With summer fast approaching once again, it’s almost time to decide how you will spend your summer break.
When you’ve spent most of the year writing assignments and preparing for exams, you may feel as though summer is the perfect time to sit back and relax. However, an increasing number of students are now using their summer holidays to gain an advantage over their future competitors in the job market.
If you want to be productive in summer 2016, doing an internship is one of the best ways to do so – you’ll boost your employability and gain valuable, real-world experience. Here are some of the biggest advantages to spending your summer as an intern.
Try out potential career choices
If you think you have an idea of where your degree might take you, spending some time working in that sector is invaluable. It will give you an insight into what jobs are available and what your day-to-day routine would involve. Similarly, it will help you to decide what sort of environment you want to work in – you can test out potential employers to inform future job applications.
…and rule out the bad ones
By the same token, it’s better to spend a summer doing a job you don’t like than finding out within a few months of starting work. Bad internship experiences can be just as useful as good ones, since they can help you refine your career options, ruling out jobs and organisations you definitely want to avoid.
Gain valuable experience
You might be lucky enough to find a paid internship, but even if you settle for an unpaid opportunity, it’s still an investment in your future. Developing your knowledge of the structure and culture of a business and acquiring new skills will help convince employers you are ready to work for them. Some companies even pre-select candidates for future job vacancies based on how they perform in internships. But whether that happens or not, filling out your CV with relevant industry experience will help you stand out from the crowd.
Learn new skills
In most careers, your qualifications will get you through the door, but the real training will begin once you start. Some knowledge and skills need to be acquired through practice, and starting that process early will make you more attractive to employers. It will also make it easier for you once you start your first job, which may mean you perform better.
Get more from your studies
Much of the material you study on your course might seem very abstract. It’s often hard to see how it fits into the working world. That’s why getting experience in the business environment is so useful – it really helps you understand the context of everything you learn in the classroom. In turn, that might just help you to appreciate your studies, and your experience might lead to an improvement in the academic aspect of your life.
Make useful contacts
Getting to know people who do different jobs within a company, or even building relationships with contacts from other organisations, is vital. Use the opportunity to connect with them on LinkedIn and start building your professional network. They could be important sources of help and advice when you’re job-hunting, and even after you’ve started your career.
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