WATCH: Are internships worth your time?
As a new graduate or a university-going student, perhaps one of the questions that you often find yourself asking is: Do internships matter?
It may be the case that most of the internship opportunities you come across offer little or no salary at all and that deters you from moving forward with the possibilities that present themselves to you.
Of course, it is not always easy for students and recent graduates to find job opportunities right away, and therefore the importance of internships is even greater.
Here in Qatar, university, and school going students have plenty of internships opportunities to choose from. It is best to check with the career advisor at your institute to learn more about these internships.
Here are some more reasons for you to invest your time and efforts in internships:
Professional Work Experience
As much as you would like to sink your teeth into a full-time role, remember it may not always be a great start. Especially, when you haven’t had any significant experience working in the field. Internships provide just that kind of opportunity for newcomers to familiarize themselves with the practicality of the working world.
Not only do internships serve as a terrific way to learn how to apply your learning to a real-world office setting, but they also become a stepping stone to a potential full-time position.
And of course, having internship experience on your CV makes you a stronger candidate than other recent graduates without such experience.
As important as your work ethic is in the professional world, relationship building is one of the key steps to success in the workplace.
You may have worked on several group projects as a student, but remember that is different from what you will experience in the real world. As an intern, you may be asked to liaise with different teams from various departments and this will allow you to build relationships.
You may find people more or less accommodating in certain situations, but how well you deal with the situation and form cordial relations will come in handy as you make your way up the career ladder.
During an internship, you will learn to be a better team player and an effective listener, and as a result a more efficient employee.
You may be very punctual to your classes back in university days because Prof. John would deduct points for being late. But, that is not how it works in the real world.
While some offices have a latecomer salary deduction system in place, you may find many places in Qatar won’t. This is where your first very important office etiquette will develop. You set your timings right and make an impression.
In an internship, you will pick up on all the essential behavioral attributes that tie into making a good professional. Starting from being punctual to being respectful to your colleagues around you, and from keeping a professional body language to knowing how to avoid noise pollution.
Internships are a great way to train yourself for future roles where professionalism is a top concern.
As much as people like to downplay the importance of internships in general, these opportunities are really what you make of them. Erase the ‘unpaid’ or ‘barely any pay’ part from your memory when you step into an office for your internship and look at it as an opportunity to learn everything you need to become a great entry-level employee.
For starters, no work is insignificant. If you are being asked to file important documents, or print out final versions of presentations for a meeting, don’t look at it as something menial. These are things you will be doing on your own even when you take up a full-time position.
Now, if you feel that this is something that happens daily, speak to your supervisor. Don’t be shy to ask how else you can contribute to the team or department with your learning.
If you work for a marketing team, perhaps you can offer to pitch in ideas for a campaign or sit through a meeting where a potential client is being discussed. This is how you will enrich your knowledge and get a feel of how things work behind the scenes.
A few days into the internship, you will develop the confidence and the professional skills you need to thrive in an office environment.
We hope these reasons encourage you to consider internships and understand their importance. Remember, many times an internship opportunity can lead to a full-time position at the same company.
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