During your time studying in Australia, you might find yourself considering an internship. Internships offer a lot of wonderful opportunities that can add serious long-term benefits to both your career and personal development. Keen to add some real-life work experience to your CV? Here are a few reasons why you should think about undertaking an internship.
Network with your industry
As you partake in an internship, you’ll no doubt be offered plenty of opportunities to grow your professional network. Not only will you meet other students who are working towards career goals similar to your own, but you’re also bound to work with more senior people whose career you admire and may want to mirror. You’ll be able to absorb the knowledge that everyone you meet has to offer and learn a lot about the industry and how to navigate your own career.
Maintaining these relationships and having a large network of fellow students and professionals can be incredibly beneficial to your employability. In the future, you might be able to lean on your connections to find new opportunities, increase your chances of securing a role (they might know someone in the company you’re hoping to work for) or use as references for job applications (there’s no reason you can’t put them down as referees even after you leave Australia!). Use LinkedIn to connect with everyone you come across during your internship so you can keep up the relationship once your placement finishes.
Improve Your English Language Skills
Internships can provide you with an environment to improve your professional English skills, as an office is the best place to learn how to communicate in a more formal way. As part of your internship, you might be required to attend meetings or conference calls. Not only will you be able to see and hear how experienced professionals communicate in the workplace, but you may also be required to contribute, which offers great verbal communication practice for future jobs. There may even be the opportunity to draft emails or documents, which will improve your written English, too.
Gain Real-World Experience
While your studies will certainly prepare you for the theoretical side of your career, there are certain skills that are best gained by applying that theory in the workplace. Your internship should allow you to put the skills you have learned in your studies to good use and allow you to build on them by understanding how to practically apply them.
Having practical experience also looks great on your CV. It lets future employers know that you’ve shown a willingness to learn in a real working environment, that you possess practical skills and experience, and that you understand the importance of committing yourself to a role. Many employers will even put office experience as an essential part of the job criteria.
Trial a Career
Another way to look at internships is to consider them a way to ‘taste-test’ your desired career path. Internships are short-term commitments, so they can offer you the chance to experience a particular career without plunging into it head-first. You can also get a feel for the kind of workplace you want to end up in and, if you undertake multiple internships throughout your studies, narrow down the workplace that’s the best fit. Perhaps you thrive in a startup environment or prefer the structure of larger corporations – an internship will give you deeper insight into how these places operate.
During an internship, you’re typically assigned to a supervisor or a group of supervisors who oversee your work. One great way to make the most of your internship is to regularly meet with your supervisor and gain feedback on what you’ve done. This is a fantastic way to consistently improve your work, which will not only enhance your performance in the internship but will also help when you need to do the same work in your first job after university. While sometimes it can be intimidating asking for feedback, it’s important to remember that your supervisors are there to help and what they tell you will only benefit you in the long run. Asking for feedback will also show your supervisor that you’re grateful for their time and the opportunity to work with them.