Ever found yourself in a confusing spot when presented with an opportunity to work for an organization as an intern or worse – you have two internship offers and are not sure which to pick? This article covers all the factors you need to consider while choosing an internship position to know whether it is going to be of value to you or not.
What Should You Look for In An Internship?
An internship opportunity is a win-win situation for both you and the company you’re going to intern at. As an analogy, an internship can be compared to a date where two people meet and interact for a short period; however, they may or may not engage further based on their experience.
While you get the opportunity to understand the organization structure, business model and its core operations, your potential employer, on the other hand, gets to measure your performance and can decide whether you’re a good fit as a full-time employee for the role or any other role within the organization.
Often, interns end up being offered a full-time position at the organization for the role they interned. However, taking the opportunity is not a compulsion, particularly, if you’re not pleased with the organization and its culture. If you’re offered a full-time position at the end of your internship, you have the opportunity to overlook the offer and look for a similar role at another organization by leveraging the experience you’ve already gained through your internship.
Hence, it is essential to consider certain factors before accepting an internship opportunity, so that you achieve maximum value from the short time you’re going to spend at that organization.
The factors you should consider before taking up an internship position are as follows:
- Growth opportunities:
An internship should allow you to upskill while you intern at that organization. If the internship is such that it offers constant learning, upskilling and staying updated on the latest industry trends and technology, then it is helping you to grow personally and professionally. An indicator of a good internship is that it helps you learn essential skills such as data analysis, formal writing, communication, problem-solving and significantly increases your proficiency in using a variety of software essential to your field.
While remuneration may not be common for internships, it’s always best to go for internships that pay you. Free labour shouldn’t easily be handed out – your time has value too!
- Networking opportunities:
You should ask yourself: “Will this internship allow you to connect with people in your field who can help you get to where you want to be?” That’s a very important factor to consider in an internship. Constantly learning, talking to new people, building connections is very important, especially as a student. Even if you may be undecided on what exactly you want to do in the future, talking to people in a senior position will help you understand what you want to do and help you achieve your goals.
- Internship job responsibilities:
Sadly, the stereotype of an unpaid intern whose sole responsibility is bringing coffee and running errands can often be true. Hence, when choosing an internship, it is important to know how this internship will help you grow by analysing what you can contribute and alternatively, gain from this short engagement. It is learning experiences such as these that will help shape your career. Moreover, chances are you will not get to execute any senior decisions and will be given smaller tasks to carry out and that’s okay! As long as you’re learning and applying your skills, it’s healthy growth.
- Strengthening your skills:
Internships should offer you projects that help you strengthen your existing skills, along with adding new ones to your profile. If you have a working proficiency with common tools such as Adobe products or the Microsoft Office suite, an internship should help you further enhance these skills so you can increase your proficiency in using those tools.
All in all, an internship that covers these aspects is an opportunity you should cease. However, you must ensure to ask the recruiting manager essential questions regarding what the job entails and what a day in the job looks like to get a fair idea about the position. Any recruiting manager that communicates the valuable prospects associated with an internship role, will prove to be of benefit to you in future. Remember that internships are your gateway into the job market, do not overlook the importance of getting one!