Can Interning Pay Off?

5th May 2014 Chris Clark Careers and Finance

Student interns

Interning has become a standard part of the employment world. Whereas once it was limited to a few select job sectors, it is now commonplace and has both positive and negative aspects. But does it pay off? Here are a few things to consider regarding interning…

It’s great experience

If you’re looking to get a job in a particular field, then the more experience you can get in a related job, the better. Whether you’re interning before, during or after your degree, having relevant experience on your CV will look great. Experience is one of the key things that employers and university admissions officers look for when recruiting, but also the fact that you’re willing and committed to your potential future career.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency released data that found that 21.7% of those who graduated in 2009 who were employed six months later were working for a company for whom they had undertaken work experience in the past.

Interning will be part of many university courses

For most jobs you simply can’t learn everything in a classroom, and there’s no substitute for learning on the job. As such, many universities have ties with local businesses and organisations and will organise internships as part of your course. Again, this is great for experience and making contacts for future internships and even jobs.

They can work out to be expensive

You shouldn’t ever have to pay to do an internship but they can still work out to be quite expensive. Most internships are unpaid or pay very little, and so they can end up costing you a lot of money as you may well not have time to work elsewhere at the same time. However, some places will reimburse you for travel, so keep a track of any commuting you’ve done.

Woman reading on bus

Make your internship count

Internships can vary in time from a week to as much as a year or more, but however long it is, you need to make it count. Too often interns will shy away from being bold and putting themselves about a bit. Even if it means you making the tea to start with, make sure everyone knows your name and you’ll soon reap the rewards. ‘Networking’ may sound like a buzz word but it doesn’t mean it’s not important; you might only get one shot at making an impression, so make it count. The last thing you want is to finish your internship to feel it was a wasted opportunity.

Be sure you want it

It can be tempting to jump at the chance to go and work somewhere when you’re just starting out, but you need to be sure it’s right for you. Do plenty of research into what internships are available and try and ask as many questions as possible prior to starting as to what you’ll be doing when you’re there. If it doesn’t work out then it’s as much a waste of the employer’s time as it is yours. Inspiring Interns is a good place to find internships that match what you’re looking for.

Let us know your interning stories on social media!

Chris Clark

Chris Clark

For more great posts from Urbanest about accommodation, London life, study tips and much more, visit the Student Journal.