What is an internship and how can it benefit me?

The word ‘internship’ is used for a variety of work experience, placements and summer jobs.

Originally this was an American term used to describe a period of professional experience, which is possibly career related. Nowadays it can also be used to describe a variety of professional work opportunities. You could also find a number of other words used in job adverts describing ‘professional work experience’. This can include:

  • Placements
  • Placement Year
  • Work experience
  • Undergraduate/ Graduate opportunity
  • Vacation work
  • Trainee

Look beyond the job title and company name to find out the real value of the opportunity on offer. Always check out the vacancy details to get a better impression of the role. Do you have the skills they want? Does it give you work experience that develops your skills and knowledge for your degree or future career? Do you want to apply to the role?

So what are the benefits of doing an internship or some professional work experience?

  • Gives you an insight into a professional role, type of career or work environment/culture
  • Opportunities to acquire new skills and knowledge in a specific area of interest
  • Develop further the skills gained from your degree
  • Develop skills and experience like team working, taking initiative, good communication, organisation, working to deadlines, leadership, negotiation, attention to detail and the list can go on…all of which are called transferable skills and highly sought after by employers
  • Possible contacts and referees for when you are applying for future jobs

For more information and links to useful websites including Prospects and TARGETjobs see the work experience page on the Careers Service website.

For more information on the range of jobs for work experience over the summer including internships log on to CareersLink

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