Internship - To be or not to be!!!


An INTERN is a student or trainee who works, sometimes without pay, at a trade or occupation in order to gain work experience.

INTERNSHIPS are temporary jobs that provide real-time work experience, often for college students. Older adults who are changing career fields or obtaining degrees may also become interns.

This experience is the most important reason / benefit for an intern. While good grades are important, employers always prefer some real world job experience outside the classroom environment in entry level candidates.

Optimal internship timing is based on a variety of factors—academic load, whether one needs a paid internship and the intern’s goals and other commitments. It’s never too early to create a plan for when one will complete internships during college. If it makes sense, one should intern early and often.

6 REASONS TO DO AN INTERNSHIP WHILE STUDYING

1. For Prospective / Future Employers – An internship program is very common in both large companies and start-ups. Any kind of internship program whether it is a summer internship or a semester internship, it provides an intern with a decent pipeline of future employers and references. 

2. A tool to test drive knowledge and skills – This is a fact that just because someone is enrolled in a degree. He/she is passionate about it. An internship provides a ground level experience of what these studies look like when applied to a work environment.

3. Role – Models – Worldwide role models as we see on the media are an exception and not a norm. An internship gives one an opportunity to meet and work with different managers, leadership styles, work cultures and most importantly, managing the BOSS. And, how one adapts to his/her (intern) boss and his/her (boss’s) style to become a valuable addition to the team and organization is one of the biggest asset/learning one can have when entering the workforce.

4. Strengthens the CV – Most graduates have great grades and degrees when they go to the job market. There is nothing wrong in this. But, lots of experience makes a better CV. An intern has a story which is beyond college life and demonstrates that he./she (intern) understands the business quickly, knows team-work and how to assume responsibility. Building network – One call from that one reference is the difference between bagging or not bagging a dream job. An internship gives one an opportunity to build network, increase professional branding and having maybe, one or two personal ambassadors to fall back on, forever.

5. A lifetime experience – Many internships give opportunity to work in areas which one may never get in a lifetime again, people may become friends forever or one can realize how passionate he/she was about something through an internship. An internship maybe something that transforms a life and gives it a new direction / perspective.

So, Congratulations! You performed excellent at your interviews and got an offer from every company you interviewed at! It’s a dream come true …Now, how to decide which one to join???

3 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WHEN DECIDING BETWEEN MULTIPLE INTERNSHIP OFFERS:

1. The end game – What is my aspiration? – In chess, the one who thinks five steps ahead is always better placed. The ultimate goal for any intern is to land in his/her dream job after graduation/post graduation. If you are still in self-discovery mode, choose the internship in the field for which you are most passionate. If you are looking to convert your internship into a full-time job, choose a company accordingly. For eg. Deloitte makes offers to 90% of their interns.

2. The learning curve – Will I learn something new? – An internship should help you develop both your strengths and weaknesses. When considering offers, select the internship which lets you do things you have never done before. Companies vary tremendously when training interns. One should select the internship which lets one grow more skill sets and makes one more competitive for future.

3. Workplace culture – Does it suit me? – If you do not like the place of work, you will never be able to appreciate the internship. Things like whether you would like to wear a suit all day; how strict the hierarchy is, etc. make a huge difference in the attitude. Consider an internship if the work culture really fits you.

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, says “with hard decisions in life look to minimize regret.” Whatever internship you choose, open your heart and mind and make the best of it. You will surely maximize  your learning and experience.