versa.

Here, being able to coordinate well with your team, calmly tackling situations of conflict, and completing the work ahead of deadlines will convey that you are a team player.

Apart from this, you must also participate in the recreational team building activities.

The practices mentioned above won’t just grab you that shining letter of recommendation but will also help imbibe traits that will help you in the long term.

(The author is the founder and CEO of a professional training platform)

(Published 26 January 2021, 07:32 IST)

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