Are Internships Still A Good Way For Students To Gain Essential Experience?

by A Guest Author

Internships offer students ways of gaining experience while completing their studies, and can provide excellent complements to degree work. However, there is also a danger of unpaid work, and the problem of exploiting long hours without the guarantee of a job at the end of it. At the same time, there is pressure on students to consider going into internship and apprenticeship schemes, rather than starting a degree. The benefits of doing so include being able to gain better firsthand experience of a company. Other routes are, however, available for graduate internships and trainee schemes. Deciding on which kind of internship is suitable for individual students consequently affects their value.

1 - Need for Experience

On a basic level, internships provide real experience of the work place, and allow students to build up a professional network, while also receiving a small salary. The kind of skills that are built up through a company internships are often more transferable to a future career than working in a generic part-time job. Working for a company, or in an area that a student wants to go into after their degree will build up a CV and allow them to make contacts within that industry. With employment prospects after graduation narrow at present, internships can provide an advantage.

2 - Graduate Schemes

Another option for students is to investigate graduate traineeship schemes and internships. These schemes are often advertised through university job fairs and recruitment sessions, and can provide a fast track from degrees into management programmes. Internships, in this context, will be more competitive and likely more higher paid than completing a similar scheme during a student’s studies.

3 - Overseas

It’s also possible to look into completing an internship during a gap year or summer break. Foreign placements and work experience programmes can be particularly useful as a way of gaining experience while receiving travel and living expenses. This kind of internship is a useful way to develop a career as part of a charity, and is also recommended for anyone that wants to include foreign travel or translation as a key part of their future careers.

4 - Competition

With the job market being the way it is at present, graduates that do not take on internships may find themselves at a significant disadvantage to those that take the time to do one. As well as not having relevant experience on a CV, graduates might find themselves struggling to know who to turn to get work. Short term contract work might also be very competitive, and will be biased towards higher paid positions for people that already have some experience.

5 - Caution over Internships

It is important, however, to be cautious about the kind of internships that students undertake. The wrong placement can result in an intensive level of work without a job at the end of a contract. Work place exploitation, and the difficulty of getting a highly paid internship, can often mean that students can put a lot of time and money into going down the wrong path. Discussions should consequently be made with careers advisors, as well as with recruiters at graduate fairs over what kind of positions are available.


Brought to you by the bloggers from Lansdowne College. An independent sixth form college based in London.

This post was written by A Guest Author

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Phao Phonna September 20, 2012 at 10:05 am

After graduated. I hope that I have good jobs.


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