The Importance of Internships

by Bill Weston

How an internship can help you

Ever since the recession hit Britain in 2008, more and more young people are finding it hard to gain employment across all sectors. During 2008, unemployment claims began to rise dramatically, with figures from the Office for National Statistics reporting that unemployment claims had risen from 32,500 to 904,900 in August alone. This figure continued to rise and at the end of 2011, it peaked at 2.7 million, the highest it had been for 17 years. 16-24 year olds were amongst the hardest hit with the number of unemployed over 1 million. As a result of these figures it means that competition for jobs is fierce and many companies simply won’t employ anyone without relevant experience in the role. As a result, we now see an internship culture, with many young people working for free.

Internships are seen by some as a way of employers taking advantage of people willing to work for free but it cannot be denied that they can be extremely beneficial. It gives people an opportunity to gain experience in the sector that they wish to establish a career in whilst in many cases, employers are willing to hire those who have little previous experience and this is especially true of unpaid internships.

Perhaps the biggest benefit is that in many cases, internships can lead to permanent full time jobs. An internship not only provides you with the opportunity to gain valuable experience in your field but puts you in the “shop window” so to speak. I.e. in the way that it allows you to impress first-hand and almost “sell” yourself to your employer. You can use the experience to prove that you are able to do the job, that you can take responsibility and show initiative. In many ways it is the perfect opportunity to show off your skills. You never know, if you manage to impress you may be asked to stay on permanently. Many employers, particularly in the U.S. actually use internship programmes as a way of finding new employees.

Many people finish University and are still unsure of the career path that they wish to take. Undertaking an internship allows you to get a feel of the field that you think you want to continue in and make an assessment on whether it is really for you. You might find that you love the job, but similarly you may find that it isn’t all that you thought it might be. Internships are generally short term and so can help you find your feet, to find what career path you wish to follow. For example you may be interested in auditing or becoming an auditor. Undertaking an audit internship will allow you to see if what the role entails is for you. You may then be able to go on and find an auditor job.

Many people are sceptical about internships but there are many reasons to apply. It gives you the chance to meet new people, to network with those in your chosen field. You may not get a job where you have the internship but you may meet people who have contacts elsewhere. It opens up a world of opportunities. They also allow you to gain confidence and knowledge as well as allowing you to build up an impressive CV.

You will be able to find opportunities such as audit internships by searching online, although it is also recommended that you get in contact with companies within your field directly.

This post was written by Bill Weston

Bill weston is a content writer who writes on a number of subjects including audit jobs uk and on an auditor job

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