Today, having good work experience is a huge advantage to land your dream job. If you're a college student, consider joining internship programs that are made to help you develop essential skills and prepare you for the job market.
Imagine landing your first job and realizing it's not the kind of work and environment you want. An internship isn't just an experience you can add to your CV so you can get a higher chance of getting hired after you graduate. Aside from a professional learning experience, it's also a great way for you to know whether the career path you're planning to choose in the future fits you. While some jobs might sound exciting or easy, it's still different when you get to experience it firsthand—it's a reality check for students to help them prepare for the real world. Think of it as a trial for when you land an actual job once you graduate.
Internships usually require a minimum of 120 hours, depending on your college or course curriculum. It's easy to get carried away with enticing job descriptions, so before you send that application, check if the employer has or offers the following:
The most common type of internships allows students to apply to organizations or government agencies that run an internship program.
An internship may be compulsory or optional for students depending on the undergraduate or post-graduate program of study.
An international internship offers a great opportunity for students to experience a different life and culture in another country, which can improve both their language skills and intercultural awareness.
An internship offers you the opportunity to apply what you learned in your course, share your ideas in the workplace, and develop essential skills by meeting people working in your field. This is also your chance to meet potential employers that can hire you in the future.
Here are some of the many advantages an internship can provide you:
Most students opt to complete an internship during a study break, but you also have the option to take it during term time or at the end of the study. The majority of internships are usually advertised between March and September.
The length of your internship highly depends on your course requirement and what the internship is for, so it's best to confirm first.
Applying for an internship is much similar to applying for a job. First, you need to find internship job openings. Allot time to research and list those within your interest or field.
You may also check this list.
Most if not all online applications will require you to submit a CV and cover letter. This is your time to make a good impression on the employer so make sure your CV is nicely put. Include any relevant experience, including volunteer work, any projects you lead, or organizations you're a part of. You may check how to write a college student resume for an internship and tips here.
Psychometric tests are made to test your numerical, logical, and literary competency. While not all employers require you to take this test, it's best to come prepared.
Some employers require phone interviews to test your verbal communication skills, background, activities, etc. In some instances, you'll be asked for a recorded video of your answers to the questions the employer has prepared for you in advance.
Most employers request for an interview to get to know you better, including your motivations, experiences, and whether you're fit for the role you're applying for. Here's a helpful guide to help you prepare for interviews.
If you get accepted, you can expect the following:
If you got offers from more than one organization, you could consider the following to help you decide which offer to choose:
If you did not get an offer from your chosen employers, you could do the following:
Will I get paid?
Whether you'll get paid for your internship or not depends on your employer, so be sure to check and ask when you apply.
Do employers care about grades and extracurricular activities?
The importance of your academic performance differs for each employer. However, it's important to note that most of them use it to screen applicants initially, and they may have a minimum grade requirement that each applicant must meet to get picked for an interview. That said, it's important to keep your records good as this will give you higher chances to get chosen.
Aside from an internship, be prepared for your post-graduate life financially! Start saving as early as today and become more responsible with your money with a KiwiSaver plan.
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