Student Internships: All Your Questions Answered

Are you a new college student? Well, congratulations! College life is a new adventure and a new journey. All the new experiences that come with college must be quite overwhelming, especially if you study abroad. 

What electives should you take? Should you join a club or society? What kind of extracurriculars would be the best for your CV? And what about internships? How do you get an internship and what are they good for?

Well let us attempt to answer at least the last few questions for you. Internships are the first step to getting ready for the job market in a practical sense. Recruiters look for  more than just a good degree and grades these days. They want practical experience. Interning helps you transform your education plan into a solid career plan. 

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What Are Student Internships?

College degrees tend to be quite academic and bookish in nature. Your classes will teach you everything you need to know about the theoretical side of things in your discipline. However, often, colleges fall short of teaching you more practical skills that are needed for working in the field. Even though many colleges, especially if you study abroad, offer training modules and projects, they may not always be enough.

This is where internships come in. An internship is basically a temporary position offered by an employer to candidates who are currently studying. An internship is not the same as being employed by a company. Interns may get a stipend or travel allowance, but they don’t receive other benefits like health coverage, etc, offered to full-time employees. 

The kind of work expected from interns varies from company to company and field to field. Generally, interns either assist on projects or undertake simple paperwork or other low responsibility tasks.

Why Should I Do Student Internships?

1. Hands On Experience

Internships offer valuable, hands on work experience for students who are yet to enter the job market. This is the training that colleges fall short in. Internships allow students to see how a company actually works and is run. It gives them the experience of working with a team or under a supervisor to finish or assist in various projects.

2. Strengthen Your CV

Recruiters often prefer students with multiple internships in their CV. This is because if a student already has basic work training and experience, the employer has to spend less time and resources in training them. 

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3. Networking

Internships also allow you to make connections and network with people who are already in the industry. These people can mentor you and offer you advice or even letters of recommendation. This can help you not only in your career but also your future education plans if you want to study abroad.

Moreover, if you perform well as an intern and are in the final year of your degree, you can even get a job offer from the company you are interning for based on your current performance. 

4. Helps You Determine a Career Path

Internships can also offer you a taste of your potential career path. If you are a student working towards a business or commerce degree, for example, and you do a marketing internship that you dislike, that tells you that marketing may not be for you. You can then focus on some other career path like sales or finance.

How To Get An Internship?

1. Referrals

Often you can leverage your existing network to get an internship. Ask your seniors, classmates and peers where they interned or are interning and whether they could refer you.

You could also ask for referrals from teachers or professors with industry experience or contacts. Your college placement cell or career counselling section can also help you find internships. Another way of finding referrals for internships is through family networks.

2. Recruitment Websites

Recruitment websites are some of the most common ways of finding an internship. You can simply enter your degree and other qualifications and skills on these websites to find internships that are best suited for your skillset.

Sites like Internshala that are specific to internships can be helpful. LinkedIn can be used for both searching for internships as well as building your network and displaying your skills and work profile. 

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3. Social Media

Oftentimes, companies will advertise internship opportunities on their social media pages. If there are certain companies or employers that you really want to work with, you should keep an eye on their social media as well as the careers page on their website for opportunities.

You could also search appropriate hashtags on social media to find internships near you. For example, you could search #internship #delhi #finance for internships in the finance industry in Delhi.

4. Cold Emailing

This is another way of finding internships that may not always work but shows initiative and confidence that recruiters love. If there is a particular company that you want to work with, you could simply email their HR and ask if there are any opportunities available.

Be personable and confident, list your skills and how you can be useful to the company as well as why you want to intern for them. Cold may not always work because companies may not always have opportunities available. But they do create an impression which could work favourably for you.

Are Internships Only for College Students?

While internships are common for college students, this does not mean that high schoolers cannot undertake them. In fact, an internship can be very fruitful for your CV if you are planning to study abroad.

Finding an internship can take a little bit more effort if you are a minor since most companies prefer students who are at least 18. However, with the right reference, it may be possible. 

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Internships are also a great way for you to spend your gap year if you want to take a break between school and college. You should also consider internships if you have graduated college but haven’t found a job yet. While an internship does not pay as well as a job, it can still offer you experience and add value to your CV.

Key Takeaway

Internships are a great way of building your CV when you have limited work experience. They teach you valuable real world skills that you can leverage when you finally do enter the job market. They can also help you build a good network and scout for jobs.

In today’s extremely competitive job market, internships prepare you for the rat race. If you want to succeed in your career, you should make the best of your student life and gather all the skills you can. Internships are the best way to do that!

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