When it is time to begin your Masters, your mind may already be exploring job opportunities and contemplating how you can land your first job or perhaps an internship. The latter is an excellent opportunity to gain job experience and try out your skills in your field of interest, while also aiming to land a permanent job with your employer after you finish your studies. However, for those of you that are new to the field, it may be slightly confusing why to do an internship and how to land an appropriate one. So here is the “why” and the “how”.
1. Preparation for the real thing
You know how they say that practice makes perfect? Completing an internship will give you the practice that you need for the real job world. Getting accustomed to a corporate environment, disciplining yourself, learning the basics, and getting along with colleagues all takes time and practice. Hence, once you complete an internship, you will be polishing the skills required for the real job world and once you graduate and enter the corporate environment, it will all be a lot easier for you.
2. Employers like internships
Internships are easier to land than actual jobs as they usually do not pay much, and some do not pay anything at all. Yet, they give you valuable job experience which may enhance your job hunt later on. Most graduates are haunted by the fact that the corporate world asks for job experience and they only have a degree. If you have completed an internship, employers are likely to count this as at least some experience. You know, something is always better than nothing. And you can be sure that a degree with an internship is better than a degree with no internship. You’ll get some valuable references to forward to your potential employer, giving you a competitive edge over other candidates with the same educational background.
3. Internships turn into jobs
The duration of a Masters in the UK, for example, and most other countries in Europe, is one year, meaning you are likely to hit the job market soon. Employers are looking for exceptional talent and if you perform exceptionally well in your internship, there is a good chance that you will be offered an exceptional position there once you graduate! Did we mention that it is all very exceptional? Yeah. In case you missed it – employers have no trouble waiting for exceptional internees to graduate. The added awesomeness of it? You will skip the hardship of looking for a good job after your education. Trust us – it’s worth not going through this part of life.
1. Talk to your professors
Professors and academic supervisors are a good bet when it comes to an internship hunt and guidance on what to do after your Masters. Make sure you talk to your professors regarding your intention of finding an internship and ask them for help and guidance on where to look and what types of offers to go for. They can help you find direction in your search, introduce you to contacts, and mentor you regarding how to go about the process and what to do during and after your internship.
2. Go to the career services department
Every university has a career placement department and it is best if you keep popping in from time to time to discuss your career with your career counsellor. Career counsellors usually know all about current internship/job openings and can also help match your aspirations and personality type to an internship of your choice. Make sure you ask your counsellor ample questions, ask them to introduce you to contacts, and give you direction in your search.
3. Start early
Every minute counts and while that may seem like an exaggeration, make the most of your time and start looking for an internship as early as possible. You can search magazines, websites of renowned companies, newspapers, job portals, and student websites. There are dedicated sections on your student career portal and every university usually has a website offering students internships. Make sure you search thoroughly and extensively for the right match.
4. Dedicate enough time
Dedicate ample time to your internship search and do not put it off as a last-minute nighttime ordeal. Properly read and understand job descriptions, responsibilities, and the requirements for internship positions. The more time you dedicate, the better a position you are likely to land. Unless you are relying on sheer luck, hard work is the ticket to success.
5. Look for multiple opportunities
Do not put all your eggs in one basket. Look for multiple opportunities and apply to several internship openings. There is likely to be high competition and you do not want to limit your chances by applying for only one or two positions. Aim to apply to a particular number of positions daily or whenever you come upon openings. Applying for multiple opportunities will also give you greater probability of landing a position and you will have greater choice in choosing an internship that you enjoy and is likely to benefit you the most.
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