Internships are a good career starting point. How to create maximum impact during internships
By Prashant Sharma - April 09 2021
One thing that we have been constantly hearing when it comes to finding a job as a fresher is that you need experience to attain your first job experience. Now, how do you add that previous work experience in 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 that hands-on learning and start your career journey before it truly begins. Let’s talk a bit about the two major ways how internships are a good starting point for your careers —
Improves your employability - Internship experiences in your resume give you an edge among other job seekers. Seeing that you have previous professional exposure compels a recruiter to take a look at your resume while 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 for their job requirement and may help you grab an interview with the organisation.
Apart from learning new skills and gaining work experience, you also learn professional etiquette during internships. Internships get you acquainted with professional environments wherein you learn to work in a team and learn to comfortably interact with your team members and clients, over emails, calls, or in-person. You may make a few mistakes at times which are easier to forgive when you are interning, and learn from them. Polishing your professional etiquette early on could go a long way in your full-time career where stakes will be high.
Helps you explore your options - Apart from improving your odds of getting employed, internships also provide you with the liberty to try your hands in 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. He therefore, started pursuing internships in various profiles like sales, marketing, and business development. It was through these internship experiences that he found his true interests and decided to pursue his career in market research.
Students oftentimes, end up taking a poorly informed decision 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.
Internships have the potential to spur your career journey by putting you a step ahead of the start line of your career. Enlisted here are a few ways as to how you could make the maximum impact during your internships to get an edge over your peers —
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, be it a new skill, email etiquette, or virtual meeting etiquette. One way to learn is through 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 as to 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 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, joining meetings on time, and so on. These habits reflect that you have high respect for both your own time as well as others’ time.
Be a team player - While it is important to be able to complete your 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 aforementioned practices won’t just grab you that shining letter of recommendation but will imbibe traits that will help you long term in your entire career journey.
About the author: Sarvesh Agrawal is the founder and CEO of Internshala, an internship and training platform (internshala.com)