There are many horror stories about internships. They say you just sit there and bring coffee to your boss or spend your day on social networks until you’re told to shred some documents. But really, internships are so much more.
Think of the possibilities, by interning at a company you have the opportunity to just fall into the rumors or make the most out of it. Today, you can look for internships all over the globe in cities like Barcelona, Amsterdam or Milan and get hands on experience on multiple sectors.
Stay away from the negative and just focus on all the good things you can get by becoming an intern:
1. Get a real working experience. Academic knowledge is important, but practical knowledge in a company is what attracts most employers. Joining a company as an intern gives you the opportunity to work hands on in a professional environment. As an intern you’re there to gain actual work experience. Also, internships are a way to test possible jobs and different career options.
2. Apply your knowledge. Undertaking an internship you will have the opportunity to put your academic knowledge to test and you will learn how to adapt all that theory to a real business scenario.
3. Develop new professional skills and better working habits. Interning at a startup, you’ll have to work on different tasks and learn new skills, sometimes out of your comfort zone. You’ll gain a much broader perspective of topics outside your own field of study and you will learn to manage your time and your priorities in a new, different way.
4. Learn about yourself. While being an intern you will pinpoint your strengths and recognize your weaknesses, which will lead you to focus on what you do best and put more effort on what needs attention. This will help you to discover and develop your own personal brand –who you are and what you have to offer. Besides that, you will be able to explore different aspects of the business and test what you like and what you don’t. That will help you determine what best fits your personality and your career goals.
5. Gain self-confidence. In you intern at a startup, you’ll gain independence and responsibility, which in turn will give you confidence to take on greater challenges in the future –and will surely help you to face the next job interview.
6. Expand your professional network. While being an intern, you’ll get to meet several professionals of your sector. These contacts can be crucial in the future: when we’re talking about getting a great job or superb recommendations – who you know can be just as important as what you know.
7. Enhance your resume. Academic success matters, of course, but it’s not enough. An internship on your resume will tell recruiters that you have some first-hand experience and you already know how it is to work in the real world. Plus, you’re one step ahead of those who didn’t intern.
8. Prove you can be proactive. Not everybody works as an intern. By doing it, you’ll show that you have initiative. You’re not afraid to climb up the latter starting from the bottom and that is a good trait to have at a company.